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UPS's - Does anyone use them for the main rig or their networking kit or something else??

phill

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Hi all :)

Just a random question for you, I was wondering about getting a UPS for my homeserver, router and network switch for home and I was just curious if anyone else here has done or is thinking of (plus all the in betweenness) done the same etc.
My server at home contains all of the important things like childrens photo's, documents and all that kind of jazz, but does anyone protect theirs?? If you do, which UPS did you buy and why?

If you do, don't or are thinking about it like myself, please do let me know below and why/what drove you to the choice :)

Massive thanks as always for your input :)
 
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Millions of people have done this. And started decades ago when prices of consumer grade UPSes became reasonable in the Nineties.

I currently have three APC Back-UPS units in my house hosting a variety of different equipment (including DSL gateway/router, Ethernet hubs, computers, etc.). One unit mostly hosts the networking gear. My electricity is quite stable but a handful of times a year there's an outage long enough that would restart the DSL router connection, an annoyance.

If you have modern home security gadgets that rely on wifi networking (e.g., smart doorbell, baby video monitors, security cameras), you might consider putting your broadband gear on a UPS.

Another unit has an exceptionally light load but my phone's charger is plugged into one of the battery backup plugs. Even if the power goes out my phone won't stop charging and the UPS will protect again electrical incidents that might fry a phone charger. I consider my phone to be my most valuable electronic device in my house based on all of the private data it contains. It doesn't need an enterprise class UPS, a basic consumer model is quite sufficient.

My guess is that these three APC units range from 6-8 years old.

When I owned a cordless telephone in the 1990s and early 2000s, the base station was plugged into the battery backup outlet because without power the entire cordless system is useless.

There are other things that are no longer on a UPS. Maybe 15 years ago I had my home theater setup on a UPS. These days I don't bother, all of my A/V equipment lives on high quality surge protection strips. If the power goes out I can entertain myself with my iPad until the power is restored.

My current printer has wireless networking so it's not near any computers. I see no reason to put it on a UPS; I print so infrequently that I can wait until the power is restored. Way back when I had a printer wired to a computer, it was only natural to plug it into one of the non-battery backup outlets on a UPS.

I also have a fairly new CyberPower unit for my two primary productivity computers: a Mac mini 2018 (and a bunch of external HDDs) and my NZXT H1 (Windows 10 PC). Again an Ethernet hub and a monitor are also on this UPS. I don't need this UPS to provide power for hours and hours of operation, just 10-15 minutes to finish up what I'm doing and shut down the gear gracefully. The Mac mini 2018 runs 24x7 (and draws very little power while idle) so it's the computer that is connected to the UPS; it'll shut itself off with 5% battery remaining. The Windows PC is only on when I'm at home and awake.

There are a couple of gaming computers that aren't currently on UPSes.

I've had at least one UPS in my house since the mid-Nineties (the first one was an APC Back-UPS Pro). Over the decades I've replaced and added more (always on sale) when my needs have increased to a point where another unit is desirable. I typically change the batteries at least once but once a unit reaches its ten year anniversary I figure it doesn't owe me anything.

It's each person's decision weighing the costs and benefits (protection of valuable data, hardware protection, continuous uptime, etc.). Prices have come down slightly in the 25+ years I've owned UPSes but they are actually way cheaper now because of inflation.

And with LED lightbulbs it's feasible to plug a couple of lamps into the battery backup outlets of a UPS during a power outage so you don't have to sit around in the dark. With the power-hungry incandescent bulbs, your UPS would be completely drained real quick.

With each passing month, there are more and more reasons for the typical modern household to have at least one reliable UPS even if it's not hosting a big fat power chugging gaming PC.
 
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HammerON

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I do not. I have thought about it though....
 

tabascosauz

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Hi all :)

Just a random question for you, I was wondering about getting a UPS for my homeserver, router and network switch for home and I was just curious if anyone else here has done or is thinking of (plus all the in betweenness) done the same etc.
My server at home contains all of the important things like childrens photo's, documents and all that kind of jazz, but does anyone protect theirs?? If you do, which UPS did you buy and why?

If you do, don't or are thinking about it like myself, please do let me know below and why/what drove you to the choice :)

Massive thanks as always for your input :)

Hey phil, I've got a BR1500MS from APC for the past 2 years and a bit. The grid is better this year but in previous years the power would go out basically with every storm.

I would never go back to being UPS-less. At the 1500VA (~1300W ish) segment, I honestly think everyone should have either a APC BR1500MS or Cyberpower CP1500PFCLCD or equivalent region specific models, both are solid units and sinewave. We can get into a whole debate about whether it's really necessary but why worry when you can just pay a bit more for a sinewave unit and end of.

