Belkin Universal UPS 800VA Review

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Introduction

If you run a server you know that uptime is a big deal, many things can cause downtime and one of them is a blackout. If the power goes out in your house and you are running for web design or hosting service your customers will not be able to access your site making you look like a bad company. If you cant even keep your own website up and running why would you be able to keep theirs up and running? There is a simple solution for power outage problems and this solution is a UPS which is an Uninterruptible Power Supply. Simply put even when the power goes out this unit will be able to power your computer equipment hopefully long enough for the power company to fix whatever problem might be going on.

Click here for a larger image Click here for a larger image

There are two kinds of uninterruptible power supplies that are used, a standby UPS and a continuous UPS. A standby UPS runs the computer off of the normal utility power until it detects a problem. If the power fails the UPS kicks on an inverter and runs the computer off of the UPS’s battery. In a continuous UPS, the computer is always running off of battery power and the battery is continuously being recharged. When the power fails there is no switch over time the computer simply keeps running off of the UPS

Click here for a larger image

There are a few things that a UPS can be useful for because we all know that’s problems can go wrong at anytime for any reason. A UPS can save you from a lot of work and problems if any of the below were to happen.

  • Voltage surges and spikes – Times when the voltage on the line is greater than it should be.
  • Brown outs – Times when the voltage on the line is less than it should be but not totally out.
  • Black out – When the power totally goes out
  • Frequency differences – Times when the power is oscillating at something other than 60 Hertz

The Belkin UPS is a standby unit because it only kicks in when you have a voltage spike, brown out, black out, or a frequency difference. It will provide you power for up to 45 minutes depending on what all you have running on it and how charged the unit it. The software which we will look at more later is compatible with Windows 95 – XP and all NT are included. all of the other features we will look at more later in the review but you can take a gander at the list which is off the Belkin site below for an good idea.

  • Provides up to 45 minutes backup time.
  • Battery capacity load: 800VA (450 Watts)
  • Bulldog Plus software is compatible with Windows XP, 95/98, 2000, NT
  • Provides 6 Outlets: 4 battery backup outlets w/surge protection and 2 outlets w/surge protection only
  • Serial and USB Port
  • 1 In, 1 Out RJ45/RJ11 jack with surge protection
  • Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR)
  • Comes with a $150,000 Connected Equipment Warranty
  • Comes with a 3 Year Product Warranty

When the Belkin UPS first arrived at my door the first thing surprised me was the weight of this thing, its heavy! I figured it would weigh a good amount however i didn’t think it would end up being 31 pounds. After I got it in the house I took it out of this shipping box to find a nice glossy box with lots of reassuring information and a lady smiling at me. The back of the box has a lot of the technical information as far as what it does and what kind of features it has.


Click here for a larger image Click here for a larger image

I went ahead and worked this little giant out of the box and took a good look at it. On the front of the UPS there is an On/Off/Test button which does just that. There are also some symbols and LEDs so that if there is a problem or you need some troubleshooting information you will let you know what’s up. The back of the UPS has ports for your rj-11 cable for your phone or internet line then you have a USB and serial port which are used to connect the UPS to your computer, next to that is a little red LED which lights up if you don’t plug it into a grounded line. Below that are 6 plugs the top 4 are battery backup along with surge protection and the bottom two are for surge protection only. There is also a button to reset everything.

The UPS comes with the rj-11 cable for your internet or phone line, a USB cable so you can connect your computer to your UPS and you can also use the serial port to do the same thing but the USB is much better because all you have to do is plug it in and away you go. I like that Belkin provided the legacy support of the serial port because some old servers may not have USB ports and would be unable to use this UPS.

Click here for a larger image Click here for a larger image

I have never used any UPS before and that being the case I was really interested as to what could weigh 31 pounds inside of this thing so I went ahead and opened it up. Because I am a telecommunication major and not an electronic engineer I don’t know what exactly everything in here is but I am pretty sure about some of it. The 2 big blocks there are the batteries and the yellow wrapped thing is the inverter, there are also some fuses, mosfets and other things which I don’t know exactly do what. I do know that I was really careful and made sure not to touch a thing because this thing can hold a lot of power and probably could kill you so I wouldn’t recommend opening yours up.

Click here for a larger image Click here for a larger image

The UPS also comes with a registration form and a manual which is really pretty well detailed and should be able to tell you what you need to know without being confused. The UPS comes with Bulldog Plus Shutdown Software which we will look at next, it is the software manager for your UPS.