If you don’t live in the State of Florida – where lightning plays greater-than-average havoc with the power grid – the following statistics might be high for your state, but according to surveys conducted by ATT Bell Labs and IBM: there are approximately 15 power malfunctions per year that are sufficient to cause computers to malfunction, and; AC power in the United States, Japan and Western Europe stays up approximately 99.98 percent of the time. Computers and other devices prone to damage during power brownouts and blackouts can be protected with affordable battery backup products that patiently stand by until called upon. When summoned to protect, battery backup products will go so far as to sacrifice themselves in order to protect any high-tech device that they are connected to.
The simple exercise of reviewing features and understanding help and support prior to purchase will go a long way to prevent buyer’s remorse. We offer the following approaches to guide your research.
The output capacity is the place to start because it will determine whether the battery backup has sufficient capacity for a particular microcomputer. The minimum requirement is for the battery backup to be able to power the microcomputer long enough to allow for a graceful shutdown. Because we are reviewing entry-level, budget-oriented battery backup products, the output capacities are minimal. A 350 volt-amp (180 watt) product is sufficient to maintain full power to a basic microcomputer for three minutes. A 450 volt-amp (257 watt) product is necessary for a hungrier-than-average microcomputer such as a PC configured for gaming. A UPS battery backup power needs to maintain full power during a blackout for at least two minutes while the PC shuts down.
All of the uninterruptible power supplies in our review can perform a cold startup from the battery, automatically shut down the host computer via USB connection and provide audible and LED status reports. The batteries last between three and five years on average.
Help & Support
Every product in our uninterruptible power supply review includes a three-year manufacturer warranty and free technical support. If a unit is zapped to death by an electrical surge more powerful than the product can absorb, the manufacturer will replace it. Two of the manufacturers provide a lifetime data recovery service if data on a protected microcomputer is ever lost. Every product in our review includes insurance for damage to connected equipment. And all of the products are RoHS compliant, which means that they are sufficiently free of toxic materials to conform to the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive.
We invite you to continue researching by reading articles about computer battery backup or examine our reviews of the APC Back-UPS 450, the CyberPower CP425SLG and the Tripp Lite INTERNET350U. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™
|APC Back-UPS 450VA||CyberPower CP425SLG||Tripp Lite INTERNET350U|
|Output volt-amp capacity||450||425||350|
|Output watt capacity||257||255||180|
|Battery backup and surge-suppression receptacles||4||4||3|
|Surge suppression receptacles only||4||4||3|
|AC surge protection||340 joules||890 joules||380 joules|
|Data line surge protection|
|User replaceable battery|
|Average life of battery = 3-5 years|
|Battery runtime under full load||2 minute||2 minutes||3 minutes|
|Battery runtime under half load||9 minutes||9 minutes||11 minutes|
|Cold startup from battery|
|Auto shutdown via USB|
|Status: LED and audible|
|Help & Support|
|Free technical support|
|Lifetime data recovery|
|Connected equipment insurance||$75,000||$75,000||$100,000|