Caring For Your Mac's Battery Backup

Using an uninterrupted power supply, or UPS, with your Mac and other network gear is a great idea - as long as the battery backup actually works. Just like any other rechargeable device, the battery in your UPS has a finite life, and itis a good idea to replace an old battery before you need to rely on it when the power goes out.

As a rule of thumb assume that the battery in your UPS will last between two and five years, depending on use. If you overload a battery backup, however, you will likely see a much shorter life-span for your battery. For example, ganging up multiple computers on a UPS designed to handle only one machine, or plugging in a laser printer are sure ways to prematurely wear out a battery. If you arenit sure how to pick out a unit that will meet your electrical needs, check out my Quick Tip on selecting a battery backup.

Battery backups from companies like APC, Belkin, and Tripp Lite are typically designed with user-replaceable batteries, which means you donit have to throw out the device when its battery is dead. Just buy a replacement battery and swap it out with the old one.

If you arenit using a UPS to protect your Mac from potential damage from power outages, dips, and surges, itis only a matter of time before an electrical incident catches you off guard. Be sure to buy and properly use a UPS with your Mac and every other electrical device on your network before you lose critical files or expensive equipment.

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