1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Battery Backup

By

Photo of APC Power Saving Back-UPS 750

APC Power Saving Back-UPS 750

© APC

What is a Battery Backup?

A battery backup, or uninterruptible power supply (UPS), is primarily used to provide a backup power source to important desktop computer hardware components.

In most cases, those pieces of hardware include the main computer housing and the monitor.

Important Battery Backup Facts

In addition to acting as a backup when the power goes out, most battery backup devices also act as power "conditioners" by ensuring that the electricity flowing to your computer and accessories is free from drops or surges. If a computer is not receiving a consistent flow of electricity, damage can and often does occur.

While a UPS system is not a required pieces of a complete computer system, including one as part of yours is always recommended. The need for a reliable supply of electricity is often overlooked.

Popular Battery Backup Manufacturers

APC, Belkin, CyberPower, Tripp Lite, Ultra

Battery Backup Description

The battery backup sits between the utility power (power from the wall outlet) and the parts of the computer. In other words, the computer and accessories plug into the battery backup and the battery backup plugs into the wall.

UPS devices come in many shapes and sizes but are most commonly rectangular and free standing, intended to sit on the floor near the computer. All battery backups are very heavy due to the batteries located inside the device.

One or more batteries inside the UPS provide power to the devices plugged into it when power from the wall outlet is no longer available. The batteries are rechargeable and often replaceable, providing a long term solution to keeping your computer system running.

The front of the battery backup will usually have a power switch to turn the device on and off and will also sometimes have one or more additional buttons that perform various functions. Higher-end battery backup units will also often feature LCD screens that show information about how charged the batteries are, how much power is being used, etc.

The rear of the UPS will feature one or more outlets that provide battery backup. In addition, many battery backup devices will also feature surge protection on additional outlets and sometimes even protection for network connections, as well as phone and cable lines.

Battery backup devices are manufactured with varying degrees of backup ability. To determine how powerful of a UPS you need, first use the Thermaltake Power Supply Calculator to calculate your computer's wattage requirements. Take this number and add it to the wattage requirements for other devices you would plug into the battery backup. Take this totaled number and check with the UPS manufacturer to find your estimated battery runtime when you lose power from the wall.

A Battery Backup is Also Known As...

UPS, uninterruptible power supply, uninterruptible power source

Related Video
Install a PC Power Supply

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.