Why Do You Need A UPS Device?
A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is used to protect critical loads from mains supply problems, including spikes, voltage dips, fluctuations and complete power failures using a dedicated battery. A UPS system can also be used to “bridge the gap” whilst a standby generator is started and synchronized.
It’s a simple yet effective tool to protect your IT investments. Not only would you risk losing your computer, but you could also lose the data it holds.
With all this been said, the right question is indeed “Why do I need one?” rather than “Do I need it?”.
In addition to acting as a backup when the power goes out, most UPS devices also act as power “conditioners” by ensuring that the electricity flowing to your computer and accessories is free from drops or surges. If a computer is not receiving a consistent flow of electricity, damage, such as database corruption can and often does occur.
While a UPS system is not a required device to complete a computer system, including one as part of yours is always recommended. The need for a reliable supply of electricity is often overlooked.
Different Types of Power Problems
A UPS protects against certain power problems. It mainly counteracts blackouts, brownouts, noise, spikes, and power surges. Such issues can be caused from either mother nature or human error as well. Each of these provides a different challenge to your computer systems, and, if left unrestricted, they could have a devastating effect.
Blackouts - they occur when the system experiences a total crash of the power grid due to an imbalance between a generation and its consumption. Sometimes this could be a total blackout, while other times a controlled shutdown is applied to a specific area to avoid a complete blackout.
Brownouts - while these aren’t as well-known they are just as destructive as blackouts. A brownout is a drop in voltage, meaning you will still have power just less of it. While this sounds innocent enough, a brownout is capable of ruining your electronic devices within a few minutes.
Noise is caused by interference between lightning and generators and can cause malfunctions throughout your computer operating systems. This lesser-known power problem has also been known to corrupt files.
Spikes are sudden increases in voltage. Usually, these are short-lived flare-ups in electric current caused by lightning. Another cause for spikes is when power is restored after a blackout. When power is restored it takes some time for the current to normalize. If electronics are plugged in when a spike occurs, they could suffer negative effects.
A Power Surge is actually an increase in power. Like brownouts, these are short-lived, however, they still cause significant damage, especially to large appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners.
Once you’ve made the decision to add a UPS to your computer system there are a few things you should do to ensure you don’t lose your data the next time a thunderstorm strikes.
Connect the data cable and install the UPS software . This is a critical step. If you install a UPS but don’t complete the setup, the UPS will provide limited protection — it’ll kick in during a power loss, but if power doesn’t return promptly, eventually the battery in the UPS will run down and your PC will lose power anyway. The data cable and software allow your UPS to tell your PC to shut down gracefully.
Configure the software. Important step since it lets you specify how long the battery backup should run before shutting down.
Test your battery occasionally. Every few months, you should start the UPS software and run a self-test. This lets you see how healthy the battery is and determine if it’s time to replace it. If the battery’s capacity is so low that it can’t support your PC for even a minute, for example, it’ll do you no good in a power failure and you’ll lose data anyway. If the battery needs to be replaced, make sure you buy a reliable replacement. You can always consult with our specialists which one is the correct replacement for you.
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