I finally got around to purchasing one very important piece of office equipment, which I have been meaning to do for quite a while – a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). However, I didn’t want to just buy any old – dare I say “cheap”? – device, so I did some in-depth research on what would best suit me needs and purposes and still be affordable (although the price really should be secondary – lost work, or worse, lost or corrupted files due to a power outage can be expensive in more way than one).
After looking around on various Internet platforms and studying brands and, most importantly, reviews, I finally decided to purchase the APC Back-UPS CS 500.
Set-up (connecting the battery and the various cables to and from the PC and the outlet) and installation of the software were a matter of minutes, and although it said to charge the battery for at least 8 hours before first use, it showed a completely charged battery upon plug-in already. I still left it connected to the power over night, though, just to be on the safe side.
The cool thing about the included software is that it shuts down the PC after a certain time period on battery power, which you can specify. This means, should I for whatever reason not be in the office during a power outage, the PC will shut down safely and in an orderly manner (after there had been an outage last week while I was out running some errands, this was especially important to me). Usually, however, the power outages around here are only brief, so a shut-down is not necessary.
I did a quick test of the UPC by flipping the switch on the power strip to which everything is connected, and voilá – the PC continued running as if nothing had happened! Exactly what I had been looking for.
The included surge protection is another bonus, although that is part of the power strip already, but double-safe won’t hurt.
I only have the PC and one of the two monitors I work with hooked up to the UPS, but that should be sufficient for my needs. I could add the second monitor and my printer, as well, but I would need extra cables and adapters, since the UPS only accepts IEC connectors (the only slight drawback in my opinion).
So,do you have a UPS in your office? If so, which one? If not, why not?