What Is Power Over Ethernet?


Power Over Ethernet (typically abbreviated to PoE) is a technology that sends electrical power along an ethernet cable, along with the usual flow of data. PoE has a wide range of uses in business networks, most notably in running devices — such as VoIP phones, network routers, or public address systems — without a requirement for dedicated power cabling.


How Does Power Over Ethernet Work?


Power Over Ethernet works by acquiring power from a specialized switch (a device that coordinates data and power through an array of ethernet cables) to a compatible device. While only a modest amount of power can be sent through a standard PoE setup — roughly 70 watts of DC power — this is ample power for smaller to medium network devices.


Benefits of Power Over Ethernet


Here are the main benefits your business can gain from PoE technology:

  • Simplicity: Let’s say you are using PoE technology to power VoIP phones and WiFi access points in your office. None of these devices will require an AC adapter. Nor will a technician be required to physically wire power of any kind to such devices. This technology, therefore, paves the way for greatly simplifying the technology needed to run your equipment.
  • Savings: The simplicity of PoE leads naturally to reduced costs. Every additional cable on-site requires an initial purchase, installation (often through walls and other physical barriers), and ongoing upkeep. PoE technology takes these costs out of the equation. Also, PoE is an energy-efficient protocol, meaning it operates at a lower energy cost.
  • Versatility: Should any of your team members ever need to move equipment physically, this can be achieved with relative ease when your only required connection point is an ethernet port. PoE allows your office layout and the physical organization of your team to be reconfigured quickly and efficiently.


Uses for Power Over Ethernet


You can use Power Over Ethernet to set up flexible working spaces that can be configured and reconfigured with ease. The technology also opens up new opportunities for energy-efficient and lower maintenance overhead offices, making it an excellent option for businesses seeking ways to lower their costs.

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