Be the Expert: Power Over Ethernet


Technology is developing at a rate our ancestors would gawk at. Each day brings new patents, new inventions, new fads and new ideas to the forefront of the tech world. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with every new development. That’s why it’s important to get back to basics and review traditional technology. Being an expert on important basics gives you a solid foundation to answer some of your customers’ most important questions. All of that said, let’s dive into the wonders of Power over Ethernet (PoE).

What Is Power over Ethernet?

Before we get into some of the more technical aspects of Power over Ethernet (PoE), let’s define it. PoE is simply a technology that carries electricity and data over network cables. That’s it!

But what does that mean practically? Let’s break that down.

Let’s say you’re installing a security camera at a home or on the job. Most cameras normally require two connections: a power connection delivers power to the camera while a network connection delivers the camera’s information to the recording/display setup connection. In a PoE connection, one cable transfers both power and data to and from the camera.

The Pros of PoE

There are a number of reasons to upgrade or install PoE cabling:

  • PoE saves time and money. Since you’re installing one set of cabling instead of two, it’ll take half the time and only a portion of the cost that installing both electrical and network cabling would.
  • PoE is flexible. Since devices that use PoE don’t tether to electrical outlets, you can install them virtually anywhere. That helps avoid messy, difficult tangles.
  • PoE is safer than traditional wiring. PoE delivery protects equipment from electrical overload and underpowering. It even protects against incorrect installation!
  • It’s reliable. Since PoE power comes from a centralized source rather than random, outlying wall sockets, it backs up remotely and controls easily.
  • It’s scalable. This means that installation and distribution of connections throughout the network is simple but effective.

PoE Devices

While PoE integrates with a variety of different devices, a few are more common than others.

  • VoIP—Voice over Internet Protocol—phones are sort of the original PoE devices. These phones have a single connection, like other PoE devices, and power down remotely.
  • As mentioned above, IP cameras are some of the most commonly used PoE devices due to the ease of installation and upkeep when they’re combined with PoE cabling.
  • Wireless Access Points are commonly designed to be PoE compatible so that they can be placed anywhere they’re necessary.

Upgrading to PoE

Now that you know what PoE is, it’s benefits and some of the most popular PoE devices, you need to know how to install or upgrade PoE. PoE switchers are the most commonly used devices to bring PoE to an already existing network. However, PoE injectors are also an option for complicated systems that don’t need to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Be the Expert

Now that you know the fundamentals of Power over Ethernet technology, you’re ready to help customers and others make informed decisions when it comes to PoE tech and upgrades. And for all the latest in PoE devices, make sure to check out!

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