Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that transmits power and data through the same Ethernet cable to power the edge devices, such as IP security cameras, wireless access points, building access controls, etc. PoE technology offers a number of benefits: a. it eliminates the need for installing new electrical infrastructures in hard-to-reach places; b. PoE is a general technology that has already been installed in commercial and residential buildings; c. it’s a play-and-play technology that can be easily administrated by the average users without any safety hazards; d. PoE is hot-swappable and can be relocated if required, etc. Although PoE technology brings us lots of benefits, it also has its own frustrations.
The Length Limit of Power over Ethernet
PoE utilizes a single Ethernet cable to send both power and data to the powered device which eliminates a significant number of power cables in the network applications, saving lots of installation time and labor costs. But the biggest disadvantage when using PoE is that it only supports a maximum transmission distance of 100 meters/328ft. Beyond this range, you will experience severe signal degradation and voltage drop. Since power and data are transmitted at the same time when electricity is traveling down the Ethernet cable, it will generate an invisible electromagnetic field that disrupts the data networking, and the network speed will drop from 100Mbps down to 10Mbps or less. Moreover, DC resistance will also occur in long-distance deployments. The power will be dissipated as heat and go up in the air, so as the distance increases, more power will be wasted. Worse still, signal loss will also increase as DC resistance increases.
How to Extend Your Network?
To overcome the geographic limit of PoE, we’ve provided three methods to help you extend your network more cost-effectively: a. use a PoE switch that supports CCTV mode or VLAN function to extend the distance up to 250 meters; b. use a PoE extender to repeat the PoE signals in the long cable runs; c. deploy a long-range PoE switch that comes with extending mode for ultra-long-range applications of up to 500 meters.
1. PoE Switch with VLAN Function
When long-distance transmission is required, you can use a PoE switch with a VLAN function to install PoE-compatible devices 250 meters away. Fastcabling has launched various types of PoE switches and they usually come with two modes: Default and CCTV. In the Default mode, each PoE port can communicate with each other and supports a transmission speed of 10/100/1000Mbps within 100m. But if the CCTV mode is enabled, the VLAN function will be activated. Each PoE port can only communicate with the uplink port, which helps improve networking efficiency. And if an intruder gets access to one channel, he won’t be able to access all the downlink ports at a time. Thanks to the VLAN function, the transmission distance can be extended to 250 meters, but the network speed will be reduced to 10Mbps per port. So it’s more suitable for installing devices that require low bandwidth like statistic cameras at remote places.
2. PoE Extender
The PoE extender is a cost-effective way to extend Ethernet beyond 100 meters to power the remote devices, eliminating additional power wring in places where no power outlets are present. It leverages existing twisted-pair cabling to deliver the electrical power over the same Ethernet data stream to the next connected device. The direct burial PoE extender from Fastcabling is exclusively designed for long-distance power and data connection in outdoor applications, featuring a simple plug-and-play installation. By using two PoE extenders, the maximum distance can be extended to 300-500 meters. Additionally, this PoE extender can draw the power directly from a PoE switch or injector, ideal for outdoor applications.
3. Long-range PoE Switch
The long-range PoE switch enables data and power transmission of up to 500 meters over one Ethernet cable to power IP devices like WAPs, POS terminals, etc. It’s specially designed for long-distance applications in hard-to-reach areas where no AC outlets and network facilities are present. With the long-range PoE switch, you’re able to power the edge devices remotely from a centralized point without deploying multiple PoE extension equipment for long cable runs. In addition, it addresses the problem of voltage drop in long-distance deployments. Now, Fastcabling has launched 4-/8-port long-range PoE switches that are compliant with the IEEE 802.3 standards to supply maximum power output of up to 30W on a per-port basis to power high-power devices at the edge.
Benefits of Using Long-range PoE Switches:
The long-range PoE switch greatly simplifies the network deployments at greater distances. Here are a couple of benefits of using the long-range PoE switches.
High Bandwidth: The bandwidth of most network switches will drop to 10Mbps and even lower when it exceeds the 100-meter limit. But the long-range PoE switch can extend the PoE signals up to 500 meters at 100Mbps and remain at 10Mbps when it hits 800 meters. The long-range PoE switch provides a wider network coverage, ideal for deploying network devices like require high bandwidth and throughput, for example, to install the 4K cameras in parking lots, garages, cross-building applications, etc.
Simple Installation: Installing a long-range PoE switch eliminates the need for building new networks and electrical infrastructures in remote areas. Like any other PoE solution, the long-range PoE switch features a simple plug-and-play installation, and since most of them are unmanaged, there’s no configuration involved. The long-range PoE switch is hot-swappable, which allows you to remove or disconnect the devices without cutting off the power or taking the switch offline.
Stability and Reliability: With the long-range PoE+ switch, the connection between the PSE and PDs can be completed by cables only. In comparison with other extension methods, extending Ethernet with long cable runs is more reliable and durable since Cat5 cables can last for 10 years. And the cable has higher-temperature resistance than the electronic devices for long-term operation. Besides, less protection is needed as the cable doesn’t require much maintenance.
1) 4-port long range PoE+ switch
The 4-port long-range PoE+ switch has 4*10/100Mbps ports (only port#1-#2 support long-range PoE) and 2 uplink ports to extend the signals up to 500 meters at 100Mbps. It supports both PoE and PoE+ devices with a power budget of 30W. The 4-port long-range PoE+ switch supports 6KV lightning protection on all ports to prevent power surges caused by lightning strikes. The fan-less design reduces energy consumption, operating noise and dust ingress. And LED indicators are also available to monitor the performance of each RJ45 port. The 4-port long-range PoE+ switch is wall-mountable, giving you great installation flexibility.
2) 8-port long range PoE+ switch
The 8-port long-range PoE+ switch very much assembles the 4-port PoE+ switch but greatly improved with another 4*10/100Mbps ports (8 in total but only port#1-#4 support long-range PoE) and 2 Gigabit uplink ports to speed up data transfer. Compliant with IEEE802.3af/at, the 8-port long-range PoE+ switch is embedded with a total power budget of 120W. The long-range PoE+ switch can deliver 23.46 watts of power max. over a distance of up to 500 meters (17.56W at 800 meters) to the PDs. And 2 PoE extenders are included to help the connected devices send the signals back to the long-range PoE+ switch since they don’t natively support any long-range PoE features.