What is PoE or PoE Ethernet?

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What is PoE? or PoE Ethernet

Power Over Ethernet (PoE) PoE Extender


Key Benefits of PoE Ethernet
  • Time and Cost Savings – PoE Ethernet or Power Over Ethernet (PoE) makes installing or expanding a network much simpler and cheaper in buildings where it is too expensive or inconvenient to install new power lines
  • Flexibility – Enable-IT PoE Ethernet enables network installers to overcome the distance limitations of PoE Ethernet or Power Over Ethernet (PoE) easily, meaning that IP cameras, wireless access points, and other POE-powered network devices can be located right where they are needed.
  • 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.

Defining PoE or or PoE Ethernet

Enable-IT PoE Extender PoE Ethernet

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a networking feature defined by the IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at standards. PoE lets Ethernet cables supply power to network devices over the existing data connection.

The latest update to PoE is the IEEE 802.3at standard, known as PoE+. The major difference between 802.3af (PoE) and 802.3at (PoE+) is that PoE+ PSEs can provide almost twice as much power over a single Ethernet cable – PoE Ethernet. Because PoE allows you to use one cable for both power and data transmission, PoE saves you money on purchasing and running cable for networking equipment and VoIP phones. PoE makes installing or expanding a network much simpler and cheaper in buildings where it is too expensive or inconvenient to install new power lines.

What kind of wiring is used with PoE?

Network cables, such as Cat 5e and Cat 6, comprise eight wires arranged as four twisted pairs. In 10 and 100BASE-T Ethernet, two of these pairs are used for sending information, and these are known as the data pairs. The other two pairs are unused and are referred to as the spare pairs (Gigabit Ethernet uses all four pairs).

How does PoE work?

Because electrical currents flow in a loop, two conductors are required to deliver power over a cable. POE treats each pair as a single conductor, and can use either the two data pairs or the two spare pairs to carry electrical current. Power over Ethernet is injected onto the cable at a voltage between 44 and 57 volts DC, and typically 48 volts is used. This relatively high voltage allows efficient power transfer along the cable, while still being low enough to be regarded as safe.

This voltage is safe for users, but it can still damage equipment that has not been designed to receive POE.  Therefore, before a POE switch or midspan (known as a PSE, for power sourcing equipment) can enable power to a connected IP camera or other equipment (known as a PD, for powered device), it must perform a signature detection process. Signature detection uses a lower voltage to detect a characteristic signature of IEEE-compatible PDs (a 25kOhm resistance).  Once this signature has been detected, the PSE knows that higher voltages can be safely applied. Enable-It revolutionized the industry by reaching further distances than anyone ever could by making Power Over Ethernet drive up to 4,000ft.

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