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Power Protection

Electricity is required for your computer to turn on, but is also the most destructive thing to put into your computer. Sort of a "Live by the cord, die by the cord" problem. Many computers are killed by brown outs, power surges and spikes.

You might think a surge protector would keep your computer from harm, but the $15 surge protector from the local hardware store is not going to do the trick. A power surge will jump right across those things and fry your computer anyway. What you really need to protect your computer is an Uninterruptible Power Supply.

An Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS for short is a battery for your computer. It stores up electricity to keep your PC running in the event of a power outage. You should make sure yours has Automatic Voltage Regulation or AVR as well. This feature actually cleans the incoming power protecting you from even the very small spikes or dips in power. Most UPS units also come with software and a USB cable. If the power is out for several minutes, the UPS will alert the software on your computer to automatically shut down. Also a UPS has much greater protection from a surge than your run of the mill power strip/surge protector.

Here are several considerations for your UPS:

  • A 550VA UPS with AVR will run a typical desktop computer for 15 minutes and cost less than $75
  • Most UPS units have a few "Surge Only" outlets and a few "Battery Outlets". Be sure you plug your computer into the battery side. The "Surge Only" side will not keep you running in a power outage.
  • Do NOT plug a laser printer into the battery side. Laser printers draw a lot of power and tend to wear out UPS units.
  • Get a UPS for your wireless router, cable or DSL modem and other network equipment.
  • A power surge can come through the electricity from the wall, but can also come in via your cable modem wire or DSL modem phone line.
  • Get a UPS with COAX connections to protect your cable modem from the incoming cable line.
  • If your computer is wired to your router be sure to get a UPS with ethernet protection and run your network cable through it
  • When a bad storm does come through, the best bet it to unplug your computer from the wall and network.
Your computer and networking equipment will last longer running on a clean supply of electricity. If you have any questions about your next UPS, give us a call at SugarLandPC!

 

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Posted by Charles Swihart on 10/1/2013

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