I am back on an iMac after several years being laptop only.
I seem to get get relatively frequent (but brief) power outages here (Hampshire, UK). I am not overly concerned about data loss as all files are saved to e.g. Dropbox, Google Docs, iCloud and I back up with Time Machine and Backblaze.
However I am concerned that the machine could get damaged during such an outage and am looking for a UPS to protect it.
A bonus would be keeping the machine working for 20-30 minutes and also keeping my modem and Airport running during the outage.
I notice that @katiefloyd uses an APC machine.
Are there other vendors out there worth looking at?
I am going to put the UPS under the desk, so it does not have to be that pretty. It would be good if it is quiet and does not kick out too much heat.
I have a couple of APC UPS’s - one for my iMac and one for my NAS. I did look briefly to see if there were any other reputable vendors…and it seems that APC pretty much owns this market.
I recommend connecting your UPS to your iMac via USB. Once you do this you’ll see a UPS tab in System Preferences > Energy Saver. Using this panel you can specify display options.
…and if you click on Shutdown Options you’ll be able to specify under what circumstances you’d like your iMac to shut down.
I have mine configured to shut down the computer when the battery level of the UPS drops to 50%. So, if it’s a relatively short outage my iMac will remain running. And if the power’s out for a longer period of time my iMac will shut down safely.
One other thing to keep in mind. The less expensive APC units don’t provide a way to turn off the internal speaker. Something to keep in mind if you’re going to be using the device in an environment where a loud, high-pitched sound could be jarring (e.g. if it goes off at home during the night).
I hope this helps!
I’m running a APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA. It’ll keep my iMac and a couple of external displays running for about 30 minutes in the event of a power outage. Plenty of time to get everything shut down cleanly.
If that isn’t time enough add the additional battery pack.
I’ve had good luck with both APC and Cyberpower UPSs.
Right now I have 3 of these Cyberpower CP1000PFCLCD powering iMacs with no issues and good uptime during power outages.
I’ve had good luck with Cyberpower UPSes (I’ve got three at home now) and bad luck with APC at home and work. And note that APC and the company I worked at are both divisions of the same company (Schneider Electric). Electronics and premature battery failures.
Whatever you do, make sure the UPS output is a Sine Wave (which rules out the cheapest units) otherwise you will have trouble with modern Macs.
I have two Trip‑Lite. They worked through several outages.
APC Back-UPS BX - Uninterruptible Power Supply 1400VA, BX1400UI - AVR
- No kettle lead to plug into the wall supplied (I had a spare)
- No USB cable supplied for connection to my computer (I had a spare)
- Plugging the yellow plastic battery connector in led to a surprising discharge which I feared had fried the unit, but after plugging the unit into the wall and waiting a few moments it came up with a green-light
- There is no Powerchute Personal Edition software for macOS, but macOS immediately recognised the device as a UPS so I am happy for the OS to manage the UPS
- The next morning there was quite a strong ’server room’ smell in my office - this persists 10 days later
None of the appliances I have use the cables that would plug straight in the back of the UPS. I knew this in advance so ordered some multi-socket adapters.
As well as my iMac, I also plugged in the following:
- Apple Time Capsule
- Cordless landline telephone
Did a test by flicking off the power at the wall.
The box started to buzz and I started to get 4 beeps at regular intervals.
A warning modal window popped up on my screen and my screen brightness dropped (as per configuration).
The % battery left started to drop alarmingly quickly. I think that I’ll only get 30 mins maximum, but this is all I was looking for.
So far so good!