Many people feel that the only way to protect their electronic equipment from storms is to unplug them from the wall. While not having something plugged in is the only 100% sure way to protect it from a particular power event, it certainly isn’t practical. Additionally, the reality is that many power events happen everyday that we are never aware of. And we aren’t always home or awake to unplug everything during a storm. So how does one effectively protect their electronic equipment from power events? The answer is through a quality uninterruptible power supply, otherwise known as a UPS, or commonly referred to as a battery back-up.
In simple terms, a UPS is a surge protector with a battery as a back-up power source. If the UPS detects any sort of power disturbance – such as electrical noise, over/under-voltage conditions, or even a complete blackout – it instantly switches to the battery as the power source. In this way, the devices plugged in to the UPS will always receive clean power, no matter what the disturbance. Of course, the battery can only last so long, depending on its size and how many devices are plugged in, but generally the common consumer models can provide enough power to run equipment for 10 – 20 minutes. This is usually long enough for a short blackout and certainly long enough for those annoying blips in power all too common during the summer months.
The two brands I recommend, APC and CyberPower, both guarantee that their products will protect your equipment even from a lightning strike. These brands are commonly sold at most major retailers and at many local computer stores. If you need help sizing and choosing the best UPS for your needs, please let me know and I’d be happy to help.