Is it worthwhile buying a UPS?

  CurlyWhirly 22:12 14 Aug 04

As the Forum Editor pointed out in an article a few days ago about the danger of thunderstorms I have thought about buying a 400 Watt UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and what I was wondering was if I did buy one would it offer better protection against power surges than my present anti-surge plug extension?

Also would I be able to use my UPS and my anti-surge plug extension in the same socket?
Any advice from anyone please?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:16 14 Aug 04

When was the last time you had a power cut?

  CurlyWhirly 22:21 14 Aug 04

I last had a power cut in July this year.
When the power came back on I immediately ran a disk check to check for hard drive errors but I was lucky as I was only surfing the net so the hard disk wasn't in heavy use at the time and no errors were found.
What do you think - is it worth buying one?

  johnsims 22:27 14 Aug 04

I believe this depends vey much upon how important it is not to risk incurring data loss because a dramatic loss of power occurs during a disk write and corrupts data and/or knackers the disk. This in turn depends upon how important your data is to you. Another factor may well be the reliability of the elctricity supply to your home/business.

A UPS is insurance. I work from home and my data is crucial to my future income. I also live in a rural area with a distinctly dodgy electricity supply - spikes and brownouts.

I have two PCs, each is protected by their own UPS and I have kept working on dozens of occasions over the last couple of years when a momentary blip in the power supply (a couple of seconds of no power) would have turned off the machines and possibly corrupted data.

For me, the UPS is an absolutely essential insurance policy.

  CurlyWhirly 22:31 14 Aug 04

You have swayed me now so all I need to know is can I plug one into my existing anti-surge plug extension?
Even with one installed I think I will still unplug my PC when a thunderstorm is looming!

  johnsims 22:42 14 Aug 04

Yes. The UPS will not care where it is plugged in. You will have a surge protected socket protecting further surge protected sockets on the UPS but that does not matter, it is in fact exactly how my second UPS is connected.

At just over £50 for an APC BackUPS CS 500 I think it's cheap insurance, though you'll have to lay out for a new battery in 3 or 4 years (about £20 delivered)

  johnsims 22:45 14 Aug 04

Also the UPS will provide protection to the various components (and a printer and modem and router in my case) and potentially save them from being fried or otherwise damaged, thus avoiding potentially costly replacements.

  CurlyWhirly 22:47 14 Aug 04

Thank you - I am going to buy one and like you said they only cost around £50 which IMHO is worth it for peace of mind!
When I get it will the manual tell me where I can get spare batteries from?

  CurlyWhirly 22:49 14 Aug 04

In other words does the UPS manufacturer ALSO provide the batteries or do you have to buy these from a differtent supplier?

  The Spires 23:00 14 Aug 04

I have a UPS and it's quite suprising how many times it kicks in, well worth having.

  johnsims 23:02 14 Aug 04

My APC instruction booklet came with a number to call for a replacement battery, but by the time I needed it they'd changed the number so I just ordered it from their UK website. Came within two or three days if I remember rightly.

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