Why Battery Backup is a Must Have to Protect Your Smart Home’s Network

edge computing applications with online ordering

Smart home technology is all the rage, as we rely on a variety of apps and voice commands to play our favorite music, stream TV shows, set the room temperature and get the lighting just right. What we may not be thinking about is the need to provide battery backup for the one device without which none of it works: the router that supplies Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity.

It’s gotten to the point where, in the U.S. at least, Wi-Fi is now the number one technology that consumers say they can’t live without. A recent survey by the managed service provider iQor found nearly two-thirds (64%) of the more than 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed said they couldn’t be without Wi-Fi for more than a day, edging out the smartphone (61%).

Technology Deprivation Tolerance Graphic
Cell phones (not working) and Wi-Fi Routers are the two pieces of technology that the majority of US adults could not be without for more than 1 day. On average, consumers could wait just over a week for getting smart devices fixed.              Source: iQor Customer and Product Experience (CPX) 360 Survey

It makes sense when you consider all the smart home technology that users are now dealing with, including automated lighting, ventilation, heating, air conditioning, security systems, washers, dryers, refrigerators and more. Analysts at Zion Market Research expect the global smart home market to reach $53.45 billion by the end of 2022 after enjoying a healthy compound annual growth rate of 14.5% from 2017.

Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity are also fundamental to entertainment. Nearly three quarters (74%) of U.S. households have a connected TV device, such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV, according to the latest Leichtman Research report, “Connected and 4K TVs 2019.” Just under one-third (32%) have a smart TV, the report found. Plenty of consumers are even “cutting the cord” on their cable TV and going with a streaming service instead.

Learn more about smart home devices’ dependency on an internet connection through the interactive graphic below.

Battery backup ensures you enjoy the show

Those streaming services, of course, require a functioning Internet connection.

Imagine you’re binge-watching your favorite new show from one of the streaming services. It’s getting near the end of the episode, with the tension building to the inevitable cliff-hanger that gets you to say, “Let’s watch just one more.”

But there’s a power blip, not even a full-blown outage, maybe a sag, excess jitter or a spike that causes a short disruption. That’s enough to cause your router to lose the Internet connection, in which case the action on the TV – comes to a screeching halt. Now you’ve got to reboot the router, log back in to your streaming service, find your show again, and get back to where you left off. Total buzzkill.

A battery backup solution, such as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), can prevent such a frustrating interruption to your well-deserved entertainment. In the event of a power disruption or failure affecting the internet connection, the UPS will immediately supply backup battery power to the router – so it won’t lose the Internet connection.

If you also plug your TV and other devices into the UPS, they will also keep functioning – how long depends on the UPS model, device usage and power settings.

UPSs protect expensive devices

Besides just supplying backup power, a good UPS also protects devices against the potentially damaging effects of power surges. Surges are short bursts of high-voltage power that can damage sensitive devices such as televisions, thermostats, smart speakers and yes, routers. They are hardly uncommon, resulting from causes including outside utility work, lightning strikes and other weather events. Even appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners can cause surges as they cycle on and off.

One option for protecting against surges is plugging devices into a power strip with surge protection built in. The other is a UPS that offers surge protection, in which case you don’t need a separate surge protector strip. It’s likely you can find a UPS with enough outlets to power your router, TV and other smart devices located near your entertainment center. Many UPSs also come with USB ports, to power smart phones and tablets while also protecting them from surges – and enabling you to keep them powered through an outage. Some are “smart” UPSs that support remote monitoring, which will alert you to any issues with the UPS, such as a failing battery.

It is important to consider how your smart home devices are set up and where the various components that provide Internet connectivity are located. If your router isn’t located near your TV, they may each require a UPS for backup. And some services, such as Verizon FIOS, require an optical network terminal (ONT) – a box full of electronics that’s likely located in the basement or utility closet. It, too, will need UPS protection in order for your Internet connection to remain live through a power blip or outage.

Selecting a Home Battery Backup Solution

APC by Schneider Electric has a long history of ensuring Certainty in a Connected World by providing battery backup and UPS solutions for all types of requirements, from the largest data centers to, increasingly, smart homes. To learn more, visit our UPS buying guide page, which includes a UPS selector that will guide you to the UPS that’s right for your needs. A small investment in a UPS can protect you against damage to your smart devices and the risk of losing your place on your favorite Netflix show by backing up your router to ensure internet connectivity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *