For most of us these days, staying connected to family, friends, and coworkers means staying connected to the Web.
When the usual paths for communication go down or prove inadequate, some specialized accessories can bridge the gap.
Keep your Web connection during power outages
Winter’s coming to the northern hemisphere. It’s time to think about maintaining your computing capabilities during possible power outages.
The last time there was a power failure in my neighborhood, I felt fortunate to have a full battery charge on my notebook. I didn’t lose the document I had open — in fact, I kept working on it for another couple of hours (the display illuminating an otherwise dark room). But what I did lose was my vital connection to the Internet.
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) would have kept my modem/router going, but at that time I didn’t have one. The typically UPS is heavy, expensive, and rarely used — they also use lead-acid batteries that are difficult to recycle. That’s because many are still designed to support old power-hungry desktop PCs and displays.
But new UPS devices are becoming lighter and smaller. For example, APC’s Back-UPS Connect BGE50ML (info) uses a lithium-ion battery pack and is designed specifically for today’s low-power (up to 50 watts) digital devices.
Weighing under three pounds, the Connect has two AC outlets that rotate, making attaching power bricks a bit easier. It also has three USB charging ports and an innovative removable power pack for charging mobile devices when you’re on the go.