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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Keep Your Internet Up and Running During Blackouts and Brownouts

Every September is National Preparedness Month. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. One of the biggest things that can happen during natural disasters is power outages. Research shows that the average electricity customer in the United States loses experiences loses power for about two hours per year. Most consumer and commercial internet services feature a router, and routers require power. In times of extreme weather, you might want to consider implementing a system that keeps your internet running to provide you some entertainment, productivity, and of course a way to contact someone in the case of a family emergency. Here's what you need to know.

If your power goes out, of course, you’ll typically lose internet access, but you're probably thinking that you can rely on your cell phone. If you were every in scouts you know one of the main mottos is to 'Always be prepared' which is why you want to make sure you have cell services as well as internet services. Also. if you have a smartphone, you might want to keep your internet running so you can still monitor your smart home alarm systems that rely on the Internet.

To keep your internet going, choose these options:

Use Your smartphone as a hot spot. The easiest way to stay online during a power outage is to use your smartphone phone, either as a Wi-Fi hotspot or by accessing the internet directly on your phone. This is a great option if you don't have any extra services as part of your home of if you're the only person in your home.

Use a UPS. To keep your router running during a power outage, use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). UPSs are similar to external backup batteries. Many people, in fact, use the terms “UPS” and “backup battery” synonymously. They are both batteries, and they provide emergency or backup power to the devices with which they are used. With that said, UPSs and external backup batteries aren’t necessarily the same.

The added bonus of a UPS is that it also acts as a surge protector. When power is restored, sometimes devices experience a surge that can ruin these devices.

Use A General-Purpose Inverter. Battery-powered inverters convert DC power to AC power, allowing you to run your appliances during blackouts. These large inverters can use various battery technologies, but the two most common are lead acid batteries and lithium batteries. These backup systems aren't meant to run only a router but several devices at the same time. For example, with a small- or medium-sized lithium "power station" you could power your internet gear, television, console, and one or two lights for a few hours. Buying a large battery backup inverter to serve multiple devices at once can be more economical than buying many small backup solutions, but it does represent a large upfront cost.

Hopefully, this post has given you the information you need to keep your running when you lose power. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!

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