With the evolution of various technologies, everything has become connected. The devices transfer huge chunks of data between each other resulting in better connectivity. The network connection hence becomes a major factor in this process. Power over Ethernet technology was developed as a standard for network devices.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology offers dual mode transmission of power as well as data. It thereby eliminates the need for a separate data cable and a power cable. As this technology is now getting popular, having some information about it will be beneficial for you. Hence we are going to explain PoE in detail in this article
Power Over Ethernet Technology (PoE)
Power over Ethernet technology was introduced to provide support to wireless devices while connecting to a wired network. It is a simple technology used to develop connections with LAN networks. This connection is made by using an Ethernet data cable. This cable not only transmits data but also powers the connected devices.
PoE helps in saving costs for extra power supply and eliminates the complex wiring system. This technology is compatible with various devices like CCTV cameras, VoIP phones, etc. Now that we have got a little idea about PoE, let us further discuss the working of this technology.
Working of PoE
Working with PoE technology is simple. The electricity has to pass through the ethernet cable and must be available for the connected device’s inlet. The core of the cable is made up of various wire configurations. The categories of cables help decide the data transmission speed. The power carrying wire is kept separate to avoid any type of signal interference in data transmission.
The device connects with the cable, may be a PoE-enabled device or not. In such a case, a PoE-enabled device needs no external modification to work with the ethernet cable. If the device is not compatible with PoE, an external device called a “picker” or “tap” can be used to separate the cable’s power.
Types Of PoE And Their Maximum Wattage Output
The PoE has been constantly getting upgraded since its inception in 2003. Every type offers upgraded factors like more power, data, and multiple device connectivity compared to their predecessors. These types are thoroughly explained below:
- Type 1 or standard PoE: This is the earliest iteration of PoE when it was launched. This type belongs to the standard IEEE 802.3af rating. It is capable of supplying 15.4W of power to the connected device. The power can be further divided with the help of two different pairs. It was compatible with the Cat3 cables.
- Type 2 or PoE+: The type 2 PoE is based on the ethernet standards, IEEE 802.3at. The maximum power output from the PoE+ is 30W. It is also able to split power like the type 1 PoE. Backward compatibility makes it easy to use it with previous generation PoE devices. It was compatible with the Cat5 cables.
- Type 3 or PoE ++: Type 3 PoE came with an upgraded 4-pair configuration. Hence it is used for high-performance applications that need good data transfer speed. It uses the IEEE 802.3bt standard. Maximum power output was also increased to 60W for the ports. The Cat5 or above versions of ethernet cables are suitable for this PoE version.
- Type 4 or High-Power PoE: Type 4 is the most recent version of PoE. It is also named the high-power PoE due to its high-power performance. Based on the latest IEEE 802.3bt standard, it can handle smart connectivity applications on a larger scale. The maximum power output of the type 4 PoE is 100W at the ports. It is compatible with the latest ethernet categories (cat5 to cat8 and above).
PoE Power Components
As the different types of PoE have different power outputs, the need for controlling this power to the connected devices becomes important. The PoEs are provided with two different components that help in handling the power and network connections.
A PoE Injector is a simple device that is connected to a power outlet. It also has inlet ports for ethernet cables. The other end of the injector has outlets through which ethernet cables can be connected to other devices. The injector converts a normal ethernet cable (not powered) into a power cable. Hence the output becomes suitable for both PoE compatible and non-compatible PoE devices.
The PoE splitter acts opposite of a PoE injector. It has two different outputs. One for data while the other one for power. The input for a splitter is a powered ethernet cable that contains both data and power. The splitter then splits it into two outputs. One cable becomes an unpowered ethernet cable and the other cable carries only power. This power cable then can be used to power a device that does not support PoE. It is usually used for remote devices.
Pros and Cons of PoE For Smart Homes
PoE is successfully used with the IoT and smart home applications. The latest generation gives it enough power to sync with smart homes and enhance the automation process. Some advantages and disadvantages of PoE technology for smart homes are discussed below. This will give you an idea of whether this technology suits your needs or not.
- The PoE technology is very easy to install and eliminates the need for power outlets
- It connects with almost every smart device in range and allows controls over the same
- Since it can transmit data and power, the cost of an external power cable is saved
- Embedded with various safety features, PoE senses power fluctuations and automatically stops the system from any hazard
- As the current generation of PoE is compatible with Cat5 and above ethernet cables, a data transmission speed of 5Gbps is easily achieved
- The encryption level is better on PoE and saves the data from any type of theft
- Since the PoE connection is centered, any failure will cause the failure of the whole network
- The range of the power transmission is low and needs an extension to further increase the range
- The older generations of PoE are not suitable for high-power applications
- The ethernet cables need to be professionally installed all over the house
- In case of network failure, security may collapse
PoE Devices For Home
Now that you have enough information about Power over Ethernet devices, choosing one for your application won’t be a hard task. Since the market is flooded with numerous pitons, we have selected some good PoE devices that will surely deliver the desired output.
TP-Link is one of the well-known manufacturers of network devices all over the world. With the help of feedback from consumers, its product range undergoes constant development.
The TL-PoE150S model from TP-Link is one of the best PoE injectors available in the market. It is compatible with various devices like cameras and many more. The maximum bandwidth offered by this option goes up to 1000Mb. It has a long range of 100 meters and hence can be used for smart homes. Based on the IEEE 802.3af standard, the maximum output goes up to 15.4W.
Netgear is a brand that focuses on smart home-oriented network devices. Being an innovative brand, it uses new technologies to develop its products.
The GS305P model from Netgear offers good connectivity. It has Ethernet ports capable of 5Gbps transmission speed. A total of 4 power ports are provided on this model that offers 55W of combined power. Compliant with the IEEE802.3az standards, it has good energy efficiency. The model also has metallic construction and a fanless design that works without making noises.
PoE Application For Smart Homes
The list of PoE-connected devices is increasing day by day as it has good compatibility with smart homes. We have therefore explained some PoE devices for smart homes. This will give you an idea of how PoE is present around us and adapt to every application.
- Security Cameras: These cameras are developed with compatibility with PoE technology. It offers remote access to these cameras. PoE is hence an essential factor of video surveillance.
- VoIP Phones: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones are used for making voice calls. They make use of internet connection with the help of PoE technology, instead of regular calling via analog lines.
- Motorized Blinds and Shades: The blinds and shades of a smart home window are paired with PoE for automatic opening and closing. It can be done by springing the blinds and shades with smart home networks and choosing triggers. These triggers activate when certain schedules or sunlight activity happens and automatically open and close the shades.
- Speakers: The speakers can also be paired with PoE. They use the same ethernet cable connection that supplies sound data and powers the speakers. It helps in installing the speakers anywhere without having to worry about the power outlet. The efficient data transmission also helps in maintaining a stable data transfer and streams music with zero lag.
- Doorbells: PoE doorbells are different from regular doorbells. They do not use the regular wiring setup as the wires are replaced by an Ethernet cable. This helps in supplying power to the bell and helps it connect to the centralized network system.
PoE has helped in enhancing the network connectivity for smart homes. It has also proven itself in saving your money by eliminating the need for extra power cables. We explained this technology in today’s article to make you familiar with the smart technologies around us. Keeping this discussion in mind, you can select a good PoE device for your smart homes and other applications.