Now that it looks like remote work is here to stay, for the foreseeable future at least, it’s becoming important to properly prepare your workforce for this new normal. If you want your teams to stay efficient, the last thing you need is a technical issue preventing them from accessing files and completing their work. Not only will such an event be frustrating, but in the worst case scenario, your employees could miss an important deadline or suffer several days of downtime.
For a productive and seamless work-from-home office, the must-have tech is obvious: a laptop/desktop computer, printer, and wireless internet, at the most basic level. But we also recommend getting an alternative power source to keep your device going when power supply suddenly becomes unavailable. We all know this can happen at the most inconvenient of times and is a surefire way to grind your productivity to a screeching halt.
Both an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and a backup power system provide a flow of electricity to your devices. However, there are differences between these two types of battery backups, the most critical being how long they can support you. Understanding their functions is especially important if you’re left wondering: should I get a UPS or a backup power system? Or both?
What is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)?
A UPS is a device that connects to your computer tower and wall socket to provide electricity when power from the local grid is cut off. The function of a UPS is not to keep the systems running so you can continue working. When a power surge or blackout occurs, your computer instantly shuts off, often resulting in data losses. A UPS helps prevent this. Its battery will provide power to your computer just long enough (it can be as long as five minutes) for you to save a copy of your work.
It also gives you the time to properly turn off your computer as this forced shut down can potentially harm your registry, the database that contains the system configuration for your computer’s software.
Some uninterruptible power supplies come with a software component designed to automate your backups and shut down procedures, allowing you to rest assured that your device and work are safe when you’re not around.
A UPS doesn’t just protect your data. It also safeguards your computer against electrical abnormalities such as surges, spikes, dips and failure. It does so by continuously keeping watch on the voltage, and as soon as it detects an electrical problem, switches to the secondary power.
What is a backup power system?
Like a UPS, a backup power system is designed to keep your devices from losing power in the event of an unplanned outage. However, unlike a UPS, this solution provides a longer supply of electrical power. It is important to understand that a backup power system doesn’t create electricity on its own but only draws it from the electrical power system network or your solar panel and, in the case of battery backups, stores it for later use.
A battery backup system is attached to the main power supply at all times to keep the batteries fully charged. The important devices that you’d like to have a constant supply of electricity are plugged into the backup power system. Aside from a charger, the system contains an inverter to change direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), meaning it converts battery voltage into conventional household electricity. It also contains a battery bank to store the charge for later use.
Backup power systems can also consist of a solar panel and inverter, or a generator and inverter. With a solar energy-based system, energy from the sun goes through the inverter and is changed into the alternating current electricity that your home uses.
Inverter generators, which are usually smaller, lightweight and quieter than traditional generators, convert the AC power produced by the alternator into DC power, and then change it back to high quality AC power ready for household use. This electricity output has no surges or spikes that can harm the most vulnerable devices plugged into wall sockets.
These backup power systems are always on standby and when the power grid goes down, automatically kick into power supply mode. Devices such as your Wi-Fi router, TVs, fridges, etc, will be unaffected by the power loss. The system automatically reverts back to the grid when the mains power is restored, charging its batteries (in the case of a battery backup) for the next power failure.
You can’t always be sure that you’ll have a reliable power supply but you can put precautionary measures in place to mitigate any and all risks when it comes to a sudden loss of power. This is where a UPS and backup power system come in. To recap their difference: a UPS is a device designed to minimise the impact of an unexpected outage by giving you a supply of energy for a short time. The function of a backup power system is to keep your electronic devices running as long as a power cut lasts.
So whether you’re working on a desktop computer or a laptop, both a UPS and backup power system will come in handy, especially considering that you need to store important files safely and need to be connected to the internet while working from home. These solutions will ensure that your productivity does not suffer.
For those of you who need to upgrade your current equipment or need something new, you’ll find a basic UPS and battery backup system included in our remote working packages, which comprise laptops, Wi-Fi internet solutions, basic printers, and software, among others.
Contact us via our Remote Working Solutions page for more information on our ICT solutions.