Summer storms always remind me that this is a good time to reflect on whether your home or office has effective power protection in place – against surges, sags , blinks and outages.
In a home environment, all of your important electronics should be connected through a surge protector (not a power tap!). In addition, phone lines, cable TV, and wired internet connections should also go through a surge protector. This is to protect the rest of your downstream devices from a possible surge over these lines. For the most important devices – computers, network hardware, security systems, backup drives, game consoles or other devices that could be damaged by power fluctuations, I recommend protecting them with a small uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This allows you an opportunity to gracefully power down devices instead of allowing the power outage to do it for you. (if you are at home)
In a business environment, UPS protection is even more critical, and complex. Battery backup is essential for critical devices like servers, NAS devices, tape drives, switches, routers, firewalls -- all mission critical equipment should be connected to a backup battery, NOT just a surge protector. Devices that need to run 24x7 can experience data corruption if the power is cut off unexpectedly. Having a UPS to protect the devices is critical in preventing outages from short term power loss (15 min or less), blinks, or brownouts where the power level may not be sufficient or stable.
While not critical, smaller UPS units are recommended for protection of desktop PCs that run key business functions such as security software, credit card processing, financial applications or other systems where downtime due to hardware damage from a power surge could cause financial loss or prevent critical business processes from running.
For more information on UPS devices and related technologies see these resources: