It is not hard to find that a variety of types of IP devices or so-called network devices are applied to our daily life or business fields, such as IP cameras, wireless access points, laptops, computers, etc. Some provide convenience, some ensure security, others help enhance efficiency. When we making use of the network devices, sometimes, in practice, we may need to add more IP devices to the existing system due to lots of reasons, but in the initial design, few people reserve extra ports for growing demands. Therefore, what are the proposals to get more network ports for IP devices? Today, we are going to post some effective ways to solve the port shortage dilemma.
What is Network Port?
Although network ports often to be a difficult concept for us, actually we only need to know how to use them for our network devices, which is enough. In most situations, apart from mobile devices and wireless devices, all network devices featured wired connectivity need to link to network ports using network cables to get network signals for data streaming. And Ethernet cable is one of the most popular types of practices, and Ethernet cable generally links to the RJ45 port. RJ45 port you must have seen it before, take the laptop, for example, generally, there is a square port at the side, and most people may choose to plug into a network cable when WiFi network can support smooth surfing on the internet. Now you are supposed to know what the network port is.
Now let’s get back to business.
Router or network switch are two pieces of equipment that are commonly used for supplying networks for IP devices. The majority of people intend to choose the 4 port ones, especially for home or small offices, the 4 port type is enough to meet their needs, and they may think extra ports only to be a waste or because of budget limitations. While you can deny that as the increasing demands, adding more IP devices for home security, business size expansion occurs now and then.
Above the only network was discussed, but refer to IP devices, power supplying is another issue that can’t be skipped. Using an adaptor to power is a common way. But indeed, as technology developed, PoE devices have been applied to a wide range of applications, PoE shows its significance to installation convenience, reliability and flexibility as well. Some wonder what is PoE. PoE, Power over Ethernet is a technology that allows power and data to be delivered over a single Ethernet cable, that said, there is no need to find an extra AC outlet to power the edge network devices, power and data can be transmitted from PoE PSE, such as PoE router, PoE switch, and PoE injector.
In general, for port expansion, you should know where requiring more network ports at first, and actually, it can be simply divided into two situations, one is to add more network ports right near the existing router or network switch, the other is to add more ports at locations where are afar. You might still be confused, let’s elaborate on the two situations and cover you with proper solutions.
For the first situation, if you only plan to install IP devices around the existing router, buying a new router or network switch is absolutely feasible. Pick up the one with the proper port number, and to avoid lacking port number again, you can reserve extra ports at this time. As to the setup, it is easy to be done, like the original router and network switch that plugged into a network socket on the wall, then find the other spare network socket for your new router or network switch, or daisy chain the existing one and the new one.
If to make use of PoE, there is a doubt floating in the consumer’s mind, what if the expanded network ports need to connect to both PoE and non-PoE devices? It is not a problem, for low voltage non-PoE devices, a PoE splitter is a tool that can help split PoE into power and data, and non-PoE devices can receive power and data separately from two cables. For the time being, PoE can only supply a maximum of 95W output power to the edge devices. Thus, for those IP devices featuring higher power consumption, PoE PSE still can release data to the connected non-PoE with no harm, it is because standard PoE devices support PoE detection mechanism to judge whether the connected IP device is PoE-compliant or not before power is released.
As mentioned above, PoE injector is PSE, which can supply PoE for the edge devices. If you have decided to add PoE devices, such as PoE cameras, and you don’t want to replace the existing router or network switch that is not PoE compatible, this device is a fair solution. But PoE injectors available on the market generally provide only one PoE port. Consequently, more than one PoE injector and cables are required if multiple PoE devices need to be set up. In this case, you can choose PoE router or PoE switch to add multiple network ports. There are 4, 8, 16, 24, 48 port PoE switches to serve your needs accordingly.
