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Why do you Need a Battery Backup or a UPS?

by SolarBaba May. 8. 2018 .

Important electronics that help you run your business can shut down during electrical surges or outages and brownouts. By implementing a battery backup or an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) you are able to avoid losing unsaved data or harming the electronics in many ways. Preventing your computer from losing power is highly important for several reasons:

  • Sudden loss of power can corrupt operating systems installation, which can result in costly repairs.
  • Power loss can harm or weaken the internal parts of your computer. It is also possible they can be completely damaged causing the need for replacement.
  • If your computer loses power while you’re using it, you will lose any unsaved work which can be detrimental and result in rework and higher labor costs.

Your computers and other devices are a large investment, ensuring you have consistent and regulated electricity flowing to the device is key to extending the longevity of your devices while also ensuring the safety of your data and work from power surges and outages.

Battery backups and UPS’s are good for:

  • Servers
  • Desktop Computers
  • Network Equipment
  • Phone Systems

What is a Battery Backup?

A battery backup is a device that your computer or device is plugged into in order to minimize the effect of brownouts, surges, and electrical outages. Once a surge or an outage occurs, a battery backup goes into effect immediately to be able to power the computers and devices for a short period of time. This allows users to be able to save the work they are currently working on while also giving the ability to shut down a computer properly until the electricity comes back on in a steady manner.

Almost instantaneously, once the power flickers or shuts off, a battery backup will kick on to power your machines. Battery backup solutions are a good choice to protect your investment in computers and other devices. The amount of time your device(s) will stay on depends on the size battery and how much power is being drained during the power outage.

What is a UPS?

A true UPS is an uninterruptable power supply. UPS’s feed power to the devices plugged into the UPS from the battery.  So, the power source charges the battery while in standby and when necessary the battery feeds power to the electronics.  This way, you get a constant reliable and filtered power source to your electronics.  UPS’s, like Battery Backups, will keep your device(s) up and running depending on the size battery you have and how much power those devices are requiring.

UPS’s are at a higher price point than a simple battery backup. They are typically recommended for more important devices, such as servers instead of computers or laptops. They allow a consistent, filtered power supply to the important devices that need to continue running and processing data.

UPS’s can protect against power surges, drops in line voltage, brownouts, blackouts, and other power supply issues. They filter the voltage to your device to reduce or eliminate damage to the devices during power issues.

Why are Battery Backups and UPS Often Called the Same Name?

Often times, UPS’s and battery backups are called the same thing. However, UPS’s are essentially the improved and more advanced version of a battery backup.

All UPS are battery backups but have a higher protection rate. Both devices tend to look the same. Battery backups do not really filter the power. Battery backups simply switch to the battery when there is a loss of power. UPS’s are always providing steady power to the devices plugged in from the battery – no switching.

Which is Better?

The main difference is the process of filtering power. Brownouts, flickering power, and power surges won’t always trigger a battery backup, but a UPS filters that power, so devices gain steady and consistent power.

A battery backup is recommended for PCs and other computers since the investment in these devices are typically lower, as is the cost of battery backup. It wouldn’t make much sense to spend hundreds of dollars on a UPS when the computer costs about the same.

A UPS tends to be suggested more for servers and other mission-critical devices that are expensive to replace or critical to your business operating. Servers and such devices tend to be more expensive, so investing in a UPS at a higher price point provides more protection for outages, brownouts, and other electrical issues and allows for less maintenance, repair, or replacement costs for higher ticket devices.

Protect your investment with a UPS. While a UPS is 3-4x the cost of a battery backup, they are not all made equal. You get what the level of protection you pay for.

Conclusion

No matter the use of the computer or device, it is always ideal to utilize either a battery backup or a UPS to protect your devices. Power and electricity outages, surges, and brownouts can cause data loss as well as physical damage to your computer components, thus shortening your device’s lifespan.

For servers and computers with a lot of data saved on them, a UPS is the best option for a battery backup. However, if you have a low-cost computer, and you aren’t running a business off of it, a battery backup should do just fine for you. If you have more questions, we’re here to answer any questions as your complete solution for IT.