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What Is a Battery Backup with Surge Protector?

Lightning is one potential cause of power surges.
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  • Written By: Victoria Blackburn
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2014
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A battery backup with surge protector is an electronic gadget that acts as a buffer to protect a computer and its files should there be a power failure or power surge. It has two primary functions. The first is to protect high tech equipment from power fluctuations. This includes power spikes, such as lightning strikes, or brownouts. The second use is as a battery backup so that computers or other equipment can be safely shut down in the event of a total loss of electricity.

Even momentary blips of power can cause damage to the electrical components of a computer, making it necessary to have battery backup with surge protector. Over time, power spikes or brownouts can damage electrical equipment. Often, a manufacturer’s warranty does not cover this type of damage, so protection is essential. Some significant power surges, such as lightening strikes, can cause loss of data and severe damage to hard drives.

While some battery backup with surge protectors look like power bars with several electrical sockets, they are different, as they contain specifically designed electrical circuitry to prevent energy bursts from reaching the connected equipment. Usually, two different outlets are provided, those with the battery backup with surge protector and others that are only surge protectors. The outlets providing standalone surge protection are convenient for equipment that does not require any battery backup, such as printers, fax machines, scanners and televisions. Prior to connecting equipment, it is important to check which sockets have which functions.

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A battery backup with surge protector, also known as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), is necessary to prevent loss of data during power outages. UPS systems often provide between ten minutes to an hour to save and back up critical computer files. There are a number of different UPS systems that provide a battery backup with surge protector.

Standby UPS systems provide basic battery backup protection in the event of a power failure, as well as surge protection. Line-interactive UPS battery backup with surge protector offers Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR), which automatically corrects power fluctuations. If the AVR detects a brownout, it boosts the power, and if there is a power surge, it instantly reduces the power.

The premium level of protection available is provided by the online UPS system. It offers the best performance, as it provides an insulation like electronic layer that buffers any surges or power outages. The online UPS system converts the incoming AC power to DC power and then converts it back to a "clean" AC current. This process removes any power imperfections that may disrupt a computer.

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