Whether you have a brand new computer or a computer that is six years old, they definitely have one thing in common; They do not like to be suddenly turned off. The power outage is a computer's worst enemy. Software is more complex and computers are doing more things now at the same time then ever before; so when the computer turns off unexpectedly, bad things are sure to happen, and most likely that means file corruption. Windows has gotten better and in most cases the system does some self-healing and you're on your way, but more times than not the system is left crippled. The good news is, there is an easy and quick preventative solution to this problem, and that is called a UPS Battery Backup. Most people have heard of them but tend to overlook their importance, thinking their surge protector is sufficient.
Surge Protectors only protect against 'Surges', however UPS Units protect from additional power issues indicated below.
I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to have a UPS Battery backup system. There are multiple companies that make UPS Systems, such as APC, CyberPower, and Tripp Lite. Regardless of which brand you get, I would like to take a few minutes to explain some of the more important features and information.
1. VA - This stands for Voltage Amps. This is one of the main numbers they use in advertising. I won't bore you with the meaning, but just know, the higher the VA number, the larger the battery capacity, meaning longer runtimes. Most home computer system are fine with the 450VA units, however for the few extra dollars i would go with atleast a 685VA or higher.
2. Watts - This number will represent the max watts the battery can output. Again, without boring you with details, the larger this number the bigger the battery capacity, meaning longer runtimes.
3. AVR - This stands for Automatic Voltage Regulator. This is 'VERY' important. This feature is typically on the higher end units, but in my opinion is definitely worth it. What this does is regulates the voltage that the computer recieves so it is always a pure clean signal. There are times when the power doesn't necessarily go completely out (blackout), but the voltage drops or sags (brownout). Computers do not like this, and typical UPS Systems may trigger the battery, whereas the AVR feature kicks in and regulates it without having to trip the battery all the time. This saves on the wear and tear of the battery, providing a longer battery life.
4. Battery Replaceable Units - Most higher end units have replaceable batteries. Batteries typically last 3-5 years depending on how often they are tripped. With the higher end units costing $150-$200+, the batteries usually are replaceable for half the cost of a unit. This is good since you do not have to buy a new unit when/if the battery fails, and you can get another 3-5 years of life.
R3 Recommends the following units:
CyberPower AVR685 ($72)- Includes AVR Technology, has 685VA Rating, has 8 receptacles 4 have Battery Support, All have Surge Protection. They have wide spaces for 'bulky plugs'. It is flat and more typical of what you may be used to.
CyberPower 1500AVRLCD ($150)- This is 1500VA and has AVR Technology. This is one of the largest capactity consumer level UPS's out there. It has an LCD Screen which provides you detailed info. This is a standup unit, so you need some more room, but has plenty of receptacles. This may be overkill for some users.
If you are looking to purchase a UPS Unit and want help choosing the right model or you need help replacing a UPS Battery on your current unit, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Rob Richman - President
R3 Consulting, LLC