UPS also responds to brownouts and other out-of-voltage spec situations (you can hear it clicking on and off). Just be aware that the "AVR" voltage regulation is just very simple and rough OVP/UVP, not another fancy Seasonic for your computer :D

For APC you can plug the data cable into your computer and monitor your UPS stats right from HWInfo (big fan), or you can use their software (not a fan). I'm sure Cyberpower has similar.

I will say though, don't look at the ratings and say "wow that's a lot of wattage". In a blackout that capacity goes away FAST, exponentially so with more load. The UPS is only there for you to save your work ASAP and shutdown safely, then with remaining capacity provide power/charge essential devices like your phone if they run low (for which case it will pretty much run forever).

So definitely shut down that server as soon as safely possible in a blackout. I once was out of the house for a blackout and came back to find that my UPS had been powering my 5900X for the past 1.5 hours and was on its last legs...........if you actually need continuous power all the way through a blackout, you'll either need to shell out $$$$$ for a commercial UPS and/or get a generator.
 
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I only have one for my Server. It just shuts the server down appropriately when I lose power. CyberPower 1325 810 w

It has a USB connector to the server. My home built TrueNAS get a signal to shut down when the UPS loses power

I have had it for at least 5 years, I've replaced the batteries one time I think it was like $40

Last year I lost power for 4 days. After it shut down it powered my phone and a few lights for the 4 days I was out. Quite handy
 
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Hi all :)

Just a random question for you, I was wondering about getting a UPS for my homeserver, router and network switch for home and I was just curious if anyone else here has done or is thinking of (plus all the in betweenness) done the same etc.
My server at home contains all of the important things like childrens photo's, documents and all that kind of jazz, but does anyone protect theirs?? If you do, which UPS did you buy and why?

If you do, don't or are thinking about it like myself, please do let me know below and why/what drove you to the choice :)

Massive thanks as always for your input :)
My whole home businesses computer system is backed by Tripp-lite UPS's of various models. Most of the workstations are SMARTLCDT 1500VA models which are technically PWM UPS's but they function fine with most any quality (as in, not complete garbage) Power Supply I use them with despite the myth. The laptop workstations will run on those for an hour or so, but most Desktops get around 30 minutes. They use easy to replace SLA batteries and I've been using them for years.

The server runs on a true Sine Wave UPS because it powers a few things sensitive to PWM (printers, which have motors etc). It is a model SMC1500T that uses 3 (not two) of the same SLA batteries for slightly increased runtime.

None of these are the cheapest UPSes on the market, not by a long shot. However, I've had great luck with Tripp Lite over the years personally. The biggest issue I ever had with them was a faulty USB controller on early SMART1500LCDT units but they fixed that promptly with replacements and they have nice, American based tech support that'll work with you on any product defects should there (heaven forbid). be any.

Links to products if curious.


 
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no idea why i should have one...
i asked my parents when we had the last power outage. they responded with "never" (my dad is almost 80, my mom 70)
 
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I still use a pure sine wave one on my main rig. Though I don't use any in the rest of the home, partially due to not replacing them as they fail over time. We have solar with powerwalls so UPS have become redundant.
 
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We have great power out here but strangely enough there was a short glitch this afternoon; I have some old Sine Wave APC UPSs that await new batteries and I may try lithium batteries in them. I suspect the growing popularity of electric vehicles will put a greater load on the grid and there may be more problems before they strengthen the system.

If so, I will put a UPS on my Wife's desktop but not on the network.

But if you want to protect photos and documents, a backup is the way to go, not a UPS.
 
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I don't lose power often, but short circuits can be frequent because of all our areas above ground wiring. And nothing is more frustrating than losing power for 2 seconds right before you save...
 

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Rack mount UPS for my cluster.

UPS for me and my wifes desktops.

Smaller UPS for the ONT (fiber terminal).
 

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I have 5 UPSes in my office. One for secondary network gear(the gigabit stiff), one for 10Gbe equipment and firewall, one for server and 24-bay HDD enclosure, one for encoding computer, and finally one for my main rig.
Then I have one more UPS in the livingroom for my TV and HTPC. And another UPS in the bedroom for the TV and HTPC in there.
 
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I have 5 UPSes in my office. One for secondary network gear(the gigabit stiff), one for 10Gbe equipment and firewall, one for server and 24-bay HDD enclosure, one for encoding computer, and finally one for my main rig.
Then I have one more UPS in the livingroom for my TV and HTPC. And another UPS in the bedroom for the TV and HTPC in there.

Yep same here mate, I UPS everything that is expensive. Better safe than sorry.
 
