Frequently Asked Questions About PoE (Power Over Ethernet)
What is Power Over Ethernet?
As technology improves, new innovations lead to cost and space-saving improvements and Power Over Ethernet is a great example of that.
Power Over Ethernet refers to any standard or ad-hoc systems which pass an electric current along with data on twisted pair Ethernet cabling rather than send power through a separate wire.
Power Over Ethernet devices receive power and data through the same cable.
How does it work?
The networking feature Power Over Ethernet lets network cables carry electrical power over an existing data connection typically with either a Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable.
This is accomplished by sending power as a common-mode signal over two or more of the differential pairs of wires inside Ethernet cables.
The power comes from a power supply within a PoE networking device such as an Ethernet switch or a midspan power supply.
While most new smart devices are PoE compatible, legacy equipment that is not PoE compliant will require an injector or a splitter.
Is it safe?
Power Over Ethernet is considered safe since the power injected into the cable is typically only a voltage between 44 and 57 volts DC with the average voltage being 48.
This is within the range of what is low enough to be considered safe.
To put that in perspective, a typical AC power cable carries what is considered high voltage power that is usually around 1000 volts but can be up to 6000.
In comparison, the Power Over Ethernet technology is actually quite safe.
How easy to install?
Installing Power Over Ethernet is preferential to the conventional method of powering smart devices since it effectively eliminates half of the necessary cables.
Since there is no longer a need for a power cord, only the Ethernet cable has to be installed.
Simply plug one end of the Ethernet cable to your PoE ready smart device and plug the other end into your Ethernet switch or power supply.
The Ethernet switch or power supply will need to be plugged directly into your internet source as well as an AC outlet.
From there, the power and data will be transmitted along a single Cat5e or Cat6 cable.
What devices use PoE?
Power Over Ethernet is commonly used to carry electrical power to devices such as terminals, cameras, IP phones, LAN access points, access control models, management stations, point of sale kiosks, security access controls, digital signs, smart clocks, and more.
New smart devices are being invented all the time and are frequently being added to the list of PoE compatible equipment.
Does PoE require a special cable?
The beauty of Power Over Ethernet is that it uses the standard 802.3af designation which allows it to function with any Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable.
Cat5e and Cat6 are the most commonly used Ethernet cables in both households and offices.
As long as your Ethernet cable is Cat5e or Cat6 you will be able to take advantage of Power Over Ethernet devices.
Who might use PoE?
Everyone from individuals to large companies can benefit from Power Over Ethernet.
Whether you are looking to install a new home security camera or setting up a new series of management stations in the office, Power Over Ethernet can offer advantages.
It is especially helpful when you’re trying to cut back on the number of wires in your home and in a business setting it can eliminate costly issues which can stem from having an extra loop in the troubleshooting process.
What is the maximum range of the cables?
The maximum range of Power Over Ethernet technology is limited to the effective range of Ethernet cables which is currently limited to 100 meters.
This limit can actually be extended by using an Ethernet extender for PoE equipment.
This device would need to be purchased separately and allows the user to plug two Ethernet cables together from end to end.
Advantages and Disadvantages (compared to 110V and WiFi)
Power over Ethernet offers the distinct advantage of allowing installation of remote or outdoor equipment without having to connect to an AC power cable.
This allows equipment to be installed without having to install additional electrical systems and eliminates the need for power outlets at each end point.
While Power over Ethernet is limited to half of the voltage of 110V devices, it does provide a more stable and reliable connection than WiFi.
This helps contribute to green living by reducing the amount of copper used in buildings effectively reducing the carbon footprint.
While there are clear benefits to Power over Ethernet, there are also some limitations but not many.
These include being limited to the 100-meter length of Ethernet cables, some devices are not compatible or require additional equipment, and some limitations to the number of volts that can be transmitted which makes some legacy equipment incompatible.
Common problems of PoE
While Power over Ethernet was created to improve efficiency and reduce the number of required cables, it is not without issues.
These issues can include signal interference since most Power over Ethernet applications are DC.
This can cause problems in systems where power wires and signal wires are designed to function separately.
When the power and data are transmitted through a single wire there can be signal loss and interference when the load rapidly turns on and off or uses AC power.
Ethernet cables are designed to experience a certain amount of voltage and when PoE applications increase the voltage the stress can cause the electrical contacts to wear out faster.
The current voltage limitations of PoE will affect certain systems differently than others but the technology and the devices that use it are still being improved.
