Over the past few years, South Africans have become increasingly familiar with terms such as load shedding, load reduction, and scheduled maintenance.
More importantly, it is here to stay for several years, getting worse before it gets better.
We are only at the start of February, and South Africa is already on its second stint of load shedding for the month. With barely a gap between the weekend's load shedding, Eskom announced that there would be further load shedding as of Tuesday night.
This is not even considering the ongoing load reduction, routine maintenance and unexpected power outages that also occur.
To counteract this, a generator has become necessary for bigger businesses to have a consistent and reliable power supply. However, for most electricity users, be that at home or in a smaller business this is simply not a practical option.
Until now, most people in this scenario have thought that their only option is to sit and suffer in darkness. Fortunately, this is not the case.
Instead of sitting and twiddling your thumbs until the power comes back, you could consider getting an Uninterruptible Power Supply UPS for Wi-Fi router.
What exactly is a UPS for Wi-Fi Router?
A UPS is essentially a backup power solution that keeps your devices connected with an alternative power supply when your mains supply has a problem.
They are portable devices charged by plugging them into your usual electrical power sockets at times of power. Essentially it works in the same way as a power bank, but it is powerful enough to sustain your Wi-Fi router for ADSL, LTE, and Fibre.
Most require minimal to no setup time (a ‘’plug and play’’ option). Once you have set up your UPS, there is little else you need to do otherwise.
There are no expensive maintenance or upkeep costs. No need to add fuel or upgrade every couple of years. The UPS does what it says on the tin; provides a reliable and easy to use battery backup for Wi-Fi, internet and routers.
Better yet, they are automatic. You do not have to remember to turn it on if a power cut is scheduled; it will instinctively kick in when there is an interruption to the power supply; meaning you may not even realise that an outage had started!
A UPS for Wi-Fi router comes in various formats and sizes to support single or multiple devices for periods ranging from several hours to a day or longer, depending on the nature of the device(s) it powers and the user needs.
Although prices vary depending on the exact specifications and quality of the device itself, they are often one of the cheapest ways to keep your internet running during power outages.
You may hear different terms used such as UPS for Wi-Fi Router, UPS for Router, Back-up battery for your internet or Uninterruptible Power Supply for WiFi. However, these are all referring to the same types of device. Do not let the terminology confuse you.
What are the benefits of a UPS for Wi-Fi Router?
There are loads! There are several great ways to invest in a UPS for Wi-Fi Router to benefit your daily life.
Here are just a few examples below:
Work seamlessly without interruption.
Since the onset of the global pandemic in early 2020, it is common to be working from home.
Although your office may have had a generator, this is much more unlikely to be the case in your household.
Every day we meet business owners and employees whose profits are severely affected by a single hour of downtime when load shedding occurs.
A reliable and stable internet connection is now a necessity for much of our productivity. Nobody should have to experience losing 12 hours of a 40-hour workweek because of load shedding.
A UPS can ensure that your work does not have to suffer again from power outages and load shedding.
Ensure that you do not drop off that Zoom meeting at a pivotal moment or miss your deadline because you could not access your emails on time.
- Allow your children to continue their online learning.
If they have not already, it is likely that your children will have some form of future online learning as South Africa battles with its second wave of COVID-19 infections and a new super infectious variant of the disease.
How will your child complete their homework or attend their online lessons without guarantee of a continued internet connection?
Make sure your children do not fall behind with the curriculum, regardless of whether they are physically in the classroom or not.
- Stay in touch with loved ones.
Connections with family and friends have always been important, and never has this been truer than throughout the pandemic.
Travel bans and varying lockdowns have meant that people have often not spent as much time with loved ones as they would like.
This has made the weekly online family quiz, FaceTime with the parents and group calls with your friends' non-negotiable events in the calendar.
Ensure that your family and friends do not lay siege as load shedding clashes with the catch-up they have been waiting all week for.
- Protect your devices.
As well as keeping you connected, a UPS has the added benefit of protecting your Internet Wi-Fi devices from power surges which can cause irreversible damage.
Power surges happen whenever the wiring in your home or office suddenly experiences a brief jolt of high electrical voltage.
These can be small or large and happen a lot more than we realise.
Power surges are a leading cause of electrical-related device damage. Small surges will not leave any outward evidence, so you may not even be aware they are happening.
A UPS electrically isolates the router it is powering, meaning that your router does not get overloaded when the mains power supply returns.
It is recommended that even if you own other types of power backup solutions, you should still get a UPS for Fibre for this reason.
- Save money!
South Africa has continually ranked as having some of the highest data costs in Africa. This means that many of us are painfully familiar with the exasperation of buying expensive data packages.
Weighing up the irritation of having to choose between an exorbitant mobile phone bill or being offline for hours at a time as our high-speed internet connection disappears along with our electricity source.
With a UPS, you will not even realise your power supply has cut out as it automatically switches on during a power outage with not even a seconds interruption to your internet connection.
Are all UPS for Wi-Fi Routers the same?
No, they are not. There are a range of considerations that you should think about when investigating if this is the right solution for you.
The perfect size and device for you will depend on your needs, what you must power, and how long.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right one for you.
How often am I without power? How often does your area have load shedding or load rotation and how long do these outages last?
For example, if you are based in Gauteng, you will have longer outages than people in other parts of the country (typically 4.5-hour power blackout versus 2 to 2.5 hours).
It is also important to consider how often you have outages; if your area has outages two or three times a week, you will need a more robust system than someone who only has outages once a month as an example.
How is your internet configured?
There are numerous fibre providers and internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa. The different combination of ISPs and fibre providers used matters, as does which router devices they provided you.
Different configurations will have varying power usage and, therefore, will require different capacity power back up batteries to ensure you stay connected for the entire electricity outage.
A reliable backup provider should be more than willing to help you find the right configuration for your home or business.
What type of battery does the UPS use?
Traditionally a UPS for fibre router would use lead-acid batteries, however more and more we are starting to see the introduction of lithium-ion technology.
You may not think you are familiar with lithium-ion batteries; however, this is the battery technology that most smartphones now use and have done for several years.
Lithium-Ion batteries have several benefits, such as:
- Your battery lasting longer (more cycles). This means that you could have a solution with the right device lasting you close to 10 years.
- Minimising risk of causing damage to your electrical devices
- You can power more devices at once (Greater load capacity).
Thinking through some of the above factors should help you start to narrow down what sort of UPS might be ideal for you, although this is of course, not an exhaustive list.
Other factors may also influence your decision, such as the UPS's size and weight, how quickly it takes to recharge, and how noisy it is when running.
Want to know more?
Whatever your unique circumstances are, it is safe to say that there is a way to get peace of mind from load shedding that does not have to break the bank.
This is why several homes and businesses are now opting to purchase a UPS for a WiFi Router.
A reliable energy provider like Bricks Energy will be more than happy to help you through the decision process and answer any questions you may have.