Definition

uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a device that allows your computer to keep running for at least a short time when the primary power source is lost. It also provides protection from power surges. A UPS contains a battery that "kicks in" when the device senses a loss of power from the primary source. If you are using the computer when the UPS notifies you of the power loss, you have time to save any data you are working on and exit gracefully before the secondary power source (the battery) runs out. When all power runs out, any data in your computer's random access memory (RAM) is erased. When power surges occur, a UPS intercepts the surge so that it doesn't damage your computer.

Software is available that automatically backs up (saves) any data that is being worked on when the UPS becomes activated.

Contributor(s): Toon Diegenant and Patrick Tierce
This was last updated in June 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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