It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Your internet during a power cut....can it work on a generator?

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:10 AM
I have little knowledge of how the internet works beyond my computer and modem, so i ask this question so i can get an answer about what can be expected during a power cut as far as internet access is concerned.

At present in my house, if the electric goes, so does the net. The battery is not working on the laptop so mains power is all i have to keep it going.

I am looking at getting a generator, something that will have a couple of sockets on it for things like the fridge freezer, and maybe the computer if i need to keep up to date of any news.

However i would like to know if just creating a power socket is enough for the net? I'm talking about a local power cut, say if our village was cut off, or even my street. Will i still get the signals from outside sufficient to get the net?

Is there anything i need to be aware of? What does net access to my computer depend on?

Thanks for any advice, i know this sounds basic to some of you, but like i say i don't know how it all works.


posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:13 AM

Originally posted by CX
Is there anything i need to be aware of? What does net access to my computer depend on?CX.

How do you get your internet, via ADSL or cable? If via ADSL, powering your modem may get the internet back, if cable it is unlikely. It depends how widespread and the duration of the power outage.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:15 AM
It depends.... I know, that's the worst answer isn't it?

During our Ice storm here, the power lines went down all over. The CABLE lines did not. That left an odd situation where 98% of the city couldn't use it....but if you could power your modem and computer, the cable line coming in had internet on it just fine. The generator worked for that.

In Occupy, we were using Verizon hot spots and tethering cell phones to laptops so the cell phone formed the modem. As long as the phone and laptop stayed charged, the net was up and running fine. Another solution would be Satellite...but staying in the realm of what most people have, it just depends on whether the company and/or hard lines carrying it are intact and running. Hope that helps

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:19 AM
We ran our modem and a computer on a 1.200 watt generator that only cost $200. Anything big enough to run a whole house would be much larger and expensive.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:29 AM
About the generator

You need to calculate how many Watts you will want to operate with this generator. A fridge is a quite of a lot of wattage. Add that to you computer wattage and a few lights, you will prbanly need a little hefty of a generator. Probably at least 3 to 5 thousand Watts. You want the one that will do the job otherwise it will be useless.

I don't know anything about internet connection sorry.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:33 AM
reply to post by CX

It depends on the size of the outrage and the type of connection you have. If you power your modem and are on cable you could probably get online.

ADSL through existing copper wiring may not work in a big power outrage as the phone line carries 48 volts DC.
(In the UK at least, not sure across the pond).
edit on 4/11/2012 by Grifter81 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:40 AM
Some generators do NOT produce they type of waveform that will safely power a computer. Modified sine waves can damage electronics so you must get the right type (pure sine wave or use a filter that smoothes out the wave and modifies it to proper wave form). My girlfriend's son used a cheap China made one and ruined a laptop. APU's can help for a while and may be safer to recharge and reuse than using the wrong generator on your computer.


posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:51 AM
Mine is via ADSL, thank you for these replies, they are most helpful.

I know my phone line works when there is a small scale power cut, as i have one of the old style plug in phones let in my cupboard for such events. The modem plugs into there so i wasn't sure what was possible for me.

Thanks again, especially the info on generators.


posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 04:27 AM
A typical desktop computer uses about 65 to 250 watts.
Add another 15-70 watts for an LCD monitor, or about 80 watts if you have an old-school 17" CRT
laptops about 200-250 you can look on the sticker to see.

Modems have no backup battery for the internet , the battery inside most isp modems is only for the phone, for emergency use. There are no redundancy put in place for internet on the modem like for phone. You could easily run a modem and a laptop off a generator with a surge protector with out issue, but if the power at the sub station that the internet goes through goes down then that's that you would want to try a hotspot wifi off of your phone. with 3g hotspots as long as you have cell power and cell signal you can get on the internet, so it may be a better idea to just keep a cell phone with hotspot charging on a generator then a modem going all the time. A cell phone hotspot will create a wifi signal you can then attach any wireless device to and access the internet, it is slower speed, but it gets the job done. For most smart phones its a free app download to get the hotspot app. from there you just set it up , and attach your devices, mind you it will use your data plan on your phone so if your limited you may run your bill up
edit on 4-11-2012 by PurpleErp because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 04:37 AM
I have a backup battery for my system, it will run my setup for about 2 hours. That way I never lose work due to an outage, enough time to save even complex scenes. Anyways, as long as the cable didn't go out, the net still works with the battery running it(cable modem obviously), which is maybe 50% of the time. A lot of times if something takes out the power lines, the cable line goes with it, but not always.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 04:43 AM
reply to post by PurpleErp

