Since we got reclassified to remote at work, and our physical office moved, I feel like I should probably invest in one just in case the power goes out. I do not want to have to pay for parking. That was the upside to our last location: on site, guarded parking (and I had a reserved space). The upside to moving is not having to work in a hazardous, contaminated building (it was all over the news, just google federal building Goodfellow St. Louis). sigh
I’m happy with the APC brand of products. They sell them everywhere in USA. I am not happy with the Kobenz (spelling?), Tripp Light, or or eatons. CyberPower is fair. But APC is the best IMHO - and I’m in IT and have used that brand for 25 years. Not the cheapest. Get whatever they have at costco? If you don’t like it, return within 3 months. Best Buy sells them. Target has them. WalMart has them. Good luck! Expensive to ship on amazon maybe due to battery and weight; returning with a battery to amazon is difficult where I live.
Usually I have a more complete set of facts and numbers to offer, but in this area I am a slave to what I have on hand. My workplace had used equipment sales periodically, and I bought one of their smaller UPS units, a 420 VA unit, the APC Back-UPS Pro Model BP420S.
My point is if you only want to keep your Internet up, a smaller unit like the 420 is fine. Mine keeps my Wyze Mesh Router Pro root router, a Netgear GS308 switch, and my Motorola cable modem up just fine for 3-3/4 hours. I don’t know how long Comcast keeps their equipment up in my area, but so far it as at least that long. This lets me continue to use my phone & WiFi-only tablet during the outage. Plus the router is usually up-and running when the Wyze and other devices come back online.
Buy a bigger UPS, and you can add in your computer CPU. Add more capacity, and maybe your monitors too. But when you start adding all that in, even with a larger UPS the likelihood is you are drawing so much current that it only gives you time to do an orderly shutdown on the computer.
At one point I was considering running a 240VAC line just to power a big UPS, but then I came to my senses. Internet access for my tablet was fine, lol. And the bonus was buying a used unit that only needed a small battery was very cost-effective compared to hiring an electrician to install a 240VAC outlet and buying a big UPS.
The UPS waveform is reasonably important. You don’t want a pure square-wave output, as that would be hard on the equipment. Mine is a ‘stepped sine wave’, which is a ‘good enough’ waveform. For more expense you can go to a pure sine wave.
You should be able to replace your UPS batteries. I test mine once a year to see if I need to do that. Once it goes to a fast beep (will die soon), I log the time and put it on a label on the unit. If it drops from my current 3-3/4 hours to something much shorter like 1 hour, I’d replace the battery. Should happen only every few years (my last battery is 3 years old so far).
I’ve done a bit of research and pure sine wave and stepped sine wave had me a bit confused. I think I understand how to figure the capacity I might need.
My work computer is a laptop and it’s usually fully charged, but sometimes I do unplug it and go battery only, so having it on the UPS is probably not necessary on second thought. As it stands my battery lasts about 3 hours on a full charge.
Yeah, after I thought about it, I wouldnt keep it plugged in to the UPS anyway. 1 it wouldn’t be in a convenient place to work, and 2) if the power did go out and I needed power enough to finish something up and my laptop is close to dead I’d just plug it in to finish that thing and let my employer know.
Luckily, I have plenty of leave on the books so I can just take the rest of the day off if needed.
I bought this one about a year and a half ago. Haven’t been disappointed yet and have about 69 events logged.
I am running my Fiber Modem\Gateway\ONT, Wyze Sense Hub, Wyze Mesh Router Pro, 6 Wyze Smart Plugs (for Rules\Alexa\IFTTT Automation relay switches), one other Smart Plug with a single LED Lamp attached, and 3 power strips w\ LED power indicator toggle switches (to plug all those bits & bobbles into). With the lamp off it draws a 1% load at 15W with an estimated 237 minute support runtime.
I really wanted a Smart UPS with notification capability and app support, but those are priced in the stratosphere. So, I settled on this one for the display reporting, reliability, and battery runtime.
A battery back-up, or uninterrupable power supply, is somewhat of a misnomer unless you spend hundred of dollars more then you would think. You can power a system to work off of batteries, but not for long at an “affordable” price. I personally prefer to use a good surge suppressing power strip, Tripplite brand, and wait for the power to be restored and the system to reboot. Good luck.
Hi, I’ve worked in the tech biz for 35+ years (retired now) and have been and will only ever use APC brand power bars and UPS. I have a half-dozen of their power bars and currently using 3 of their UPS. They have replaceable batteries, very good technical support and do this on a professional level (I.e. data centres, too). I don’t work for them, nor have I ever. But I’ve never had a power-related issue with any of my electronics (TV, stereos, computers etc.) while they’ve been using APC products. Just my two cents Cdn.
I am an IT professional. We used to use APC for small UPSs (individual PCs) and large units for entire server rooms. APC was bought in 2007 by Schneider Electric. They really have not been great ever since - both in design and support.
I use the “CyberPower PFC Sinewave” models for protecting my household PCs, routers / WAPs and entertainment (TV/amp etc.) equipment. The true sine wave output is much kinder to sensitive electronics than the chopped-up quasi-sine wave that most consumer grade UPS output. CyberPower also has active power factor correction which is a must if you have a desktop PC (akk gaming machine). The high end power supplies used in desktop PCs have a really hard time with a quasi-sine wave and a power factor is not regulated which can result in them self-protecting/shutting down.
Another point to consider - basic UPSs have factory set (not changeable) upper and lower voltage limits to trigger the battery backup. An over voltage or under voltage/brownout will trigger the UPS to go into battery backup which is fine since it’s doing what it was designed to do; however if the over/under voltage persists for long periods of time, then the battery will deplete and drop the load. Better UPSs will use its inverter to “top up” under voltage or trim the overvolt without going on to full battery backup mode. Depending on the unit/design, this type of correction can continue nearly indefinitely.
So think of a UPS not only to provide power for complete loss but also for power “conditioning”. My son lived in an apartment where every time the elevator motor started, the lights would flicker. So that is not a great situation for sensitive electronics and a perfect case for power conditioning.
Thanks for this post and all the info from everyone. Mine died and I haven’t had time to get a new one. Didn’t realize how important it was til we lost power for a bit during a storm. My whole house was down! I couldn’t even change the thermostat (without getting up lol). This info will be helpful and will keep watching thread before I buy one.