Sunday, December 13, 2020
This week we’ve been sitting at home and that’s when we noticed our lights flicker a few times and our Back UPS unit click a few times. It appears there might have been electrical fluctuations a few days ago or a brown out or similar or perhaps a fuse issue. But it made us think about our own home electronics. It’s a good idea too to think about what you want to do with your electronics to keep them safe.
Most people at home have a surge protector with various plugs in their house. It is often a 3 prong that grounds the electricity and also prevents your equipment from suffering from an electical shock during a power storm and lightning strike. Often surge protectors only have electrical outlets for perhaps 3 to 6 plugs only.
However, a Back UPS unit that is basically an uninterruptible power supply often has a sealed lead batter in the unit that in most cases is user-replaceable and recyclable that can provide just enough juice to your critical equipment to keep them up and running online from anywhere for 3 minutes all the way to a few hours. It can be the difference between having enough time to shut down your laptop to losing critical work in an instant. Maybe it’s not used for medical devices as often hospitals have generators etc. But for certain people running data stations like laptops or computer web servers it can keep things running smoothly through a storm. Some devices even come with coaxial cables, telephone jack outlets and RJ45 and other ethernet options or USB ports to do other functions.
There are some major players in the field from Tripp Lite, APC, Belkin, Eaton, and CyberPower that deal with these type of electronics. Cost is a factor, reliability and often length of company history. It is a good idea to see what is the industry standard and what your purpose is before running out and getting one.
Often you will find similar specs across the board, although the adage “You get what you pay for” still has truth. When looking into these products also look at warranties, voltage ratings and what the product claims to insure you for. Some for instance will insure a product up to a certain wattage and level of protection.
Also some people like to be able to see the status of their power of the battery. You can find software that helps you manage power shutdown transitions smoothly and keep track of electric anomalies and spikes. You can often also do a battery test by pressing a few buttons on the unit itself.
Overall we’ve had at least two battery back UPS units in our several years. One was completely fried and dead and unable to be serviced any more. They often recommend you recycle your battery or get it disposed properly somewhere. It does have lead acid after all, so you don’t want to just dump it in a landfill. But often you can find on good Back UPS unit you can find serviceable replacement batteries years later and still find the product by ordering them. They are often maybe a third of the cost of replacing a whole new unit.
In short, you cannot NOT afford to back up your equipment and work and life’s equipment. We millennials and people in 2020 depend too much on our computers, laptops, Mac’s, tablets, and large screen TV’s etc and wifi. Any loss of our book reports and financial data or even in the middle of buying something online or doing taxes could be simply catastrophic. Not fearmongering. In the older days computers were less reliable and we didn’t have solid state drives and autosave. Often it was tape drives and praying that your downloads would finish before the power storm arrived. Ask yourself if the cost of saving yourself a few dollars in equipment is worth losing that thesis or irreplaceable family photos. Sure you might be able to recover them deep down if you know a forensics company, that is if it even saved and committed the date to the drive in the first place.
Remember: back up, back up, back up. We recommend at least 2 plus on offsite at least if you can.
Know any other must have neat electronic gadgets? Smash that comment button and let us know about it.