The Best Outdoor Surveillance Camera: SV3C POE Camera, 1080P
The SV3C wired home surveillance camera utilizes the new POE (Power Over Ethernet) technology for powering the camera through the Ethernet connection.
No longer is a battery or a power cable required.
The SV3C POE IP outdoor security camera is also waterproof and uses a single cat5 cable for both power and data transmission reducing the number of wires required by up to half.
The SV3C is the all-around best outdoor performer in each category from storage, to resolution, and quality.
It records in full 1920 by 1080p through a 3.6MM fixed lens with its superior full HD 2 Megapixel resolution.
Utilize the easy to setup POE camera either outdoors or indoors and see up to 20 meters in complete darkness thanks to its 6 infrared LED lights fixed around the lens.
The camera can endure wet conditions such as rain and even snow since it is enclosed in an IP66 waterproof aluminum case.
The SV3C can seamlessly stream video with advanced 3D dynamic noise reduction technology for an extra clear image.
One advantage to using the SV3C is the wired Power Over Ethernet technology which provides a more stable connection than a WiFi device.
This affordable home security camera is also Onvif NVR compatible with Blue Iris, Ispy, Zoneminder, Security Spy, VLC and other third-party software that helps you manage your security system.
The SV3C also boasts a 70-90 degree viewing angle and a frame rate up to 25 fps so you don’t have to worry about getting only a few blurry frames at a time.
Another notable aspect of the SV3C is that it is capable of operating in -30C to -50C temperatures and compressing video in the H.264 format and AVI formats.
It should be noted that since this camera utilizes POE technology it does not require an SD slot and does not record audio.
The Best Indoor Surveillance Camera: Arlo Q Plus
The Arlo Q Plus is a standout option among the wide swath of available options in the home surveillance camera market.
The camera stands out for a number of reasons, most notably is the use of the POE (Power Over Ethernet) technology which allows it to receive power and data transmission through the same cat5 Ethernet cable.
The Arlo Q Plus POE camera is an excellent candidate for indoor home security and excels in convenience thanks to its Alexa voice control compatibility.
An Alexa device is sold separately but once you pair the Arlo Q Plus with Alexa you will have the option to control the camera with your voice.
The Arlo Q Plus also excels at capturing a wide angle thanks to its 130-degree lens and night vision compatibility.
Program the Arlo Q Plus to alert you as soon as it picks up movement and record directly to a local device through any cat5 Ethernet cable.
This camera is able to record audio in addition to video and contains a built-in mic and speaker which enables it to act in a push-to-talk capacity.
Being able to speak directly with someone in your home or a pet is a handy function and gives you the ability to check in on your home as if you were there.
When you purchase the Arlo Q Plus, you will get 7 days of free cloud storage.
It is also compatible with Amazon Echo, Show, Fire TV, and Google Assistant for maximum smart home functionality.
Other unique features of the Arlo Q Plus POE camera include Samsung SmartThings which adds powerful intelligence to the camera capable of detecting people in specific zones and contacting emergency responders from your smartphone’s lock screen.
Samsung SmartThings is an optional service but a 1-month free trial comes with the Arlo Q Plus.
Best PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom): Amcrest ProHD 1080P POE
If you are seeking a home security camera with the ability to look around the room and zoom in then look no further, the Amcrest ProHD 1080P POE is the best in its class.
The new ProHD 1080P home security camera from Amcrest stands out for its ability to control the lens with its Pan/Tilt/Zoom functionality as well as utilize POE (Power Over Ethernet) for both power and data transmission through a single cat5 cable.
Gone are the days when you had to run multiple wires to set up a home security camera.
The Amcrest ProHD 1080P PoE receives all the power it sends through the same cable it sends it’s footage to the cloud or local device with.
It comes with a stylish white casing with a fully rotatable lens mount which can move on a Z, X and Y axis giving you the ability to see even the most obscure corner of a room.
This Power Over Ethernet camera eliminates the need for a power cable altogether and can send 1080P Video at 30 frames per second over a high-speed Ethernet cable.
Potential buyers should be aware that utilizing the POE technology does require a separate POE Injector or POE Switch to operate which can be purchased separately.
Amcrest recommends using the Amcrest POE Switch/Injector or POE NVR to get power to the camera but any POE power supply will do.
Setting up the Amcrest ProHD 1080P POE home surveillance camera is simple with the Quick Power Over Ethernet Setup guide available on both Apple and Android devices.
This camera not only lets you move the viewing angle in real time with its motorized lens mount but it also allows you to stream high definition video directly to any smartphone, tablet, Mac, or Windows PC.
