If you are familiar with electronics such as networked surveillance cameras, you probably know that these kinds of electronics typically use two wired connections ― an electrical and a network one. The electrical connection provides the device with the power it needs to function, while the network connection allows it to communicate with the network.
Now, we’ve got some good news and bad news.
The good news is that a power-over-ethernet (PoE) connection provides both the power and the network capability in one ethernet cable. The bad news is installing both of them at once can be a bit pricey, which is why many people forego PoE connections altogether. However, you do not need to worry because we at Columbia Basin Satellite & Electric offer these services at affordable rates.
What is PoE?
Power over Ethernet, or more commonly PoE, provides up to 25 watts of electricity, along with the transmission of data, via an ethernet cable. A PoE system is composed of a powered device (e.g. network surveillance cameras), an ethernet cable and a PoE router (or switch). This saves money and time when it comes to installing cables. Since there are a variety of categories available (from 5 to 7a), there is no need for any special cable installations. But how does it really work?
How PoE Works
Most ethernet cables are composed of eight wires inside the protective layer. These small wires are twisted together into four pairs. Leaving the Gigabit Ethernet cables aside, only two pairs are used for data transfer while the other two remain idle.
These ‘idle’ wires carry the actual current and allow it to flow properly between powered devices. The two wire pairs also act as conductors, keeping the current flowing in a consistent loop. Note that carrying an electrical current always requires a minimum of two pairs.
Let’s move on to some of the benefits of using PoE systems.
Here are some of the benefits that make PoE a better choice over regular cabling:
If you’re installing PoE cables, you don’t need an electrician or electrical skills in order to install cables since both electricity and data is transmitted through a single ethernet cable. It also saves miles of cabling.
To be honest, PoE cables can be installed almost anywhere, since they don’t require an electrical outlet within close proximity.
The cost of maintenance for PoE cables is very low since you’re dealing with only a single cable. It also makes it easier for the devices to be relocated over time and allows the user to restart powered devices remotely using the existing network.
Psst… There’s a Catch
While there are many benefits of using PoE over a normal connection, the technology hasn’t been perfected yet and cannot be used for devices that require more than 25 watts of power. However, since it has proven to be an excellent choice for compatible devices, chances are, we will see more efficient and robust PoE cables soon.
How can I Upgrade it?
Upgrading PoE cables isn’t much of a hassle. All you need to do is call a POE installation professional and let them know what your requirements are. And the professional you need is here. Call 509-783-SAVE (7283) today.