Why use POE?
Specifying Power over Ethernet brings many advantages to an installation:
- Time and cost savings – by reducing the time and expense of having electrical power cabling installed. Network cables do not require a qualified electrician to fit them, and can be located anywhere.
Flexibility – without being tethered to an electrical outlet, devices such as IP cameras and wireless access points can be located wherever they are needed most, and repositioned easily if required.
Safety – POE delivery is intelligent, and designed to protect network equipment from overload, underpowering, or incorrect installation.
Reliability – POE power comes from a central and universally compatible source, rather than a collection of distributed wall adapters. It can be backed-up by an uninterruptible power supply, or controlled to easily disable or reset devices.
Scalability – having power available on the network means that installation and distribution of network connections is simple and effective.
Devices that use Power over Ethernet
POE has many applications, but the three key areas are:
- VoIP phones – the original POE application. Using POE means phones have a single connection to a wall socket, and can be remotely powered down, just like with the older analog systems.
IP cameras – POE is now ubiquitous on networked surveillance cameras, where it enables fast deployment and easy repositioning.
Wireless – Wifi and Bluetooth APs and RFID readers are commonly PoE-compatible, to allow remote location away from AC outlets, and relocation following site surveys.