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If you do, don't or are thinking about it like myself, please do let me know below and why/what drove you to the choice :)
Getting paid a bit extra for hosting a mail server in my home rack qualifies? :D

But on the serious note, I've been using UPS for this type of stuff for many years. Back at my old place all of the networking gear was on a separate 800VA unit, so even if there was a 4-hour outage - I still had internet. When I moved to my new apartment - I specifically asked for "fiber-to-residence" because of that. CAT5 would've been much cheaper, but in case of outage I won't be in control of whether my internet is up.
I have a second small 800VA unit for my server rack, but I'm thinking of expanding to a proper big-ass rackmount UPS(quad-cell), since I've already added 2 more servers to my collection.
Ironically the only piece of gear not on UPS is my precious main PC (which bit me in the ass already)... but I'll get to that eventually.
 
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no idea why i should have one...
i asked my parents when we had the last power outage. they responded with "never" (my dad is almost 80, my mom 70)
The reality is, backup power in the event of a power outage is just a "minor", little extra bonus reason for having a good UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation). It is the AVR that makes having a good UPS so important. The AVR protects and compensates for minor anomalies without kicking over to batteries. For excessive anomalies - including low voltage anomalies, the UPS will use the batteries as necessary. And remember, destructive surges and spikes do not always originate off the grid. A malfunctioning appliance in the house can introduce destructive anomalies on the home circuits too.

I've had all my computers on a good UPS for nearly 30 years. I use mostly APC but have also used Cyberpower and Tripp Lite. I also have an UPS on my home theater system, the garage door opener, and even the electric blanket! In fact, I still have my very first UPS, an APC SmartUPS 900. It is in the garage for the door opener. It's in there because it has been humming for the last 5 years or so - plus it is that old, ugly beige. It has been through about 5 sets of batteries - but it keeps on running. :)

Don't worry about getting a pure sinewave UPS - you don't need one. If you find one at a competitive price, fine. Just don't think it must be a pure sinewave to protect your computer or network gear. That's another one of those myths perpetrated by the pure sinewave UPS makers.

I do recommend getting a decent size. I would recommend 1500VA. It is NOT that you need that much. The problem is, the better features appear on the bigger UPS. But should you have a full power outage, the bigger UPS will provide you longer battery run time. This can be important since you are planning on protecting your network gear too. Should you have a full outage, and quickly shutdown your server, power off the monitor (if not headless), a big UPS will keep your network alive - perhaps for even a few hours. This is nice as your mobile computers (notebooks, cell phones, etc.) will still have Internet access. So will your VoIP phone, if you have that.

Rack UPS are nice but note that many do not have user replaceable batteries. You want that as UPS SLA batteries need to be replaced every 2 - 5 years, depending on how they are used. And FTR, I never, as in NEVER EVER buy replacement batteries from the UPS maker. There are several sites that sell the same SLA batteries for MUCH less - including Amazon.
 
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no idea why i should have one...
i asked my parents when we had the last power outage. they responded with "never" (my dad is almost 80, my mom 70)
Things happen. Over the years I've had my share of outages for hundreds of reasons, both in Ukraine and abroad.
Few times a transformer station blew up (lightning, overheating, lack of maintenance). Once we had local junkies fried while trying to steal copper from a nearby transformer booth.
Wires getting ripped by snow, ice, wind, billboard maintainers, or very fat pigeons. "Scheduled" outages due to powerline maintenance/upgrades/etc.
I guess you are the luckiest person in the world, or you have the most competent power company ))))
 
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Rule of the thumb, do not forget to have backups of relevant stuff and "mission critical" data stored so that you can access and restore your items.
Now even more important due to the amount of data many have pushed&stored into the cloud. It may not be there just when you need it.
Sooner or later something is going to fail and you will have to sort it out, to just think that UPS will do the job is a bit over-positive.
For home use I have not seen a need for UPS, power grid has been working well, but there are other places that definitely benefit to have a bit of buffer.
 
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Nah, it's just your German grid. It's very reliable (well, if you live in an area where it's reliable - not everywhere, unfortunately)
 
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Use for my main PC and wifi AP, also pfsense router connected, PS5, Xbox and main monitor.

I did also buy a small cheap UPS for my modem in other room, and fair to say when people talk about quality difference they not wrong, when I had a power cut the modem power cycled.

I still plan to get a second UPS for my spare machine which is going to be used as my NAS, sadly UPS prices have gone through the roof and I am still debating if I am ok with a stepped sinewave for it (my old stepped sinewave worked fine for me before on main PC but for some reason I am hesitant).

When my old UPS batteries died I threw it away but given I now need a second, I wish I kept it now and just replaced the batteries.
 

