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How to Choose the Best PoE Extension Devices?

Network devices are widely used for home and business, such as security camera, wireless access points, VoIP phones, and so on. In fact, during recent decades, Power over Ethernet plays a crucial role in networking system setup because of its variety of advantages in functioning to networked devices installation. But in real applications, it is found that quite a few situations that network device requires a long-distance setup, and PoE extension is a preference solution helping install IP devices at a farther distance. How to choose suitable devices to become the next thing that should be taken into consideration. Fortunately, the article aiming at providing some useful guidance.

I guess network devices are a familiar concept to most of the people living in this 21st century that is technology-oriented. For most people, PoE devices have applied in their daily life but know little about it.

For the starter, get a basic explanation about what is PoE and how it works, and its pros and cons. PoE has made the power networking system setup enter to an upgraded layer. This being shown with a magic situation that power can be transmitted to connected network devices together with data over a single Ethernet cable, and that means the extra power cabling for network devices is eliminated, offering great convenience and flexibility on system setup. Consequently, money and time investment to the long-run system is dramatically reduced.

It is known that nothing is perfect, and PoE indeed comes with its limitation on transmission distance as Ethernet cable only supports a maximum of 100 meters range. Now problem exploded but at ease, as the saying goes, solutions are more than difficulties. Leading roles in the PoE or networking industries keep finding ways to solve distance limitation, and various extension solutions have come out and each showing their capabilities.

PoE Extension Introduction and Its Benefits

There are many ways to help get a long-distance deployment, such as fiber optic link, PoC(Power over Coaxial), Ethernet or PoE extension solution, etc. For some reasons, quite a certain of people turn to PoE extension solution for help when the distance is not that long, such as applications like extend the Ethernet from one room to the other room on the same floor, which only requires another 100 meters but not count in kilometer grade. If the distance over 1 kilometer, PoE extension is not the option under consideration, and in this case, fiber optic system or wireless extension should be the answers. So apart from the extension distance factor, what makes PoE extension to be the better choice compared to the other two solutions.

Unlike fiber optic systems, it is a way that can make use of the existing cabling with no need to cost time and money to replace the original networking infrastructure with new fiber optic cables, which can remain the use of the existing Ethernet cable(Cat5e, Cat6 or higher). And its PoE detection and simple plug-and-play installation show great reliability and convenience, eliminating time to learn about specific knowledge and master skills or money to hire employees to finish the setup.

Its PoE wired connection ensures a more stable system despite inference caused by the outer environment, as wired connectivity comes with better resistance to signal interference, and this defeats the wireless extension system to some extent. Wireless connection is easy to be affected by barriers like walls, trees, or something like that.

PoE extension solution is an effective way to make PoE or LAN breakthrough the transmission distance limit and get a longer distance deployment. In other words, it help get Ethernet cable to reach a farther distance beyond 100 meters(328ft.) for various IP devices, such as IP security camera, wireless access point, VoIP phone, or non-PoE devices like laptop and so on. It is mainly made by two types of extension devices, one is PoE extenders and the other is long-range PoE switches.

What is PoE Extender?

PoE extender is PoE or LAN extension tool. Actually before PoE extenders become a popularity, long distance deployment relied on Ethernet extender, or so called Ethernet repeater. And PoE extenders can be regarded as an advanced version that integrated PoE technology and function in a single device.  Generally, there are two kinds of ports in a PoE extender, namely, PoE in and PoE out ports. PoE extenders work in a simple way, placed between PSE and PD, then receive PoE from PSE through PoE in, and eventually repeat and transmitted PoE or LAN to connected PDs over PoE out. To satisfy a longer run of the Ethernet cable, some PoE extenders on the market feature daisy chain allowing a maximum of 500 meters deployment. 

What is Long Range PoE Switch?

Long range PoE switches, apparently, as the name implied, having special feature to differ from common PoE switch, is long range transmitting capability. These switches equipped with components or mechanisms allows power and data to reach a farther distance ignoring the 100m transmission distance limitation of Ethernet cable. Some support long range mode give users the option to get a maximum of 250m deployment for IP devices. However, these type of switches actually don’t bring too much innovation, and indeed it is only a change in form but not in content, because when IP devices working under the long range mode, network speed is a sacrifice to distance at a low bandwidth less than 10Mbps, thus its application shows limitation.

Fortunately, there is a new type of long range PoE switch, called 800m long range PoE switch, it made use of new mechanism and specific extension adaptor to make a longer range PoE transmission become a reality. A reliable long distance connection without active electronic equipment can be done over single long Ethernet cable only, along with high network speed. Even over 500 meters run, there is still 100Mpbs fast Ethernet for the edge IP devices, and a remained 10Mbps network speed is available at 800 meters installment.

Knowing that there are two options to get Ethernet cable extended, you may lost in the doubt of which one to choose, PoE extenders or long range PoE switch? This two devices are not stand at an opposite side and certainly each has its advantages. PoE extenders can meet the basic need for people who simply want to use add one or two IP devices at one location that is just less than 200 meters away from the main PSE. In this way, you can save the hassle to change the original networking system. Besides PoE extenders at some extent add independence to the system, that said, each long run works separately if the extender failed down, just replace the extender is enough.

How to Choose PoE Extension Devices?

To effectively implement PoE extension in long distance deployment, the most important thing is to learn about some basics on product’s selecting for purchase. Below we are going to cover you with some tips to help choose PoE extension devices.

Safe Power Supplying

Only focus on the products that offer safe connection with correct power supplying. Standard PoE devices relatively offer a more reliable networking system as these devices adopt PoE signature to ensure a standard and safe power to connected PDs by determining how much power is required and release correct power, which is of great use to reduce the potential to damage equipment due to overpower. That said, how much power the connected device is needed, the PoE extension device is able to supply exact current automatically. Standard PoE device generally complied with IEEE802.3 af/at/bt standard.

Sufficient Network Speed

Network speed sometimes of much concern in networking system. Make clear bandwidth requirement of IP devices plan to install is good to get proper devices during the mass searching of same kind of products. PoE extenders or PoE switches most support fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet. For example, fast Ethernet generally can meet the bandwidth consumption need of IP security cameras. While for high bandwidth consumption network devices, such as wireless access point, gigabit network is a more recommended option, otherwise WiFi peed may slow down if the access point connected by multiple end users, and actually slow network is a big suffer for people live in this modern society. If you don’t want put too much effort to think about the exact network bandwidth of the IP devices required, pick the one with gigabit network for option.

Plug-and-Play Easy Installation

Installation is a vital part for a system setup, so easy installation served by the devices is a necessity. Use devices that feature plug-and-play installation is useful to help reduce time and hassle on deployment. Some devices ask a filed termination to cramp the connector of the Ethernet cable, or some require present AC power closed to installation location, so you will need to run extra power cable to get device powered.

Waterproof Rugged Housing

When setting a networking system, considering the reliability and use life of the devices intended to use is of the essence. Think about it, if the devices install at places where easier to experience harsh conditions like water, ultra low or high temperature, outdoor, industrial applications, and PoE extension devices are electronic active devices that need to protect well from damages to external and internal components. For solve the above concerns, pick up devices that come with waterproof design, durable housing, as well as optimal resistance to abnormal working temperature and surges.

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