How to Avoid Computer “Emergencies” Part 2 of 2

Last week, in How to Avoid Computer “Emergencies” Part 1, I pointed out the need to include a Network Area Storage device (such as this one) as part of your overall computer plan in order to avoid personal data loss, including music, pictures, documents, and everything else.

This week we discuss the other critical aspect to avoid such “emergencies” and that is to avoid the possibility of power surges and power failures. If you’ve ever been the victim of a power surge or lighting strike, then you well know the devastating effects it can have on sensitive electronics such as a computer. I’ve never had this problem and I’m working to keep it that way, here’s how you can too…

In order to minimize the effects of a power surge (and power failure) there are two things you need: a surge protector AND battery backup source. As for the surge protector, you don’t want just any device; the cheap devices that are found just about anywhere are NOT what you want; they are likely nothing more than an outlet expander.

Surge Protection That You Really Want


What you really want is a real surge protection device. This model, the APC Pro-7 SurgeArrest, is what I use for our computer protection. There are other APC devices, including ones with more outlets, protection for coax, network, and phone cables, as well as different configurations for accepting more transformer. You will certainly find one that fits your needs.

There are other manufacturers, but APC is what my computer buddy uses, recommends his clients use, and obviously suggested I use. I’m no computer techie so I don’t fully understand the details, but suffice it to say that the better devices are more likely to do what they’re expected to do: prevent damaging power fluctuations from reaching your expensive computer!

It’s really that simple.

Battery Backup is Important


Equally critical to your computer health is a battery backup unit, such as this one: the CyberPower CP425SLG battery backup power source. It is a 225 Watt device capable of connecting up to six pieces of equipment and is what I bought a few months back. To be honest, the only reason I have it is to protect the NAS from losing its configuration settings which, according to my buddy, can be bad for my NAS. Since I could do so, I also connected my PC tower to the battery backup as well.

If you’re unaware, the purpose of a battery backup is to allow you enough time to properly power down equipment in order to avoid potential damage. Most of the time when the power goes out unexpectedly nothing bad ever happens, though the possibility does exist.

Anyway, since I’ve had the NAS, we have lost power a few times (more so recently), it got unplugged a few times and, since I don’t like to press my luck, I figured it was past due time to do something about it. As luck would have it, the power went out a few days after my battery backup arrived and it worked flawlessly. And, because the NAS can be configured to power down on its own when that happens, everything worked as I expected.

There are other, more powerful and fancier units than this one, which may be worthwhile if you intend to connect computer peripherals (monitor, printer, etc) but since I ONLY have the NAS and PC tower connected, this works fine.

Concluding Thoughts

To me, it makes sense to spend a few extra dollars if it means protecting several hundred to thousands of dollars in expensive equipment. (All total I spend about $65 between the surge protector and battery backup.) Sure, you could file an insurance claim but who wants that hassle and, of course, there is the deductible to pay. When it’s all said and done, you’re just about better off buying a new computer instead of filing a claim.

As with most anything in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. After all, isn’t that what prepping is all about!? ;)

Blogging about all things survival and emergency preparedness, including experiences with DIY projects and ideas, gear reviews, living frugally, cooking in unconventional ways, and more! All while linking to the best videos and articles each day to help YOU get better prepared. Take a tour to better understand the many tools and resources you can find here as well as what to expect in the future. Learn from my experiences, share your own in the comments below, and otherwise have a good time here. :)

Posted in Equipment / Supplies
4 comments on “How to Avoid Computer “Emergencies” Part 2 of 2
  1. papa bear says:

    As an electrician I know of only one 100% effective protection method.I first did this on my own house and then on customers houses. I installed three electrical boxes in a row, 30 inches above the floor, behind the computer desk. This puts them just above the hight of the computer desk. One box is for the electrical outlet. One is for the phone jack. The third is for the cable jack. This way when a storm comes up I can unplug all three without having to reach behind the computer desk among the spider web of wires near the floor. This eliminates the threat from a lightning strike on all the potential wiring paths to the computer.

  2. SillyD says:

    My husband insisted on a nice battery backup for our pc. I complained at first but I think it’s saved our rear ends a few times. Good thoughts.

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