Q&A: Is this the right UPS?

Q Would an APC Back-Ups BE700G-UK UPS be suitable for use with a Mac mini? How should I configure it?

A APC and other manufacturers offer several suitable models, and the one that you suggest has several strengths.

Unlike some hunkier UPS, it does not require special power cables, but accepts regular 3-pin mains plugs. With a capacity of 405 W (700 VA) it should keep a mini (which draws a peak of 85 W) and its display running for at least 30 minutes in the event of power loss, although you would be wise to set your mini up so that it automatically shuts down after a shorter time, say 10 or 15 minutes. It most importantly has a USB interface, which you should connect to a USB port on your mini.

upsenergysaverOnce you have done that, a new tab appears in the Energy Saver pane which shows settings applicable when it is running off the UPS battery, and the mains supply has failed. The Shutdown Options button there lets you set how long you wish your mini to run from the battery supply before it automatically shuts down.

UPS allow you to leave Macs running unattended, reducing the risk of data loss and hardware damage in the event of mains failure. Further information is here.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 29 issue 12, 2013.