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Winter Computer Check List

Surge protection and Back-up Solutions for you

Protecting computers, networks and files from power outages during storm season is important and simple.

Power outages in the winter are common, according to BC Hydro, 44% of outages on Vancouver Island occur between Oct. and Feb. These power outages often create power surges which can destroy computer data and hardware.

  1. Back-up your Data
    Power electric storms can destroy data and hardware, even with surge protection in place, so it is important to back-up your data. How often depends on how important it is, we can help you decide on the best options for you.There are many options and prices available to help you keep your data safe.

    • External network/USB hard drive – You back-up your data to an external hard drive. You can back-up as often or as little as you like depending on how important your data is.
    • Managed online back-ups your data is backed-up to a secure offsite server and monitored to insure the back-ups are working properly.
    • Managed Local Back-ups your data is backed-up to a local network drive or USB Drive and monitored to ensure the back-ups are done properly.
  2. Protection from power surges and outage.
    Power surges are particularly harmful to electronic devices, including your computers, printers, entertainment systems and even your cell phone. The good news is it is simple to protect your computer from most power surges.

    • Standalone surge protectors
    • UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies).

      Surge protectors, look like regular power bars, work by transferring the excess voltage during a surge through the grounding wire stopping the surge from reaching your electronic device. Surge protectors range from $30-$100. A minimum of 800 joules is recommended to be an effective surge protector. Surge Protectors do not protect your computer hardware or data from the potential damaged caused by improper shut down.UPS, Uninterruptable Power Supplies have two protection components, first a powerful surge protector and second a battery, designed to keep your computer running for a given period when there is power outage. This will give you time to save what you are working on and shut down the computers properly. Most UPS come with software that can shut your system down for you during an outage.
      Bring your UPS in to ACS and we will test the battery life for FREE through December and January
  3. Check that your UPS or surge protection is still working
    Most UPS and standalone surge protectors will have a light that shows if the surge protection is working, unfortunately this does not show if the battery is still good in your UPS.Some have built in diagnostics but for most surge protectors the only way to check if your battery is working to it’s full potential is to unplug the UPS and drain it with approximately the same power needed to run your equipment.DO NOT just unplug your UPS, your battery may not be working, and you could cause the damage we are hoping to avoid!If the battery is dead many units have replaceable batteries.