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Glossary: Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet is a technology which allows a user to transfer both power and data over an Ethernet cable. This technology can be found in IP cameras more and more with most of the latest models now supporting it as standard. PoE comes in useful when there are no power outlets near the point of installation and because no further power outlets are needed, PoE is quicker and easier to use and can reduce the cost of an installation substantially.

There are a few different ways in which PoE can be set up. The first way involves having a PoE compatible router or switch at the heart of the network. The router or switch connect to the IP camera and provide both data and power. This means customers will not have to buy individual PoE devices for every IP camera connected.

The second method is to add a PoE midspan in between a non PoE router and a PoE ready IP camera. The midspan has inputs for both data and the power supply, and an Ethernet output that carries both power and data to the IP camera. This lets you add individual PoE ready IP cameras to your network without requiring a PoE router or switch.

The third setup involves using a non PoE ready IP camera. A PoE router or switch can be made to supply both power and data to a non PoE ready IP camera by using a PoE splitter. A PoE splitter is placed on the network between a PoE router or switch and a non PoE ready IP camera. It then separates the power and data so they can be connected to separate inputs on a non PoE IP camera.

Published on July 1st, 2008 by James Drinkwater

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