Why Have Battery Backup?
If you want to make VoIP phone calls when the power is out, you need a battery backup.
Battery backups are a good idea for computers and home office with potentially sensitive data. They also allow you keep the Internet up and running during a power outage.
How do battery backups work?
A battery backup is contained in a power strip, called an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). A UPS will provide emergency power if external power is lost.
Battery Backup for VoIP systems?
VoIP phone systems need electricity and Internet to function. In the event of a power outage, a battery backup unit will give you the opportunity to keep making calls for a short period of time.
In the event of a total blackout, Internet may not be available because the Internet service provider will also lose power.
Other Uses for Battery Backup
The primary use of a UPS is during power failure. However, some UPS devices are also capable of mitigating the effects of:
- power surges
- power spikes and sags
- noise, or high frequency disruption from nearby equipment
- frequency instability (expressed in Hz)
- "harmonic distortion," which may affect audio quality
You will see the acronym VA/W on battery backup products. These letters stand for Volt-ampere/Watts, which both measure maximum energy for the unit (in different ways). VA measures the amount of electricity in an alternating current (think voltage). Watts measure the rate of energy conversion, or power over time (energy per second).
Because of the way alternating current works, the VA rating will always be higher than the wattage on a battery backup product. See what measurements are labeled on your electronics or VoIP equipment and buy accordingly. In general, most electronics will give you wattage (as seen on your computer's power supply). The higher the wattage, the longer you can use battery power.
You can get good UPS devices from $50 to $150.
What is a good UPS device?
A good battery backup will have quick switchover to battery power. This is crucial for maintaining electricity to systems (such as a computer). You can test this by unplugging the UPS from its socket and seeing if attached electronics remain on (make sure you backup your computer first).
The CyberPower CP600LCD is a very good low-end UPS. It can manage a total of 340Watts, and has 8 available outlets. The CP600LCD protects against surges, spikes, sags, and brownouts. Like the title says, it comes with a handy LCD screen. $64.
This is another basic battery backup with heftier capacity. It has 10 outlets and can carry up to 450W. $90.
Another CyberPower with the "Intelligent LCD." The CP825LCD has 8 outlets in a compact design with 450W. Like the CP600, this battery backup protects against power abnormalities, not just power loss. $80.
The Tripp Lite AVR900U is a battery backup with 12 outlets and 480W. It protects against all the aforementioned power problems: spikes, sags, brownouts, etc. The Tripp Lite AVR900U also features noise filtering from various electrical and radio sources, which may help with audio quality. $88.