Friday, November 6, 2009

APC Back-UPS ES 750 Review

I've been using the APC Back-UPS ES 750 for a few months now so I thought that I would write a review on it. UPS for those of you who are unaware is an acronym for uninterrupted power supply. It is basically a backup power supply in case there isn't any electricy.

The unit comes with 10 outlets (5 having surge protection and 5 having battery backup capabilities).  The output power capability is 450 Watts / 750 VA. The company's manufacturer's code is BE750G-CN (which is the Canadian version of the Back-UPS ES 750). Included with the UPS is the user replaceable battery, a USB cable, manual, and CD software.

When I got my UPS, the battery was inside it but the battery terminals weren't connected to the cables. I didn't notice this even though the instructions mentioned this fact (I'm not the type of person who generally reads the manual before using electronic equipment). Once I attached the battery terminals to the cables, everything was working properly.

After plugging the UPS into the AC outlet and plugging my computer and its accessories to the proper outlet on the UPS depending on whether I just wanted surge protection (printer, speakers, desk lamp, etc.) or whether I wanted battery backup (computer, monitor, router, cable modem, etc.).

Three of the surge protection outlets are controlled by one of the battery backup outlets. By this, I mean that if the UPS detects that the item connected to the battery backup outlet is drawing power, these 3 surge protection outlets will have power. I decided to connect my monitor to this special "master" battery backup outlet and connect my speakers and printer to two of the surge protection outlets which were being controlled by the master. This way, when I turned off my monitor (but left my computer running), my speakers would automatically power off (likewise with my printer). When my monitor went into power save mode, these items would also power off.

I connected the USB cable from the UPS to one of the USB ports on my computer and installed the PowerChute Personal Edition software. Even though the UPS came with the software on CD, I decided to download it from the company's website since the version on company's websites are usually more recent than the version shipped with the actual product.

The main purpose of the software is that in the event of a power failure, it allows your computer to automatically shut itself down. However, this isn't really accurate. The software actually doesn't shut down but it provides unattended hibernation. The difference between hibernation and shut down is that with hibernation, the computer is suppose to return to the same state when power is restored. This means that any programs that are running or any documents which are open will remain open and you won't lose your work. With shut down, the computer exits all programs and shuts down the computer so that the next time the computer is powered on, it has to go through the entire booting sequence again. In most cases, hibernation is preferable for UPS systems but personally because hibernation doesn't seem to work properly on my PC when I have a VMware session running, I prefer that the system shut down when there is a power failure. The APC Back-UPS ES 750 only allows for hibernation.

The software has a variety of settings and self tests. It will approximate the run-time of the equipment on battery power based on the battery charge. For example, currently the software estimates that because the UPS is supplying 157 Watts of power (it gets this information via the USB cable), in the event of a power failure, the battery will last approximately 10 minutes. The UPS also has an audible alarm that sounds if the UPS is on battery power. This is user configurable so that in the event of a power failure, if you (like me), don't want the alarm to beep between 22:00 and 9:00, you can configure the UPS via the software so that it doesn't beep during those times.

Even though the battery is replaceable, because of the cost of a new battery (compared with the cost of a new UPS) as well as trying to find a reliable Canadian retailer who sells the battery, I'm not sure if many people living outside the US would replace the battery in 3-5 years when the battery probably needs replacing.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section.


  1. Its sounds good! Truly ups are a necessary part of the every computer system; it safe our important data and our computer as well as, when power cut off. it is most important part of the system.

    Good day.

    Power Protection / Power protection systems

  2. Thank you Mark for reading my blog and leaving a comment.

    Yes, I find this UPS to be good. This is actually my 2nd UPS since the battery from the 1st UPS went dead after about 6 years. I purchased this UPS on sale and I'm happy with it. I haven't experienced a power failure since purchasing it yet but it is good to know that I can at least save my work and shut down my computer properly during a power failure. It is also good that it will place my computer in hibernation mode in the event that I'm not in front of it at the time of the power failure.