An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can protect your computer equipment. This super surge protector has a large battery that kicks on when a power surge or interruption occurs. So your digital gear stays safe from dangerous electrical fluctuations.
Power surges occur when the wiring in a building experiences brief yet dangerous and even damaging jolts of high electrical voltage. Lightning is the most common cause, but other sources include faulting wiring, spikes in the electrical grid, or heavy-duty equipment kicking in.
Most power outages last for a few seconds to a few minutes. Besides the annoyance of resetting clocks when power is restored, there is a benevolent invisible force at work. Beyond human perception are high-energy electrical spikes as the power goes down and up. These surges can damage and even fry sensitive electronics.
The battery and surge protector at the heart of the UPS acts as a buffer to absorb much of the device-damaging energy.
There’s another aggravation a UPS can help avoid. It’s a hot summer day, and the power grid is running at an overload capacity. You’ve been editing an important document for hours (without saving). The power blinks for only a few seconds, but long enough to make you realize you should have saved your work. But it’s too late. It took only a few seconds for the power to your PC to blink and your hours of work to go down the digital drain.
The battery would have kicked in with a UPS, providing valuable time to click the save button.
Most office supplies and electronics stores sell UPS equipment. The price is $70 to $90 and will provide about 10 to 20 minutes of battery time. More expensive units provide more battery time and can absorb more intense surges. If you’re a gamer with a power-hungry rig, you should consider a UPS in the $100 – $200 range.
You should connect these devices to a UPS:
- DSL or Cable Modem (this equipment is very sensitive)
- Network switches and routers
- A desk lamp (so you can see to power down your PC when things go dark)
A UPS can also protect other electronic investments, such as audio and television equipment.
Here’s a good deal on a UPS that should work for most situations.