Protecting Your Computer With Battery Backup
If you want to protect your computer and preserve its life and your data, the single Best thing you can do is to get yourself a Battery Backup System otherwise known as an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS. This is especially important if the data on your system is extremely valuable to you or if you have an expensive computer system.
A good battery backup conditions the power coming to your computer. It maintains a constant voltage level so that your computer system never experiences voltage spikes or brown-outs (which are a low power condition).
Many of my friends have surge protectors for thier computers. Its a good defense against voltage spikes and they are very inexpensive. The problem with surge protectors, is that they do not "condition" the power (maintain a constant voltage), and they absolutely do not protect against Low Power conditions.
It is extremely harmful to your computer to experience brown-out or power failure conditions, when the voltage coming to your computer drops suddenly or cuts out altogether. When the power cuts off completely its easy to notice, everything just stops cold. As in the case when you pull the cord out of the wall, or a power outage during a storm for example.
Brown-outs are much more insidious. The computer will continue to run but if the voltages are too low it puts undue stress on the hardware systems. A good battery backup also has much faster response time than a surge protector for defense against voltage spikes, and most surge protectors do not completely protect you from a quick spike in voltage.
Most importantly, Battery Backups protect your data as well! I have repaired many computer systems, and one of the most common ways to lose data, is to have the power cut out while you are right in the middle of working on your computer. Especially if data is being moved around as in copy, paste, save, move, type computing operations. That is a sure fire recipe to introduce corruption into your data when the power unexpectedly quits during these operations.
If you have a nice computer and your data is valuable to you, the battery backup will easily earn back the money you spend on it, just by saving your data and computer hardware and helping your computer last longer. Make sure you plug in the computer *and* monitor to protect the whole system.
When purchasing, stick with a recognized brand and look at how many minutes the battery is rated to keep your computer running. Most people will be just fine with one of the less expensive battery backups that keep the power going for anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending how many things you have plugged into it.
If the power goes out on you completely the UPS will keep the computer running long enough for you to save the document you are working on and shut the computer down gracefully. This is perfect, no risk of data loss and the computer hardware is well protected.