It is no denying that network devices have been widely used for home and business nowadays. There are different types of network devices, or the so-called IP devices, being applied commonly, such as IP cameras, wireless access points, VoIP phones, laptops, and computers, to realize great convenience, high security as well as enhanced working efficiency.
Occasionally, with the rapid development of technology and influenced by the growing pervasiveness of the Internet of Things and smart homes, more network devices need to be added to meet growing needs. Thus, network port expansion is to be an issue in the wake of the increasing requirement of network devices. In this case, something basic but crucial discussed in this article can be nice assistance to reduce mistakes, time, and cost on deployment.
To avoid hassle and regret, it is highly recommended you check the following tips before implement the actual solution. This is worth your time. Now, let’s go through what things are supposed to keep in mind if need to get more network ports.
The foremost is to make sure what type of network port is required. It’s a bit confusing. That being said, you need to learn some basics about network ports and make clear which type of network port is the desired one.
Network port is a general concept, if subdivide it, there are different types of network ports, you may find Ethernet port, LAN port, RJ45 port, and PoE port as well. In fact, these ports are all similar as they are plugged in with Ethernet cable to achieve a stable wired Ethernet connection, but for a simple understanding of these ports, we can thoroughly distinguished each one by what media will be output and transmit to the connecting IP devices. Ethernet ports always output Ethernet network. Ethernet is one of the most commonly used types of network around the world, and LAN(Local Area Network) is one type, then LAN ports output LAN and to finish LAN connection. RJ45 ports are the other name for Ethernet ports, and because Ethernet cable is always equipped with an RJ45 jack. PoE ports are used to define network ports that output both power and data.
Reading this, we may need to take a little time to explain PoE technology. PoE, Power over Ethernet, is a new way for networking system setup, which features to utilize Ethernet network cable to deliver power for connecting IP devices. It makes installation easier, safer, and more flexible because it saves extra AC outlets close to IP device mounting points.
Having known about the types of network ports, one simple thing that you only need to consider is to decide whether the network ports need to output power together or not. If you want to make use of PoE, then your networking system needs to serve PoE capability.
PoE technology simply is determined by two things, one is the PSE and the other is the PDs. PSE means Power Sourcing Equipment, offering power to the system, such as PoE router, PoE switch, PoE injector, while PDs imply Powered Devices, which powered by PoE, such PoE cameras, PoE wireless access points, PoE VoIP phones, and so on.
There is a misconception to PoE ports, that people may think PoE ports are only designed for PoE-compatible devices, and the answer is not really. Indeed, no matter Ethernet port or LAN port, or RJ45 ports, in essence, are the same as PoE ports, they are capable to deliver power and data, but here we define it according to what media each type of port to be output. Standard PoE devices support PoE detection, which can judge if the connecting IP devices only require data transmission or power with data transmission.
The next thing is to concern about the location where the new network devices plan to install, and where the port expansion devices suppose to place. These two locations simply depend on what solutions of network port expansion are available and suitable for your needs. Because once knowing about where to install, from these locations, the deployment distance and environment will be revealed. These two factors are crucial to realize successful and stable connectivity.
We’ll start off with distance. Regarding situations that only require more network ports at the same space and close to the original router or network switch( common tools that applied to build wired Ethernet networking or WiFi coverage), adding a new one and finding another network socket to plug into is the easier way. You can choose the PoE-enabled type if you want to solve power and network over a single cable. PoE routers generally equip with 4 RJ45 ports, while PoE switches offer more choices on port number, you can find 4, 8, 16, 24, 48 port PoE switches on the market. Whereas, Ethernet cable actually comes with a transmission limit that can only reach a maximum distance of 100m(328ft) due to voltage drop and power loss born with copper wires. Consequently, for those situations that are beyond 100 meters, it will be more complicated to solve.
