I can’t take it anymore, the random power outages I have 2-3 times a month have put me over the edge. Its time for a UPS. I had one back in 2003 that was an APC 8 outlet model and it was utter trash, barely lasted 2 minutes and after about 4 years of didn’t do anything once the power went out. I have went without one since that died, using only a belkin surge protector on my PC/ cable modem/printer and 2 monitors.
So I came across this on sale last night for $135 over at slickdeals, I pulled the trigger on it before heading to bed without doing any research.
i’ve bought tripplite, cyberpower, belkin (ugh) and aps and all of these vendors have shitty, shoddy software. i know you shouldn’t have to handle much to do a graceful shutdown and there isn’t any need to update them for win7/8/10/mac lookandfeel but most of their shutdown software looks like winxp still.
I just put an APC UPS, I think it was 550 watts. I got it for similar reasons. It not so much full blackouts, but you know when you lose power for like 2 seconds. It definitely protects against that. However I wish I had bought a much bigger UPS. I had a real power failure last Sunday, and apparently my UPS only has like 3 minutes of power available. I opened the integrated UPS app and watch the batter power percentage tick down every few seconds.
So my advice is, buy one a lot bigger than you think you need.
I bought that UPS a little over a year ago from Amazon. It works great. Here in Tampa we have lightning take out the power all the time, at least once a month if you average it out over the year. This UPS runs both my small file/Plex server and my main PC with dual monitors, and the last time the power went out I went and shut off my main PC about 5 minutes into the outage (the outages don’t always last a while, but this one was supposed to take a couple hours to fix). But the Plex server, which is a Windows box, not some super low wattage appliance, stayed running and kept us watching a movie on a TV connected to a different UPS for 30-40 minutes, all the way to the end.
In Florida, power outages don’t ruin family movie night because we are used to them, I guess. :)
I’ve been using APC UPSs for many years, usually upgrading them from time-to-time when the battery finally fails (takes 3-5 years) or when I need more battery life due to a system change. My current one is an APC Back-UPS XS-1300. It’s been great for when power goes out, I just keep working until I’m done what I want to get done then I gracefully shut things down without a hitch, or if I’m not there the software will shut it down when there is 5 minutes of power left (currently states it’ll stay on for about 17 minutes, although that varies).
Back-UPS use a stepped approximation of a sine-wave while the Smart-UPS use a pure sine-wave. The Smart-UPS (which I use in a small business setting) is better for electronics and devices with motors, I understand, while the Back-UPS are cheaper with a battery that doesn’t last as long. You get what you pay for. Home use, the Back-UPS is good enough. Just get something with enough VA that your system will chug along a bit after an outage.
So, yeah, the one you got seems great for your purpose.
One suggestion, whatever battery solution you land on, only have your PC and a single monitor using it. Any other devices can just go to a regular surge protector, or surge protector (but not battery) ports on the UPS.
The goal should be to last as long as possible in the event you are away to prevent sudden lose of power to your PC. Or, if you are home, so you can quickly power down properly (hence leaving a monitor on the battery). If your printer suddenly powers off it’s probably not going to hurt anything, and a printer will draw quite a lot of battery life.
I usually buy generic replacement batteries with a good rating off of Amazon. For my smaller UPS’es they run around $25. I imagine I’d need twice the capacity for my newer UPS’es with more VA, so I expect it would cost about twice as much, which would be only about a third of the cost of a new UPS of the same class.
I don’t know if amazon.ca would have the same deals, but there’s always ebay.
Most of the time the business districts and infrastructure is on a separate power grid. That doesn’t mean it’s fool-proof of course, but it’s common for your home to be without power but the internet still would flow if your equipment was on. Really though, it depends on the city and how things like that are implemented.
My 10 year old Tripp Lite finally started to go out, so I replaced it recently with a larger APC model.
Two nice things about newer UPSes, versus the 10 year old one I had:
They now tend to have little LCD displays that show current load, estimated runtime, battery health, and a bunch of other stats. It’s pretty cool, because it definitely lets you know that putting a bunch of load on the UPS is going to crush runtime. For example I used to run my 3 monitors off the UPS but now with the real time display I can see each one is 35w active, so I switched to just the active monitor.
This one also has a master power switch (apparently configurable in software or via the little LCD) so you can fully power down other sockets based on the state of power to the master socket. So like you power down your PC and your monitors get powered all the way off, too, and so on.
Beyond that, power is power… pay attention to whether you get a “real” sine wave power output on battery though, if that matters to you. I think modern power supplies (I just upgraded to an 80 plus titanium with a crazy 90% efficiency at all loads) are perfectly fine with mostly-sine waves…
I do mildly regret not getting a “pure sine wave” where the power always goes through the UPS. It’s only about $50 more to get that, though. Regardless, reviews for this one seemed solid, so… we’ll see.
How is the Tripplite application to manage graceful shutdowns? APC has always been the 800 lb gorilla in the industry but the Windows application is dogshit having not been updated since 2012. Granted, there’s not much it has to do but I do appreciate vendors who constantly improve and update their software. I’ve only ever used Belkin and their “Bulldog” application other than APC and that was even worse.
Again not clear why you would need special software … I just plugged in my APC via the bundled RJ-45 (?) to USB cable and this happened
There is no real difference between a desktop computer with an external battery backup, and a laptop with a built in battery, is there? Aren’t they pretty much exactly the same thing, and would be handled by the OS identically?