Best DVR (Digital Video Recording): ZOSI Full HD 1080P PoE
The Zosi HD 1080P Home Security Camera System blows the other surveillance camera systems away thanks to the incredible package deal it offers.
The Zosi HD 1080P Camera also utilizes the POE (Power Over Ethernet) technology that eliminates the need for pesky power cables and sends both power and data over the same RJ-45 Ethernet cable.
What sets this home surveillance system apart from the rest isn’t just the high quality of the cameras but the fact that Zosi has included quite literally everything you need to set up the system including a 4 channel NVR, 4x POE cameras, a power supply for the NVR, a 2 Terabyte HDD, 2x 600 feet long RJ-45 Ethernet cables, 2x 100 feet long Ethernet cables, 1x 6 feet long RJ-45 Ethernet cable, 1x USB mouse, mounting screws, a warning sticker, and 2x HDMI cables.
This impressive package gives you everything you need to have a professional quality surveillance system up and running in no time.
The Best DVR ZOSI Full HD 1080P PoE also comes with a quick-start guide for helping even the most basic user through the setup process.
Another impressive feature of this home security DVR system is the cameras ability to see an astonishing 120 feet in complete darkness thanks to its 36 built-in infrared LEDs.
The Zosi HD 1080P POE system also provides real-time notifications to an iPhone or Android device and you can even set up customized detection zones so that a cat walking across the room won’t set off a false alarm.
The 2TB security grade hard drive also provides a reliable way to continuously record and backup the footage that it takes.
It can even record indefinitely by setting it to record over the oldest footage.
Record to an SD card of your choice with the Reolink 5MP POE Home Surveillance Camera system.
The POE in the name stands for Power Over Ethernet and means this camera is fully equipped with the latest up-to-date technology.
As the name suggests, POE means the camera receives its power through the same cat6 cable it transmits data through effectively eliminating half of the wires required to set up.
The Reolink 5MP PoE Camera has an SD card storage slot for recording HD video through its 4.0MM lens directly to an SD card which can be conveniently removed and plugged into a computer for reviewing footage without the hassle of plugging any wires in.
The SD card functionality combined with the high quality and long-range vision makes the Reolink 5MP PoE Camera a cut above other SD card cameras.
It also has an incredible viewing distance in the complete darkness of up to 100 feet thanks to its 18 infrared LEDs.
It also captures video with an up to 80 degrees wide viewing angle which allows for clearer and sharper images.
The Reolink 5MP PoE Camera is ideal for protecting areas of your home such as a driveway since it is outdoor rated or a hallway or living room.
Since no power adapter is needed thanks to the POE technology, the Reolink 5MP PoE Camera can be easy to hide while still capturing at an effective range.
It records in full HD 24/7 with NVR recording and a built-in microphone for audio.
The Reolink 5MP PoE Camera is a single cable device which does require a POE injector which must be purchased separately.
This Reolink camera can also be programmed to detect motion and alert you in a variety of ways from e-mail to a direct alert through the Reolink smartphone app.
Best Vandal Proof Camera: SV3C Full HD 1080P Dome POE
SV3C is a trusted name in the affordable home surveillance market and what makes the SV3C Full HD 1080P Dome POE camera the Best Vandal Proof camera is the strong-build aluminum case and IP66 vandal-proof lens casing.
You may be wondering what POE stands for and that is another feature which contributes to the SV3C Full HD 1080P Dome Security Cameras high ranking.
POE stands for Power Over Ethernet and refers to the technology that sends the required volts the camera needs to operate through the same cable that it transmits data through.
The SV3C Full HD 1080P Dome POE is the best vandal-proof option that also records in full 1920 by 1080P HD resolution thanks to its HD 2 Megapixel camera.
It can seamlessly stream video directly to your smartphone, tablet, or Windows computer.
It is both waterproof and capable of recording a wide field of view of up to 70 degrees whether it is brightly lit or completely dark.
This is possible due to the infrared LED night vision which can see up to 10 to 20 meters in the dark.
This camera is also Onvif compatible and works in conjunction with Blue Iris, Ispy, Zoneminder, Security Spy, VLC, and a host of other third-party software.
Thanks to the clear casing around the lens and tamper-proof white casing, the SV3C Full HD 1080P Dome POE is an ideal option for both indoor and outdoor use.
It is also capable of compressing video in the H.264 format, AVI, RTSP, and is AVI player compatible.
You won’t find a better blend of affordability, quality, and features in any other camera while still getting the peace of mind that your home security camera is protected from tampering by vandals.