Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a relatively new technology that most people are still unfamiliar with. In simple terms, PoE lets you transmit electricity through your regular network cable. This device can power IP cameras, access points, VOIP phones, and even LED lighting systems. Gone are the days of setting up a separate network connection and AC wiring. While PoE is a solution that will make wiring your network hassle-free, there are still important things you need to consider before buying them. Here are some of them.
You need to ensure that your devices are PoE compatible. You may run into some trouble if you’re device isn’t meant to be used with PoE. The good news, however, is more and more manufacturers are now creating devices with PoE in mind so that inexperienced users can use them with ease.
Also, be sure about the level or amount of power you will need as this will dictate the correct PoE device you need to get. The following are the types of PoE standards:
- Type 1 IEEE 802.3af – Powers up to 15.4 W
- Type 2 IEEE 802.3at – Powers up to 30.7 W
- Type 3 Ultra PoE/ 802.3bt – Powers up to 60 W
- Type 4 IEEE 802.3bt – Powers to 95 W
For example, if you are left with legacy devices that you want to connect using PoE, you can opt to get a device with IEEE 802.3bt standards. This technology will let you connect even older devices that are not PoE compliant through the use of a splitter.
Ideally, you would want to use PoE in a small local area network, such as your home or a small office. This is because gigabit ethernet cabling is only effective within 320 feet. This kind of restriction can be a challenge for those using PoE on a larger scale.
However, if you are keen on using this technology in a larger area, you have the option to buy a PoE extender. Extenders will expand the network coverage without sacrificing the quality of the connection. Some extenders can even cover up to 4,000 feet without the risk of disconnection.
PoEs are convenient to use as there is no need for you to set up a different wiring. However, make sure that you have a compatible device and a connection that is safe and reliable.
Safety and Performance
Just like when dealing with AC wiring, PoE cabling also needs proper installation. High-current PoE such as those that are used in smart homes brings about necessary cabling and connectivity considerations. These considerations must be addressed in order to ensure network performance. High-powered PoE should be paired with high-performance cabling and connectivity. Doing so will help you manage safety and performance issues, such as the following:
- Increased temperature in cable bundles
- Poor heat distribution
- Connector damage caused by curving or arcing
Look out for PoEs that guarantees safety without compromising connectivity. It’s also important to note that while installation is relatively easy even for inexperienced users, getting an expert to install this device in your home or office is often advised.
If you’re still unconvinced on why you should install a PoE, here are some benefits that are worth looking at.
- Money and time savings – You don’t have to worry about adding more power outlets, which can be costly. With PoE, you can power several devices with basic cable wires.
- Flexibility – Because your devices are not tethered to a power cable, you can position them in various ways. This feature comes in handy when dealing with IP cameras.
- Safe – Some PoEs are intelligent enough to protect cables from overloading and incorrect installation. Because it’s also coming from one single power source, it’s more economical and helps conserve energy.
- Scalable – When you have power running through the same network cables you have, you can extend your network into a more significant area without having to worry about anything.
Power over Ethernet has come a long way since its introduction in 1998. It is still a new technology for some, and most people have underlying hesitations when using them. However, what these people don’t realize is the flexibility and versatility this technology can provide and not to mention the money that can be saved from all the wiring. Make sure to think of these considerations when buying a PoE.