Do I Need A Battery Backup?

Do I need a Bettery Backup ImageThis is a question we get often, and when it comes to a battery backup, the answer every time is a resounding YES!

For all their advancement, modern computers are just as susceptible to electrical damage as they were back in the 1990s. The slightest static charge can damage the power supply, motherboard, and hard drive. If that happens, not only are we looking at hardware replacement costs, but also potential data loss. Put in these terms, electrical damage can be devastating to homeowners and small businesses.

We know the vital role data backups play in keeping our data safe; battery backups are just as important. Their importance cannot be overstated, and this is the perfect time of year to see if changes need to be made. Battery backups, in particular, should be revisited yearly to ensure their functionality meets your needs.

Power Problems

Do I need a Battery Backup Image

The power grid in the United States is susceptible to interruption all year round. There are severe storms in the Spring and Fall, while Summer sees air conditioners working overtime, and in the Winter, furnaces are kicking on everywhere. There is no time of year when power is not a concern, and as we mentioned, computers are especially susceptible to electrical damage. Surges. Lightning. Static. Brownouts. Blackouts. Any of them can turn a computer or server into an oversized paperweight.

With the power grid that we all rely on actively working against us, plugging our most power-sensitive devices into a wall outlet is just not a good option. We need to be ready for power fluctuations and outages.

First Line of Defense

A battery backup or UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) sits between a computer and the outlet. They are the first line of defense, protecting the computer from electrical damage. There are a few different types of UPS available that provide specific levels of protection and the length of backup, depending on individual needs.

Click + for Information on the Stand-by UPS
These are the most inexpensive and basic of the UPS devices. Designed to provide backup power during outages, they provide users enough time to save and shut down safely. They combat blackouts, power lags, and voltage surges – in essence, anytime the power drops below safe levels, the battery switches on to maintain a consistent voltage.

These UPS devices work best for home PCs, security systems, and other basic equipment.

Click + for Information on the Line Interactive UPS
A step up from the more basic models, these devices work on the same principles except that they incorporate technologies that correct minor power fluctuations without switching to the battery. The more often a battery is used, the shorter its life expectancy – having an autotransformer to regulate low voltages and spikes helps to maintain the longer-term health of the UPS and the devices to which they are connected.

These UPS devices work best for network equipment, networked PCs, and the mid-level servers typically used in small businesses.

Click + for Information on the Double Conversion UPS
Providing a consistent, clean, near-perfect power regulation regardless of the incoming power, these are the most advanced UPS devices used by small to medium businesses. By converting the incoming AC power to DC and then switching it back to AC, they operate on an isolated power system at all times. This allows them to operate with zero power transfer time because they never need to switch between power types.

Designed for mission-critical equipment and high-end servers, these UPS devices offer the overall best protection but require a significant investment.

At CLARK, we will perform a FREE power assessment for our small businesses and residential customers, providing recommendations based on the type and number of computers. And we don’t stop there, and we’ll get you set up and schedule a yearly checkup. Give us a call for details at 301-456-6931.

What to Do in a Power Outage

There are some things you can do to mitigate damage in the case of a power outage. Here are things we are a few recommendations we always make to our clients.

  • While all computers should have a battery backup, it is essential Battery Backup imagefor servers and primary workstations.
  • Know the difference between a blackout and a brownout – a brownout is a partial outage or temporary reduction in power.
  • During a brownout, any computers not on battery backup should be powered off until power is restored.
  • During a blackout, surges can cause damage – shut down all systems and unplug all systems to prevent damage.
  • Contact your utility provider and IT support company to report the outage.
  • Confirm with the utility provider that power has been restored before plugging everything back in and resuming operations.
  • Inspect the equipment for damage, look closely at plugs or electrical inputs for blackened areas or exposed wiring.
  • Most importantly, stay safe – if you’re not sure, call a professional.

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