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How to Shore Up Your Hardware with a UPS Battery

Credit: CyberPower

Don’t let your computer get fried by a power surge.

My apartment’s electrical infrastructure is pretty solid for the most part, but even so, I occasionally have to put up with random power surges. Sometimes it’s caused by weather, sometimes it just sort of… happens. Maybe Dr. Frankenstein lives next door, I don’t know. But whatever the cause, it’s a massive pain in my behind when I’m either working or playing a game on my computer, and then the power flickers.

It’s bad enough that I’ve had lost or corrupted data due to this, but more importantly, constant surges simply aren’t good for your computer. Constantly power cycling your computer puts a lot of strain on the parts. The obvious solution is a surge protector, but while a surge protector will keep your computer from straight up exploding, it doesn’t solve the power loss problem. This is when you need an uninterruptable power supply, or UPS for short.

Credit: MacTech Solutions

A UPS is sort of like a hybrid between a surge protector and a battery. It has multiple grounded outlets you can safely plug stuff into, but in addition to providing power, it also stores power when it’s plugged in. In the event of power loss, either due to a quick surge or an outright blackout, the UPS’ battery seamlessly activates and keeps whatever’s plugged into it going. Bear in mind, the point of a UPS isn’t to endlessly power stuff on its own; it’s not a generator. Rather, in the event of a surge, it’ll keep the juice flowing to your electronics, preventing them from shutting off and corrupting your data. In the event of a blackout, the battery will give you an extra few minutes to safely save your data, close programs, and shut your computer off properly.

How much power you get from your UPS depends on the model and what you plug into it. If you only plug in your phone charger, for instance, it’ll last much longer. If you plug in your charger, plus a router, and an entire computer set-up, you’re not going to get nearly as long. But that’s fine; long as I don’t have to start my game over again, then mission accomplished.