Protecting Your Electronic Hardware from the Power Company

It may seem like computer hardware today is pretty robust, but I believe they are sensitive to power surges, low and high line voltage, not to mention power outages. My home power is pretty reliable with underground power, but we still have the occasional power blip. I have two of these Tripp Lite VS1000 Uninterrupted power supplies on my systems. One is on my family room entertainment center (which also powers my cable modem and routers), and another is in my basement entertainment center (which powers my desktop server.) This model offers about a 30 minute power supply when the power is cut (depending on what is powered up), but more importantly, they eliminate the devices rebooting due to any short-term outage blips and condition the voltage fluctuations of incoming power, even on the plugs that are not backed up with battery, which I believe have caused premature failure of some of my hardware in the past. This model also offers a USB interface with safe shutdown software.

I have pretty reliable power at my house but yesterday we had a pretty severe ice/snow/wind storm and at about 1:20 pm the power flickered and went out. I was hosting a meeting on my laptop and on my PC IP phone when this happened. Well, my plan worked. My laptop switched to battery, and my router and cable modem were on that battery backup. I eventually had to silence the alarms that activate when the power is lost. My upstairs power backup lasted 1 hr 15 mins with the modem and router on, and everything else in that entertainment system on standby mode. The power was restored at about 2:50 pm. So I was only without internet for about 15 minutes. The basement lasted about 30 mins with the server running and everything else on standby. I need to find the USB cable and software to enable that machine to shut down automatically after about 15-20 mins, because when the battery backup does run out, it will eventually shut off without shutting down. Luckily, I was able to shut it down manually before I lost power yesterday.

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