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Peripherals forum

Resolved Question

How important is a battery back-up for my computer?

by rocks2 / August 24, 2013 12:36 AM PDT

My old battery back-up/surge protector just went dead. I am debating on buying a new one. Is it worth it? I am using a separate surge protector now.
Thanks, Chuck C.

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by rocks2

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They are worth it
by wpgwpg / August 24, 2013 12:48 AM PDT

While you can live with just a surge protector, battery backups aren't that much more expensive and give better protection which likely extends the life of your computer. Sometimes things happen to your house current that cause lights to flicker or blink off and back on. Surge protectors can't provide continuous regulated power during these whereas battery backups can and do. Sometimes these momentary outages can be long enough to cause your computer to power off abruptly, risking damage to your data unless you have a battery backup. Most battery backups have a USB connection which can do an orderly shutdown in case a power outage lasts longer than a few minutes. This is why I use them.

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Thank you, I will buy one.
by rocks2 / August 26, 2013 3:12 AM PDT
In reply to: They are worth it

I guess I will buy the same one that most of our company computers have where I work......the Eaton 3S550 UPS 550VA. They're around $70.00.

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Only you know
by Willy / August 24, 2013 2:11 AM PDT

Your usage determines what's best for you. Having a battery back-up is added insurance should the time required for its use. Some areas are more prone to power loss or glitches, so if you feel otherwise, you determine the need. Overall, I don't see this as a real expensive purchase when compared should the *NEED* arise, it may can be money well spent.

tada -----Willy Happy

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What to protect from?
by w_tom / August 25, 2013 4:30 PM PDT

Which anomaly is a concern? For example, how often do incandescent bulbs dim to less than 40% intensity? Never? Then AC power remains ideal perfect for all computers. Why does a computer need a battery backup?

If voltage is dropping to near zero, then clocks on VCRs and microwave ovens (that are far more sensitive) must be repeatedly reset. If not, then your battery backup never did anything useful because AC power is ideal perfect.

Battery backup is temporary and 'dirty' power. So that unsaved data can be saved to disk. It protects data; not hardware.

Another function is surge protection. Not near zero voltage. That is protection from a destructive current. How often are dimmer switches, digital clocks, and GFCIs replaced? If surges exist, then all appliances are at risk or have been repeatedly replaced. Meanwhile read surge protection spec number for that battery backup. How many hundred joules? Destructive surges are hundreds of thousands of joules. At near zero joules, what has battery backup done? Again, temporary and 'dirty' power during a blackout.

Two anomalies are discussed. The first is temporary and 'dirty' power so that unsaved data is not lost. The second is a surge that can damage hardware. A destructive surge is maybe hundreds of thousands of joules. A rare and destructive anomaly that is solved where wires enter the building. Using a solution that costs significantly less money.

How often are a dishwasher, furnace, CFL light bulbs, and smoke detectors replaced due to surge damage? Which anomaly is a concern?

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