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Should You Use A Battery Backup?

Storms, floods, fire, and other emergencies can cause productivity loss due to power failure. Utilizing an uninterruptible power supply (aka UPS or battery backup) with your workstations will ensure that you never lose unsaved work and it may help avoid hard power shutdowns on equipment, which can harm computer components.

A UPS is a small device that can be purchased at a local electronics store or even Walmart. It is used most often with computers and servers and it provides power to keep the device functional for a certain amount of time should the actual power go off. This allows the operator to save work and shut down the computer properly, it can be a life-saver if you just did a lot of work on project and the files were not saved when the power went off.

The UPS will also provide surge protection and more than one electronic device can plug into it. The downside is that the battery power won’t last long, it can keep devices on for a varied amount of time ranging from minutes to hours depending on the size of the unit and the amount of devices plugged into it. often it will keep the device on long enough for power to come back on.

What about Internet Connection?
To avoid being crippled by loss of internet connection, it’s a good idea to plug routers, wireless access points, and cable modems into a UPS. So long as your Internet provider continues to provide Internet access to your location, modems and routers can be used for Internet access, assuming they have a UPS to keep them up.

If Internet access is also not available via your usual cable or fiber access then even a UPS won’t save the day. In this case you need another way to get on the Internet. If you only have a few devices and they have a wireless adapter like most laptops, then you can turn your phone into a hotspot and use the wireless on your laptop.  If you have many desktops and laptops that need access then you need to look at a failover strategy, which would be a topic for another blog post.

What providing backup power using a generator?
Although generators are perfect for some businesses, they are expensive and require greater upkeep. Small- and mid-sized businesses may not have the resources to purchase and maintain them because besides their cost, they typically require certified high-voltage technicians to set them up and maintain them and they take up a certain amount of space, as well.

Another problem is that mishaps and accidents involving generators could result in fatalities. Conversely, misusing a UPS unit could result in the loss of a day’s work, but it’s unlikely to lead to anything more. 

Why internet access is important during a disaster
UPS-supported modems or routers help you stay online for as much as 90 minutes, which should be enough time to get your bearings before power finally runs out. Internet service providers are usually prepared for these types of problems and so they don't usually last an inordinate amount of time but if you can stay online via Wi-Fi during an emergency, you get the following benefits:

  • The ability to continue working with cloud-based programs with Internet speed that’s faster than cellular access
  • No extra telecom costs resulting from overreliance on cellular data
  • All devices stay online using a stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Devices don’t have to rely on cellular data-equipped phones for internet connection 

Get a UPS now
The reality is that the power is going to suddenly shut off for any number of reasons including odd things like construction workers that break or dig through lines, traffic accidents that take down poles or junction boxes and of course, the common lightning storm. We suggest that if you take a little time to prepare now, it will save you a boatload of time and frustration later. Call us today for productivity-saving tips and other hardware hacks for your business.

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