Lightning often strikes overhead power lines, sending surges of higher-than-normal electricity to every home and business to which they are connected. Computers and other sensitive electronic devices are not very well equipped to handle power surges. In addition, computer operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, often react poorly to simple power failures, which can result in corrupted system files and computers that will not start properly.
One very necessary but often overlooked piece of equipment is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Also know as a battery backup system, a UPS contains circuitry to protect your computer against damaging power surges. It also contains a battery capable of running your computer during a power failure. This allows you to shut down your computer in an orderly fashion, rather than subjecting it to a jarring “pull the plug” power outage. This makes a UPS superior to simple surge-protected “power strips.” I’ve even used a UPS to power small table lamps to light my home during power blackouts.
Every computer that you own, including printers, scanners, powered speakers, cable/DSL modems and routers should be plugged into a UPS. Costing anywhere from $50-100, a UPS is cheap insurance.
Get one today.
Based in Norman, OK, Dave Moore has been an independent computer service technician since 1984. He also teaches computer security workshops to public and private organizations. He can be reached at (405)919-9901 or www.davemoorecomputers.com.