What is Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE)?

09/29/2020 | by Josh Yarbrough

What is Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE)?

What is Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE)?

Ethernet is the cabling standard used for networking computers and printers. Power over Ethernet, or PoE, allows a single cable to carry both network data and power.  This method eliminates the need for a second cable just for power.  Examples of practical uses are security cameras installed on poles and sides of buildings, as well as wireless access points (usually hanging on walls and ceilings in businesses and medical environments).

When should it be used?

PoE is most popular in situations where getting power to a device is very difficult. Attempting to provide electricity to certain locations such as those examples mentioned above can be very difficult or nearly impossible in some cases. That is where PoE comes in. Using this technology, you get power to your device while eliminating a second cable. This is a refreshing concept in a world full of cabling. Another great way to utilize this technology is by using a PoE enabled network switch and plugging your devices into this. When used in combination with a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), you get a more reliable network that is almost immune to power dips and outages.

Hang on a second

Not everything will work with this technology standard because the device must be PoE compatible. There are also cases where the voltage and amperage are different between vendors.  PoE devices get their power from what is known as a power injector. This could be in the form of a PoE switch or a standalone box that is plugged inline between the network and the device. Not every power injector will work with every PoE device so make sure and match up the device with its appropriate injector. When in doubt, check the device’s documentation and if you can’t get answers there, contact the manufacturer.

Have questions that weren’t answered here? Need assistance with implementation of this technology? Give the technology experts at SandStorm IT a call at 901-475-0275. We are more than happy to help!

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