Business Insights

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a standard that makes it possible for Ethernet cables to simultaneously transmit data and power using a single network cable. It eliminates the cost of installing additional electrical wiring to operate your network devices such as VoIP telephones and IP cameras.

A VoIP telephone, for example, requires both electrical power and a data network connection to operate. With PoE, only the data network cable is required. PoE has helped VoIP transform business communication and reduce deployment costs.

Here’s how:

  • Cost Savings — Now you don’t need to add electrical outlets, extension cords or power strips to power VoIP telephones and other PoE-compliant network devices.
  • Dependability — PoE centralizes the source of electricity that powers telephones and other network devices. Connect a single UPS to your data network switch and telephones will be protected and operate through a power failure. Additionally, there are no more power cords or transformers under the desk that can be accidentally unplugged, shutting down a telephone.
  • Fast Implementation — All you need to do is install a PoE capable data network switch and all of your PoE-compliant network devices will operate as soon as you connect them to your network.
  • Flexibility — You have the freedom to install your PoE-compliant network devices anywhere there is a data network cable in your location(s), even outdoors. PoE is what makes it all “plug and play.” In addition, PoE can be run a distance of 330 feet and still deliver adequate power to a network device.
  • Growth — Adding new equipment to your network when your business grows is fast, easy, and painless.
  • Safety — In spite of the power PoE delivers, it’s done at such a low voltage making it less of an electrical hazard than extra cords and power strips under the desk.

PoE can be used with any device that requires both power and a network connection. Here are the primary areas in which PoE is used:

VoIP phones are the most common use of PoE. With PoE, your telephones have a single connection to a wall socket.

IP cameras rely on PoE. Because the PoE-powered devices can be put at any location with a data cable in and around a building, it’s easy to install or move cameras as necessary.

Wireless networking is significantly enhanced by the use of PoE. Wi-Fi Access
Points and RFID readers are typically PoE compatible. This allows you to install devices away from AC outlets.

You can add PoE to your network pretty easily. Simply connect other network devices to the PoE switch (which is a data network switch). The switch will automatically determine whether the devices are PoE compatible.

Depending on the needs of your business and your network, you can get PoE switches to fit a wide number of applications. Some switches might have a few PoE capable ports. Others can provide up to 48 PoE capable data ports, are rack-mounted, and can be clustered together to support an unlimited number of network devices.

Whenever you are preparing to upgrade or expand your data network infrastructure, consider implementing PoE capable network switches. They may cost a little more up front, but will provide a significant return on investment when deploying PoE compliant network devices.