Power over Ethernet

PoE power and data over ethernet

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology for wired ethernet local area networks (LANs) that allows the electrical current (necessary for the operation of each device) to be carried by the data cables. Using PoE minimizes the number of wires that must be used in order to install the network.

PoE was originally developed to support devices like WiFi access points (APs) and IP phones. PoE made AP installations easier and more flexible, especially on ceilings. For PoE to work, the electrical current must go into the data cable at the power supply end, and come out at the device end, in such a way that the current is kept separate from the data signal so that neither interferes with the other. 

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PoE (Type 1) for low powered devices

PoE utilizes two pairs to connect many types of lower-powered devices to the network. Based on the initial IEEE 802.3af-2003 standard, it provides up to 15.4W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 12.95W of power for each device).

PoE Type 1 can support devices such as VoIP phones, sensors/meters, basic access points and simple, static surveillance cameras that don’t pan, tilt or zoom.

PoE+ (Type 2) for higher powered devices

Higher-powered devices are connected to the network using PoE, based on the IEEE 802.3at-2009 standard. It is backward compatible (meaning that it can also support the types of devices typically supported by PoE), and provides 30W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 25.5W of power for each device). PoE+ can support devices such as more complex surveillance cameras that pan, tilt or zoom, as well as advanced wireless access points, LCD displays, biometric sensors and tablets. 

PoE++ (Type 3) 4-pair

4-pair PoE uses all four pairs in a copper cable. It provides 60W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 51W of power for each device). 4-pair POE can support devices such as videoconferencing system components and building management devices. (info draft 2018) Higher-power PoE (Type 4) Growing power requirements of network devices are pushing the need for higher power delivered through network cabling, which is where Higher-power PoE comes into play. It provides up to 100W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 71W of power for each device). PoE Type 4 can support devices such as laptops and TVs (info draft 2018).

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