Kursah

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I have an APC Back-UPS Pro 1500 that was headed to the junk at work. Actually two of them were and I was able to build one good one out of them, purchase a $35 battery and that covers my PC, headphone amp, and monitors, which has been useful in outages before for up to an hour (not gaming). Power load ranges from around 170W web browsing and tops out at about 450W-ish while gaming.

I have an APC Smart-UPS 1500 for my servers, also got two of them from work that were on the way to the trash. One had a battery, one didn't. The one that came with the battery made it just about 2-years before it gave up the ghost about 2-weeks ago. I moved the faceplate PCB and battery over to the empty one, and the battery itself is about shot now...but much more $$ to replace so we're just kinda taking it easy for now, lol. Normal power load is around 180-200W, sometimes up to 250-300W under load.

Lastly, I have a CyberPower 1000PCFLCD I purchased almost 5-years ago for my network gear, that being my pfSense box, HP 24-port 1gbps switch (Layer-2 semi-managed, non-PoE), Hitron Cable modem (Charter's), and Asus AC68U as an AP. Consumes about 54-60W on average. Has held up great, going strong, I'm even able to keep an eye on it and get alerts via monitoring with my pfSense.

It has been nice to have in those power outage situations, especially 1-2 years ago when everything would stay up for an hour or so. We would mute the alerts and could watch a show from the media server or still browse the Internet or stream Netflix if the ISP didn't get taken out with power. Also nice because even when the battery is toast, you get at least some "filtering" of the electricity going to your devices, more stable than direct from the wall or surge strip. But still nice to have batteries that can last and to get a big enough UPS to last long enough to be useful.
 
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I have an APC - 950 and it helped through a number of brown outs and black outs in past residences, so far where I currently reside I've had no issue with power.
I was on a Skype call once when the power cut out, but I was able to continue and end the call as I had the router and my computer system connected through the UPS, that was a weird feeling knowing everything else in the neighborhood had no power and it was black outside.
 
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I've been using them with my main rig forever. Actually just upgraded the APC 1500va unit i originally bought for my main rig to a pure sinewave Cyberpower 1000va last year because of its age. I try to remember to replace the batteries every 5 or 6 years, $30-$35 a pair. It still works fine i just wanted the new fangled stuff to play with :D The APC is now hooked up to my pc workbench gear and backup rig. Ive also got 2 smaller sinewave Cyberpowers 600va for the bedroom and livingroom gear due to paranoia more than anything. Altho I'm really glad I got them as we had our power go out for the first time in 10 years, 3 weeks ago. They gave me plenty of time to turn everything thing off properly. That alone made me feel all warm and fuzzy!
 
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I have always wanted to ask about your solar array and such, but have never seen an appropriate place. Do you use batteries in your setup, or micro-inverters and grid-tied? In other words, if the "mains" power goes out, does your house go dark, too? You could configure the ultimate UPS, relatively easily.

Personally, I have a small 70 watt 8ah Schneider APC for ONT and router. The new Nokia ONT is a twitchy bitch. The slightest flash will reboot it. The router is a bit more forgiving. I also have a Tripp-lite inverter/charger I *might* be able to configure into an UPS. I must RTM, at some point.
 
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I have always wanted to ask about your solar array and such, but have never seen an appropriate place. Do you use batteries in your setup, or micro-inverters and grid-tied? In other words, if the "mains" power goes out, does your house go dark, too? You could configure the ultimate UPS, relatively easily.
Solar panel systems w/o batteries are tied to the grid so when power goes out you lose power to everything, panels too. I'm not a huge PV geek but essentially the power company does not see you as a power generator. Systems w/o batteries cannot sell excess power back to the grid.

By adding batteries you get classed as a power generator and can now sell excess power back to the grid. Beyond this there are a lot of benefits to batteries and capturing the excess generated power. In our case we take advantage of our time of use plan, and do not use grid power except late at night when power is at its cheapest and it is generally the periods where we use the least energy, except when charging our ev.

The crux is when there is max sun, the system charges the batteries first, then it sends power to the grid. When the sun runs out it then switches to the batteries till it drains them to our reserve point of 35%. That 35% will come online if the grid goes down. In our case 35% is about enough to get us thru the night till morning. Voila nothing spoils in the fridge and ice is still ice.

Regarding Powerwalls as UPS, technically they are not UPS but more like a generator. However in the real world sometimes I see a flash in the lights but often times we don't even know that the main power is down. Recently like a few weeks ago the main breaker died and we lost power. I would not have even known had I not habitually check the app to see how much power is going where. It's kind of made me insane in that way always checking how much consumption etc and whose being a power guzzler lol.
 
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