APC Network Battery Backup + Mobile Power Pack Review: Keep Your Network Alive

Isn’t it aggravating when you’re working on something important, the power goes out, and you lose your laptop’s internet connectivity? Sure, you could use your mobile phone as a hotspot if you’ve got a tethering data plan, but if your modem and router were plugged into the APC Network Battery Backup + Mobile Power Pack, you wouldn’t have to.

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The APC Network Battery Backup + Mobile Power Pack features:

  • 2+ hours of network backup power keeps you connected to the internet during storms and outages.
  • Removable battery pack charges a smartphone five times before needing to recharge itself.
  • Convenient mobile charging via three USB ports, including a smart charging port that recognizes connected devices to maximize charging speed.

The Network Battery Backup isn’t something you want to plug your laptop or other power-hungry device into — it is specifically for low-power devices that use 50 watts of power or less — devices such as your modems, gateways, routers, cordless phone base units, and VoIP base units. The backup unit is designed to automatically shut itself down to protect itself if or when the load becomes greater than 50Watts.

Inside the box are the UPS main unit, a power plug, a microUSB cable, an 11,400mAh removable power pack, four white plastic stabilizer feet/wall mounts (screws not included), a user manual product registration, and warranty information.

Let’s start with the backup power device. Measuring approximately 7.75″ tall by 7″ deep by 2.25″ wide, its body is composed of shiny white plastic with a green colored accent around the hole where the battery pack inserts.

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Each unit comes with its factory quality test information taped to the plastic film covering the backup device.

There is one built-in 1A USB port on the front of the main unit above the power button, and on the back, there are two grounded power outlets that rotate 90º and 45º to minimize adapter plug interference. Whether the removable Li-Ion battery is inserted in the main unit or not, anything plugged into the main unit will have surge protection.

This is the removable 11,400mAh power pack; it is also composed of shiny white plastic, and it measures approximately 5″ long by 3″ wide by 1″ thick.

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There are two USB ports on the side, a 2.4A high-speed charger, and a 1A charger; there are also five LED lights above the ports that show the remaining battery life in fifths (20% per light shown) when the power button is pressed. The power pack will automatically charge when it is inserted in the main unit, but it can also be charged via microUSB cable.

When you’re home, the power pack goes in the APC Network Battery Backup device, and it is kept charged and ready for any power outages, rolling blackouts, brownouts, or whatever might occur. If you’re like me, you’ll already have your desktop or laptop plugged into an APC surge-protected backup battery under your desk (we have a couple of APC NS1350 units spread around our house for our larger electronics in case of storms or power outages), so now you’ll also have the same protection on your network. The difference between this and the other APC backup power solutions, however, is that the power pack portion of this device is easily removed and taken with you when you need it.

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At 11,400mAh, the APC power pack is large enough to charge just about any mobile phone up to four times, which is pretty handy for long days away from an outlet. If it seems weird to take the battery portion of the Network Battery Backup along with you, consider this: It shouldn’t matter. If your power goes out, your WiFi connected video doorbell, thermostat, Nest Camera, and any WiFi connected lights aren’t going to work anyway. And if someone is still at home who might need to access the internet? Well, in that case, you can always pick up a spare power pack; they can be had for ~$80.

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Power outages are more common where I live than I’d like, but the ability to keep my network up and stay in contact with others for at least a couple more hours (hopefully long enough to get the power back up in most situations) is reassuring. The ability to pull out the power pack and bring it along is pretty cool, too!

The APC Network Battery Backup + Mobile Power Pack retails for $139.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer as well as from other retailers including Amazon for $109.99 [affiliate link].

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Powerful enough to keep your network up for about 2 – 2.5 hours during a blackout; Removable 11,400mAh power pack; Constant surge protection for any devices plugged into the UPS, Can be mounted on a desk or wall

What Needs Improvement: Nothing, it works as advertised

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.