Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Next to a back drive, a UPS is the most important accessory you need if you own an iMac, Mac mini or Mac Pro. Essentially a power strip with a battery, a UPS will keep your Mac running if you have a power outage or even a split-second power interruption. Then you can shut down your Mac gracefully and not lose any work. Most UPSes today come with a USB connection that you can connect to your Mac. Then you get a new section in System Preferences where you can set your Mac to shut down on its own if power is out and the battery is in use.

Comments: 10 Responses to “Uninterruptible Power Supplies”

    Jeff Tucker
    5 years ago

    Great article. I suffered over a 10K loss prior to connecting every device I own to a APC battery backup or similar device.. 8 years ago when I started using the battery backups I have never suffered any losses to date and I live in Florida where we have daily thunderstorms that result in many power fluctuations or outages… I wouldn’t own a electrical device without a Battery Backups..

    Dennis Logue
    5 years ago

    You might add that a good UPS can protect from power fluctuations.
    I work with a lot of farmers out and around the Imperial Valley. Even in perfect weather, their power to their farm offices and houses jumps between 90 VAC to 130 VAC. I recommend a good sized UPS for each of those clients. A good UPS will regulate that short term power fluctuation and protect their equipment from dramatic surges. We use larger (or multiple) UPS systems so they can protect all their delicate equipment.

    Phil
    5 years ago

    If the UPS battery runs down before the power comes back on is there a way to remotely reboot an iMac running Yosemite?

      5 years ago

      In your System Preferences, Energy Saver. There is an option for this. You’ll see it.

    David
    5 years ago

    Gary, thank you for this. I did not even know that UPS’s existed at this level. If I’m going to put my iMac, my time capsule router, and my modem on the UPS so that I can work a little bit before shutting down in a power outage, is there a recommendation for how many volts/watts/etc. I should purchase to run those three? Cheap seems fine, but I want to make sure it’s enough.

      5 years ago

      It is money vs. power. Spend more money, you get a bigger battery, and you have more power and a longer time period to use it. If you are good with numbers and electronics, you can look at every device, figure out home much power/time each uses, and then estimate how long you should last. The more you add to the UPS, the more quickly the battery will be used up.

    Tim
    5 years ago

    I did not know that a UPS only lasts a year or two. Mine is ten years old. Time to get a new one.

      Michael Logue
      5 years ago

      I have a TrippLite that has lasted over 30 years. I have had to replace the battery twice, but that is reasonable. Also had several other UPS’s that have lasted over 20 years that had to have there batteries replaced twice, so I don’t know where you got that erroneous information. Of course the surge protectors only last until they are used, which could be anywhere from a couple of minutes to several years.

    Cliff
    5 years ago

    I have owned at least two UPSes of different makes over the last seven or eight years, and have found them to be completely ineffective against split second power interruptions. At least once, I was sitting right in front of the computer when it happened. The UPS unit did nothing to prevent the shutdown. I would not waste money on one again.

      5 years ago

      Interesting. But I think perhaps you got some bad ones, or maybe there was another issue. I’ve seen many short power outages (1-5 seconds) and my various UPSes have never failed to work.

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