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I have an APC Back-UPS PRO 550. This one is 3 years old. I have had many others over the last 20+ years. Mostly from APC. I used to have hard disk drives fail before that. Never since. The main benefit is the clean power. On the occasions when there is a blackout I get a few minutes of runtime. If I am around at the time I shut the system down cleanly before the juice runs out.
I agree with the other reply that said the main hassle is replacing the battery every few years.
I had several APC over the years. As others have stated, the batteries die after several years. Also I find they don't allow for prolonged used without electricity (the ~USD100 ones can give you power for 15 minutes).
What I've been wondering for my own setup here is whether it would be possible to have some battery powered modems and routers: you would avoid useless conversions (your UPS's battery converted to AC 100/240V then converted back to DC around 5 to 12V).
your UPS's battery converted to AC 100/240V then converted back to DC around 5 to 12V)
I know. I thought about that too and it is very interesting because you could have a very small battery running the wifi router and cable modem since they both have external adapters that convert to 5 or 12 V.
The challenge is to have the battery kick in when the 120V is lost. I've done some Arduino and electronics stuff so I'd like to look into building something.
Outlet spacing matters. Take a look at Power Splitters/Spiders to get those power "wall warts" away from the back and allow more plugged in.
That "everything else" list grows when you get a UPS. My list:
- (CL) Server for Plex, Minecraft, etc.
- (CL) My desktop development rig
- Power spider with speakers, monitor, & USB hub.
- Power spider with 2 Gigabit switches, Vera Edge, HD dock, and phone base station
- Power spider with cable modem, router, & Vonage adapter
- Power spider with 2 WD EX4100 NAS boxes
I'm sure some would call this overloaded, but I figure the wall warts for most stuff I have plugged in don't draw too much and I tried spreading the load across all the outlets.
With the above setup, I just got 46 minutes run time in a test last week on 8 month old batteries. You do need to change batteries every couple years or so.
Be sure to use the monitoring software that comes with the unit you get.
And don't plug in a laser printer to a UPS. Not sure where I heard that advice from years ago, but I stick with it...
I have always had a UPS and never had problems with sparking. The problems I have had are batteries dying after a few years resulting in battery replacement when economical or unit replacement when not, failure to kick in quickly enough form some early APC units and figuring out where to place them and the tangle of power cords.
We get many thunderstorms where I live. Power is glitchy even w/o the storms.
I used an APC 1400 SmartUPS for many years.
One thing to make sure you a unit with the capacity to handle the load you have on it.
I replaced the tower machine I used at the time with an HP Z800 with an 1100W power supply. Never gave the size of the APC unit a thought until the Z800 killed the UPS.
Discovered that HP recommends a 2200VA unit for the Z800. I got the APC 2200 SmartUPS unit.
It gets delivered by a tractor trailer on a skid. Unit weighs 110 Lbs. Took two people to lug it up to my ROG. And they typically take a special power cord. Mine required an L5 outlet.
Normally, you'd want that load on a 220V circuit, since the ROG is the 4th bedroom I didn't think it would be too wise to have a 220V circuit in what might at some point (after I am out of the house) revert back and become a child's bedroom.
Even if you aren't using a machine as large as the HP, best to make sure that you match the capacity of the unit to the equipment you are plugging into it. And keep in mind the UPS will likely outlast you computer, so it is probably wise to get a unit larger than your immediate need.
I have used APC UPSes for many years, on both sides of the Atlantic. Other than needing batteries replaced, I have only had two fail on me - one after almost 11 years of continuous use (it stopped charging the battery), and one after a couple of weeks' use (persistent error indication). I called APC's support up about the latter and, after I described the symptoms, they shipped me a new one out overnight express, with a prepaid shipping label to return the defective one in the same packaging. I did once buy a 'store-brand' UPS, and it died within 18 months. I have no experience with CyberPower. I have also certainly never seen a UPS fail in the exciting way described by the reviewers you quote.
Good UPSs don't fail with sparks that could start a fire. I've used a number of them over the years (APC, Belkin), and the only thing that seems to fail are the batteries, which wear out and need replacing from time to time.
As for surge protectors, there are two kinds, the MOS ones, where the MOS part takes the hit, burning it out a little more each time, and series mode ones, which use a large inductor and don't wear out (they're also hard to find, heavy as snot, and expensive).
BTW, a lot of shills copy their reviews onto many sites, so just because you see it on multiple sites, doesn't mean it isn't from a shill, nor even that it's true. It's not called the 'net of a million lies' for nothing