Problem is most UK networks don't allow WiFi tethering from phones these days. He would have to buy a standalone 3g modem and a data plan or a pay and go 3g sim to have on standby.
edit on 4/11/2012 by Grifter81 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:04 AM
Assuming the power outage is localized that is what you need:

a DIY long range wi-fi antenna

Then obviously you'd have to possibly crack the wep key to access the web etc.. so you'd need linux backtrack or else
edit on 4-11-2012 by themaster1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:05 AM
The question is does the internet system have power and did Gov leave it on.

Likely Gov will turn it off.

If you want to talk to your friends, use radio. Don't have a 20 meter radio in your car?

Why not??

The toystore


posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 08:09 AM

Originally posted by liejunkie01
About the generator

You need to calculate how many Watts you will want to operate with this generator. A fridge is a quite of a lot of wattage. Add that to you computer wattage and a few lights, you will probably need a little hefty of a generator. Probably at least 3 to 5 thousand Watts. You want the one that will do the job otherwise it will be useless.

I don't know anything about internet connection sorry.

You would be surprised, I bought a large chest freezer from Sears three years ago and it is set to hover around zero degrees Fahrenheit. It would need to warm up 25-30 degrees before I had to worry. I have a watt meter and while it doesn't run much when it is running it uses right at 75 watts. My refrigerator/freezer uses a lot more, about triple, and more than doubles with the doors open and all the lights (at least 6) on in there. You need some cushion as they take moire energy to start. A thousand watts and I could run both assuming they don't both try to start at the exact same time, my computer, the TV and several fluorescent lights

Wrabbit is right about most of us losing power but not cable internet. I had a neighbor who thought it couldn't happen to us because we had underground utilities, I had to explain that they went underground at the end of the street. I lost power for a few hours, but others were without much longer with some warehouses within a mile out 2-3 weeks.

That storm made a believer out of me. I bought a 6.5 kilowatt diesel that I can run at least a month before I need more oil to service it or fuel to operate it. I bet there are hundreds or more likely thousands of people in the North West US that have generators that are now not running because they had only enough fuel to run it for a day. My brother-in-law brought a gasoline one home and put it under a heavy load immediately without breaking it in first and trashed it really fast, I imagine a lot of them are in the same situation.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 08:53 AM
For ADSL to function, your local gateway and the telco switches have to be operating.

The local gateway is a computer set out beside the road at various locations. Those are the weak link. April 27, 2011, when we lost power for 5 days, they also lost power. Typically a gateway link is the last thing in an area to lose power (they are tied directly into the main transformers around here), but it is possible.

The switching equipment at the telco is a little more secure. Most have emergency backup generators that power the lines and equipment even when regular power is out. That's why the phone lines work during a power outage.


posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 09:45 AM
This has more to do with phones but might be something somebody can use
How to use the Internet when the Internet is gone

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 10:11 AM
There is three points in the equation.
Your DSL modem.
The DSLAM (digital subscriber line access multiplexer) (pronounced D-Slam)along the road.
And finally, the central office.

The central office and everything past it will have full battery and generator backup, so that is not an issue here.
Your DSL modem can be ran by generator or other form of backup at your house.

That leaves the DSLAM.
Pretty much all DSLAMs have an internal battery backup. And they have provisions for connecting an external generator if needed. The question is how long that battery backup last. Well, that depends. The load on the batteries depends on how much equipment is in the DSLAM. That depends on how many customers it is serving. A fully loaded unit may have around 8+ hours of run time before it falls flat. A relatively lightly loaded unit like the one that serves my area out in the country side was running fine 24 hours after the last wide spread outage happened. And it wasn’t being ran by generator at the time. By that time, the cell phone system had already ceased functioning. That happened somewhere around hour 7 of the outage.

The DSLAM that runs this area may be an odd one where they doubled up on the batteries in it, or what not, because it was in an out of the way place. But none the less, the one we have can hold out at least 24 hours without power.

new topics

top topics


log in