Introducing the APC BE600M1

I think that there is a strong chance that APC’s BE600M1 might be the best UPS battery backup solution. At least for most home PC environments with a single computer and two monitors who are working from home and need a reliable power source to protect them from short power outages. That said, the name ‘APC BE600M1′ model name isn’t precisely very catchy. It’s not going to win any awards for the name, that’s for sure. APC marketing team, if you need someone to help market your great products to the general public, I’m available for hire!

Semi Frequent Power Outages

We love our apartment in almost every way. However, as an older building built in the 1920s, it does have a few peculiarities.   The building was originally a single-family home. Now the building is apartments—two apartments above us and one below. However, they didn’t separate the power when this happened, and we are all running off the same supply and trip box. The challenge is that if two or more apartments are drawing a lot of amperages simultaneously, it can trip the fuse box. For example, I was boiling a kettle for coffee this morning, and someone also had something running. Halfway through the boil, the trip box turned all the power off to the building. If only we had a UPS battery backup. 

Luckily we know how to reset the power, and it’s an easy process. However, with our upstairs and downstairs neighbors working from home and us, this becomes a significant pain. It can take a long time for all the electronics to start up. It was time for a new UPS battery backup solution. I first came across APC’s UPS’s back when working for Microsoft on the Windows NT Server team. Their products are great and work well. However, I think they have an awareness problem with most everyday people who don’t understand what they do and why we should buy one.

What is a UPS battery backup?

After four power outages in two weeks, I decided it was time for a UPS battery backup. I was doing some research, and my wife walked into my office and asked what I was doing. I told her I was going to buy a UPS battery backup. With a confused look on her face, she asked what a UPS is? My response was, “it’s an uninterruptible power supply,” which resulted in a more confused look after explaining in laypeople’s terms that it kept the power on the computer when power outages happened. I also told her that it would safely shut down the computer after a certain number of minutes. Then she understood what the UPS did and the value. I’m surprised that the industry hasn’t come up with more user-friendly terms to describe their products.

I notice that APC is still very much focused on the term UPS for their marketing which seems odd to me as a product marketing guy.

Which is the best UPS battery backup for most working from home setups?

When I think of most of my colleagues and friends working from home, their setups are consistent. They have a single computer with one, but most likely two monitors. That amount of computer gear doesn’t require a massive amount of volt-amperes, or what the industry terms as VA. This VA value is the maximum load that a UPS battery backup can support and how long to keep the electronics running. I researched my home PC environment, and I determined that I needed around 600 VA for my new UPS battery backup. 600 VA should keep my PC; its two monitors and a couple of lights running for around ten minutes.

The APC BE600M1 battery backup is excellent for a shorter power outage. If you need a longer, you will need something in the 1500 VA range. These days UPS battery backups are more efficient and much smaller than they used to be. The APC BE600M1 is an excellent example as it’s approximately 10×5 inches small. That small size gives me around ten minutes of battery life in the advent of a power outage. If the problem still exists, I have configured the software to shut down the computer safely after seven minutes.  

best ups battery backup

APC BE600M1 features make it the best UPS backup battery

  • Its 600 VA capacity provides battery backup for approximately ten minutes for my work from home setup. Of course, your results will vary based on what system you use. If you want to calculate what size backup battery you will need, here is an excellent formula
  • The APC BE600M1 has five battery backup outlets with surge protection. An additional two outlets with just surge protection. I like that a number of the outlets are placed apart from each other, so you have room for those chunky power blocks. 
  • It also has one additional USB 1.5A charger. Personally, that has no value for me, at least in my current setup.
  • Many UPS battery backups have replaceable batteries, and this model does. I heard of different reports on how long these batteries last, typically for many years. However, no matter how long your battery lasts, it’s great that you can replace the battery and not have to buy a completely new unit. 
  • The PowerChute software tells the UPS battery backup what to do when a power failure happens. You have many configuration options if you connect the UPS battery backup to your computer via the included USB cable. The software will also estimate the estimated battery time, along with energy costs and emissions. All In all, very helpful. 
  • Wall mounting slots. On the back of the UPS battery backup, you have two slots that you can use to mount this to the wall. Very handy. 

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best ups battery backup

In Summary

The APC BE600M1 could well be the best UPS battery backup for many humans working from home who don’t have access to reliable power. If you have ever lost work when your PC loses power, you can relate to the problem. It’s also worth mentioning that not shutting down your Windows PC can cause many problems for the operating system. Yet another good reason to purchase a UPS battery backup. So, this morning when I was boiling water, and the power went out, my PC just remained on. I had to reset the fuse box, and everything was fine.
For more details on the APC BE600M1, check out the other reviews on Amazon