Is running a UPS on a home network and good idea and how long will it run? In this post we set to find out the use case and benefit of having a UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply on a home network.
A 1500VA UPS powering a home network consisting of a Router, Switch and Modem should run about 3 hours. I have an APC 1500VA UPS powering my Spectrum cable modem, Ubiquiti Router, Ubiquiti Access point, Netgear switch, a Raspberry Pi, and a Lutron Caseta Hub and its telling me the runtime is 167 minutes.
UPS Sizes and Runtimes on a home Wifi Router/Network
- 1500VA UPS – Around 3 Hours
- 1000VA UPS – Around 1 Hour
- 500VA UPS – Around 30 Minutes
Internet during power outage or disaster scenario
What is the benefit of an APC on my home network, will the internet still function in a power outage? During a localized power outage such as a transformer on your block going out or a tree hitting a power line near your home. The internet will continue to function because the nodes that run the internet service will still have power. In this case having a battery backup on your home network will allow you to continue to use your home laptop or tablet to receive an internet connection.
Will internet continue to function in a disaster scenario? This question is more difficult to answer. If there is widespread outages of power in your state or locality it is still possible that your internet will continue to function if you have a battery backup or generator running your home network. In 2015 the FCC passed rules requiring telecom companies that offer voice services to have 24 hour backup power. Most internet companies also offer voice services so they would fall under this requirement.
Brownouts and Power Surges AVR Protection
AVR is another benefit of having a UPS on your networking equipment. AVR stands for Automatic Voltage Regulation this feature will regulate the voltage in cases of too high or too low voltage going into the UPS and it will provide a consistent voltage output to your network equipment.
Brownout and quick power outages help prevent all of your networking equipment from rebooting and causing your internet to go down. These quick outages can be an annoyance at best and can destroy your equipment at worst, these quick outages can even cause your equipment to reset to factory defaults making you go back and reconfigure your network equipment with Wifi name and password among other settings.
Pure Sine Wave vs Modified Sine Wave
For powering my home network do I need a Pure Sine Wave UPS or will a normal Modified Sine Wave UPS work instead? AC power works by constantly switching polarities in between positive and negative in a wave pattern. Normal UPS batteries convert DC power to AC power in a modified Sine Wave which attempts to reproduce a Pure Sine Wave pattern but it is not a perfect wave its more of a choppy wave. This Modified pattern is not as smooth and stable as a Pure Sine Wave. However the benefit of Modified Sine Wave UPS’s is that they cost less than UPS devices that are designed to produce a Pure Sine Wave
Will a Modified Sine Wave work for my networking or do I need to spend the extra money on a Pure Sine Wave UPS? In my research when looking to buy my own UPS I came to the conclusion that a Pure Sine Wave UPS is unnecessary. Reason being home networking equipment uses DC power anyway it will convert the AC output from the UPS back into DC power and it does not require a pure AC Sine Wave.
Pure Sine Wave’s are really only necessary on equipment that is sensitive to AC power such as AC motors, Refrigerators and medical equipment. However for home use a normal Modified Sine Wave UPS will work just fine, more important for a home network is the power capacity of the UPS for keeping your equipment running longer.
Time Remaining on the Front Display
Which UPS brands display the time remaining on the front panel? Most of the APC brand UPS’s with a front display will tell you the time remaining in real-time based on the load on the machine. Also a lot of the Cyberpower models will also show you the time remaining on the front screen.
Putting a UPS on your home network is a good idea to prevent reboots of your equipment in short power outages and prevent damage to your equipment. During longer power outages and emergency situations it has the potential to assist you in getting in contact with your friends and family as well as receiving vital information about the situation at hand.
Our recommendation would be either an APC Back-UPS model or a CyberPower Intelligent LCD UPS. Choose anywhere between 1000VA and 1500VA models depending on your budget. Spending the extra money on a Pure Sine Wave model is unnecessary.