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Computer Battery Backup: UPS

Updated on January 30, 2009

If you live in an area prone to unexpected power outages, you need one of these. If you live in an area prone to thunderstorms, you need one of these. If you live somewhere prone to ice storms, you need one of these. If you’re someone who needs their computer for work, you need one of these. If you fit into one of those categories, keep reading. About a year ago, my area kept experiencing brief power outages. They only lasted a few seconds, but it was long enough to shut the computer off. You might not think that’s a problem unless you don’t have your stuff backed up. Wrong.

  • A few good knocks like that, and your entire OS can break. That’s right, boys and girls, you can wind up with the blue screen of death. You’ll recognize it, because, well, it's blue, and just has tons and tons and tons of numbers scrolling up and down. If you meet up with that screen, odds are that will be the end of your computer. Believe me, several qualified individuals had a go at fixing mine – no good.

  • What happened next? I lost 2 out of 3 hard drives and whatever I’d currently been working on. Yeah, you can blame me for not clicking “save” every 5 seconds, but whatever. I honestly don’t have time to be doing that when the writing’s flowing.

  • So just reinstall the OS, already. I did. It was like having a brand new computer – but without everything that had been installed previously. Office was gone, all my drivers were gone, etc, etc, etc. You know how full of useless crap a PC can be.

  • So what did you do? I started over, and went on a mad hunt for something that would keep my computer going during a power outage. Enter the Belkin UPS.

  • How does it work? They come in different sizes, with varying numbers of outlets. Mine has 6 outlets. 3 are only surge protection. It’s the OTHER 3 which really make the difference.

  • Whats so special about those other 3? The Belkin UPS has its on power supply. So if the power cuts out, the UPS battery comes on (along with a warning alarm) and whatever’s plugged into it STAYS ON for the duration of the battery. Mine lasts for 20 minutes, I think.

  • That’s not a very long time…. No, and your goal isn’t to use it a generator. You just want enough time to get to your computer, save what you want, and shut it down properly. Number 3 being the most important.

  • How much do they cost? Mine ran about 80 bucks, but the price will vary depending on how many outlets and how strong the battery is.

  • Where can I buy one? Your local electronics shop. Not everyone needs one of these, obviously. But if you’re like me, you’re probably better off getting one. It’s far cheaper than replacing your computer if it comes to that.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Milo 

      8 years ago

      Don't forget to setup scheduled, regular tests. Mine worked fine for about 18 months, then one day is just failed, and you only know when it fails when there is a power cut.

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      10 years ago from Chennai

      I have an UPS, it gives me about 5 to 15 minutes. I learnt that a good ups does not just give you backup time, but should also get power to behave itself in your system. Like you said.

    • stubbs profile image

      stubbs 

      10 years ago from London

      cool, i don't have a problem with outs but its definatley a coll gadget.

    • profile image

      somelikeitscott 

      10 years ago

      Who knew? Certainly not me even though I've experienced the blue screen of death when my old laptop was dying. Thanks for the education...again and again Iz!

    • Isabella Snow profile imageAUTHOR

      Isabella Snow 

      10 years ago

      Thanks, Misha :)

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 

      10 years ago from DC Area

      UPS is a must, no question, and Belkin is a reputable brand. :)

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