What if adding network ports around the router/network doesn’t make sense? It’s a bit confusing. Below listed some common applications for reference:
- IP devices need to be installed at high points, such as ceilings;
- More laptops, computers or WAPs, VoIP phones need to be placed in another room or space;
- Set up IP cameras at outdoor for perimeter security;
- Install IP devices at locations where are hard to find AC outlets
Facing with these kinds of situation, consumers may start Googling to find what methods can deal with the issue. Before implement the solutions acquired from the internet, one thing you should know that it is quite an impractical thing to run new Ethernet cables through the wall as it certainly a hard work that cost long deployment period and high investment on workers. Therefore, it is really a doubt when to add or daisy chain a new router or network switch directly, because long cable only can be completely exposed, and you can imagine, if not only one cable will be reaching at high ceiling or the upstairs, what a messy and crazy home or office is shown. To solve this problem, reuse the already set network cabling is the answer.
How to Reuse Existing Network Cabling to Get More Network Ports?
What is the meaning of reuse existing network cabling? It is easy to make clear. In the initial design, network cabling has been layout, that’s why router, network switch, or other network devices can be plugged into the RJ45 wall mount to get network. For instance, if one Ethernet cable is linked to an RJ45 wall mount, and there is wireless access connected. Then to reuse the network cabling means, you can use the same cable to add more network ports for new IP devices.
In fact, if you can find an RJ45 wall mount at locations where plan to add new IP devices, adding routers or network switches is workable in practice. But in this way, you may also need to consider finding AC outlets around those locations, as router and network switches have to plug into an outlet to start working. Some situations just happen to have an AC outlet.
Having said that, it is not always so lucky, especially when deployed at the outdoor, ceiling, or other locations where is hard to find AC outlets. That said, you are supposed to search for something like network switches that can provide Ethernet ports but with no need for an extra power outlet. Fortunately, there are some devices that feature PoE powered, namely, power and data can be passed through, eliminating an extra AC outlet for themselves.
To achieve port expansion in an easy and convenient way, turn to PoE extender and PoE powered switch for help.
Consider PoE Extender
PoE has pros and cons, it can only reach a maximum distance of 100m(328ft.) due to power loss and voltage drop in the line Ethernet cable. PoE extender actually is a PoE extension tool that helps repeat power and data for long-range edge devices. PoE extender equips with two kinds of port, one is PoE input port, the other is PoE output port. Some are able to provide two PoE output ports, you can add a PoE extender at the middle of the link, and one or two network ports are offered to connect new IP devices. One port PoE extender suits applications that having one spare Ethernet cable, you can make use of it, while choosing two output ports PoE extender, only need one existing network cabling, no matter it is spare or connecting IP device. Moreover, it can be a daisy chain if needed. For outdoor or harsh environment deployment, it is recommended to select those made from rugged metal IP67 waterproof housing and hardened high-quality components.
However, PoE extenders only suit applications that only need one or two network ports. Don’t worry, if requiring multiple network ports for new IP devices for present or future uses, PoE powered switch is the ideal solution.
Integrate PoE Powered Switch
Although PoE powered switch with a similar name comparing with PoE switch, and actually it is a sort of PoE switch, unlike PoE switch, PoE powered switch is a superior network expansion tool as it adopts PoE powered technology, power, and data can be received by it and then transmit to the connected devices, eliminating AC outlet around it. What’s more, we mentioned that PoE is a low voltage safe connection and actually, its maximum PoE input and output complied with IEEE802.3af/at/bt standard, which can realize 100 max. PoE++ by now. In order to provide multiple PoE ports, some PoE powered switches utilize IEEE802.3bt standard, which means they can receive PoE++ and supplying PoE to multiple ports. Certainly, it also can connect to non-PoE devices, in these cases, only data will be released.
Featuring plug and play simple installation, only to find the nearest RJ45 wall mount(spare or engaged), then add the PoE powered switch at that point, then you are able to get multiple network ports. Or you can just open the ceilings(if possible), find an existing Ethernet cabling, cut it off, and put the switch into the link, then you can hide it to keep a clean environment. Considering PoE standard, 4 port and 7 port PoE powered switch can be found in the market. Additionally, outdoor-rated type with rugged waterproof metal housing is a better guarantee to enhance system stability and extend the usage life.
To get more information for network port expansion can turn to our another article or learn how to choose PoE powered switch here.