What to do when the power goes out – popular Internet myths
South Africa has experienced unprecedented power outages and load shedding the last year and, if the forecasters are correct, unexpected rolling blackouts will remain until Eskom’s supply has stabilised. Every home depends on electricity to power lighting, the Internet, appliances, and other modern conveniences and devices. Members of your family probably have some combination of laptops, tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs, media players and gaming consoles connected to a home network. Since the average home has approximately 10 devices connected to the Internet, staying connected during a power outage is important to your family. Your digital life doesn’t need to wait for the power to come back on. Three common misconceptions and solutions for an Internet connection during an electricity loss are discussed below.
Myth #1 – I don’t need a UPS because my laptop and mobile devices have batteries
An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), in computer and server terms, is an electrical apparatus designed to supply power in the event of a sudden disruption in the supply. Because most devices we use for personal and professional products such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones are mobile, they all run on battery power. A good example is how a laptop stays on and switches seamlessly to the internal battery when you pull the power cord out of a laptop. However, most of these devices connect to a network using a Wi-Fi connection reliant on power because the modem and router that enable our home network requires electricity. The more dependent you are on connecting to the Web, the more thorough your plan should be and a fail proof way is to get a UPS.
Once that Wi-Fi connection is lost, the functionality and productivity of battery-powered devices are dramatically reduced and interrupted. This wouldn’t be a problem if you had a properly integrated UPS backup battery. It activates as soon as the power is disrupted and ensures you have continuity in energy supply. Additionally, a UPS will protect against voltage spikes and reduction in input voltage. Instability of a mains frequency and harmonic distortion are all problems that can be addressed with a UPS. Specifically, a UPS is designed to keep your modem and router running for several hours during a power outage allowing you to continue working on your laptop or using social media on your smartphone.