Adopting the method to daisy chain the old and new router/network switch, an additional 100 meters for data transmission is available. But in this case, the power supply issue has more potential to be a problem because you may encounter a dilemma that just happened to find an AC outlet near the mounting point. Let’s take the 150m long-range deployment as an example, ideally, the new router/switch can be placed 50 meters away from the original one, and such distance probably is a big headache for network socket and AC outlet access. Especially when the port expansion devices need to be installed outdoors, in a harsh environment, or some location at a high point. And this is also related to the next factor that we’ll talk about later— the deployment environment. As to the concern about power, you are able to find the answer in the following content.
If a longer distance is required, more network switches or some other extension devices need to be considered. PoE extension solution like ultra long-range PoE switches and PoE extenders can help tackle long-range PoE transmission and port expansion as well.
Let’s get back to the power supply issue, as mentioned previously, PoE technology is able to save extra AC outlets by utilizing network cable to transmit power. In support of this line of thinking, for network expansion, PoE is a great assistance. To satisfy the increasing demands, PoE pass-through technology came out and is applied more and more widely. Be aware of no matter regular network switches or PoE switches, they both need to rely on AC lines to get DC power input. Surprisingly, actually, there are special switches featuring PoE powered, which means it can be powered by PoE switch or other PoE PSE, such as PoE injector. This kind of advanced device called PoE powered switch or PoE passthrough switch, offers great flexibility on network port expansion.
What is PoE Powered Switch? And How to Use it?
PoE powered switches or pass-through switches is a highly recommended solution for network port expansion. We know that PoE devices generally are divided into two types, one is PSE and the other is PD. While this sort of switches can be regarded as PSE and PD, because on the one hand, it is able to receive power and data from the PSE(PoE switch or PoE injector), which is PD’s capability, on the other hand, it can supply power and data for the connecting IP devices. Unlike common PoE switch, it is not so easy to supply a large number of PoE ports for connecting PoE devices, because PoE is low voltage technology and it only makes use of the spare twisted pair wires in the Ethernet cable for power transmission, the maximum power is limit.
PoE Standards IEEE802.3 af/at/bt has been launched and the majority of standard PoE devices comply with these standards. They define the wattage to be output and input to the PoE devices, only can realize 100W max. Wattage output by now. And there are PoE powered switches that adopt IEEE802.3bt standard, which can supply work with PSE that complied IEEE802.3bt standard, and up to 72W PoE budget can be obtained and serve multiple high power PoE devices. Certainly, if you need to build a hybrid networking system that containing both PoE and non-PoE devices, the PoE powered switches are just the same as the other PoE PSE we talked about above, the PoE ports can detect PoE or non-PoE devices to release PoE or not.
This kind of switch definitely a pretty choice for the reason that it can help you expand network ports with extreme convenience and simplicity. No need for extra wiring, not only help reduce installation difficulty thanks to its plug and play, but also contribute to saving cost for hiring electricians to wire new cabling, because you can easily make use of the existing Ethernet wiring to add this switch with no hassle to find an AC outlet nearby. Apparently, using this solution for network port expansion is capable to make the end-users or installers get rid of confusion and frustration to judge what device can use for what situation. Want to know more about PoE pass-through switches, this article may cover how to choose PoE powered switch for network port expansion.
Well, let’s look into the other factor indicated by installment location, deployment environment. In fact, in the networking design, the importance to think of the factor of environment where the electrical devices to place is often overlooked. The environment is going to affect what kind of devices will be an appropriate choice to ensure system security and stability, so as to realize a longer usage life and a reduced maintenance frequency.
We have listed some circumstances that probably need to pay additional attention to before the implementation, such as outdoor, industrial, or even indoor harsh environments. Generally, these environments may create some challenges to the installation and operation of the devices. Extreme temperatures, humidity, dust, surges, contained installment space are commonly seen in practices. To avoid the harm caused by these challenges, the installer is supposed to focus on the products that come with outdoor, rugged, hardened, waterproof, or even industrial rated ones. These kinds of devices are more suitable to be placed in the harsh environment because of theirs IP rating and high-quality components. You are able to get outdoor PoE powered switches if a harsh deployment is needed.