Two-Day Internet Outage Reminds Us to Back up, Protect, Have a Plan

September 02, 2015

By Michelle Amodio - Power Protection Contributor

While power outages are about a dime a dozen regardless of climate or geographical location, Internet outages are probably less talked about, but they can be just as devastating. If you’re in the business of keeping records stored digitally or using the Internet to run your business entirely, then even a 10-minute outage can put a huge dent in your productivity. Imagine, then, having to do without Internet connectivity for two days. That’s what happened to the folks in north-central Minnesota, whose Internet went kaput after an accidental cut to a fiber line.

According to local news sources, CenturyLink (News - Alert) customers were affected when a third-party vendor cut a fiber line, leaving 2,197 DSL Internet customers, both residential and business, without connectivity.

For businesses, each hour lost is potentially thousands of lost revenue dollars and the potential to lose returning customers. No one wants to think about it, but the Internet will go out, just like power outages.  Many companies today offer the ability to switch to 3G and 4G modem in case broadband fails. This enables businesses to continue running transactions, like charging credit cards, process reservations, or put food orders through. But before the Internet goes dark, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan, much like you would for a power outage, to ensure your data stays safe and unaffected.

Some options to keep going when there is no service include tethering your mobile device, setting up a shared network so that you can still work offline and update as soon as you’re back up, or turn your computer into a hotspot. Aside from these options, you can also hunt for Wi-Fi, but if an entire community is out, you may be out of luck there.

One reason you might lose important data, however, is due to a connection failure. Backups are a way to protect the investment in data. By having several copies of the data, it does not matter as much if one is destroyed.

Outages of any sort feel like doom and gloom and could be hard to take, but a little planning means you can reduce the potential disaster of hardware failure to a mere inconvenience.

Having a backup plan for your backup is key, specifically in the form of power protection.

In addition to regular system backups, companies should seek uninterruptable power supply (UPS) devices to provide emergency power when power fails. The most obvious advantage of an uninterruptible power supply is, of course, the maintenance of power.

A UPS is an electrical piece of machinery that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source fails.

Downtime means lost revenue. Lost revenue means dealing with a whole slew of setbacks that can be difficult to recover from. Protect yourself from outages with the right solutions before they happen. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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