Battery Backup and Surge Protection
A battery backup unit – often called a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) – is basically a box with batteries in it. It plugs into a standard electrical receptacle, then several devices plug into outlets on the UPS. If power goes out, the battery unit continues to provide power to devices plugged into it.
“…if your terminal is just plugged into an outlet, it will shut down. Now, you have to wait as the computer powers back on and software loads again.”
Although expensive UPS’s can support many high powered computers, for most restaurants or retail shops a smaller, very affordable UPS is more than enough.
Here in Florida, afternoon storms will often cause power to flicker or go out for just a few seconds.
If your terminals are connected to Battery Backup units, then you can go on about your business and may not even notice there was a loss of power. However, if your terminal is just plugged into an outlet, it will shut down. Now, you have to wait as the computer powers back on and software loads again. The unexpected shutdowns could also damage your computer’s hardware.
You can buy various forms of these from Best Buy, Amazon, or many office supply stores. If you are only going to plug in a single terminal then the smallest, least expensive model will be great. Basically, the larger the unit, the bigger the batteries and so the longer it will hold power in the event of an outage. Whereas a small unit may keep power on for 15 minutes, a larger unit my keep the same equipment on for 30 minutes (it varies greatly depending on how many devices you have plugged into the UPS and how much power those things draw).