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Install Security IP Cameras beyond 100 Meters-Not Just Extending Cable

Installing security IP cameras to get enhanced surveillance and protection for home or business has become popular, but the installation for the cameras or system may be overwhelmed to the majority, especially when if the IP cameras need to be placed over long distance from the closest monitoring point. Here we are going to tell you how to set up IP cameras over long range to meet various applications.

How Far away Can a Security IP Camera to be Placed?

The deployment range of IP cameras vary from camera types, but basically all IP cameras comes with its installation distance limitation. For example, WiFi cameras are affected by WiFi technology and physical barriers, and wired IP cameras are simply influenced by the Ethernet cable and power supplying methods. And today we only focus on the wired IP cameras.

From the starter, it should be known that power and data network are two key things for IP cameras startup, so the installation for IP security camera can be regarded as to solve power and network transmission issue.

Most wired IP cameras employ Ethernet cable to transmit network, but Ethernet cable can only reach a maximum of 100 meters transmission inherently. Generally, IP cameras are powered by using a power adaptor, but there is one special type being used widely now, that is called PoE IP camera, which is common wired IP camera with built-in PoE compatibility. PoE is a new technology to make IP camera cabling to be easier as it enables Ethernet cable to carry power, and we will introduce PoE with more information below.

Then the critical question comes out: how can we place wired IP cameras beyond 100 meters? Typically, if a longer range is required in IP camera setup, people tend to find methods to make the Ethernet cable to be extended, but actually it is not correct or not just that simple. Only extending cable length won’t help data network or PoE to be extended, to get long reach data network or PoE for IP cameras properly in fact should rely on some specially-designed extension tools.

How to Install Security IP Cameras beyond 100 Meters?

To achieve data network or PoE extension for IP cameras, PoE extenders and fiber media converters are applied commonly in practical applications, and there are still some other solutions. I know only listing the name won’t bring actual assistance at some content. In the following, we give solution or advice according to different applications.

Take Advantage of PoE

To finish the long distance IP camera setup, you suppose to know whether AC power source is available or easy to get or not, this depends the cabling. If AC power outlet is absent, we suggest installers to employ PoE connection from the main network. As mentioned above, PoE(Power over Ethernet) enables Ethernet cable to carry power, that said, when run Ethernet cable for camera data streams, power issue is solved simultaneously. Not only eliminates a separate power cabling, and offers high flexibility on placement. Moreover, PoE technology is relatively safer as you don’t bother to deal with dangerous AC power source.

As a result, for PoE IP camera need to be installed over 100 meters(328ft.), we can use PoE extenders to get PoE extension easily and handily.

PoE extender, or caller PoE repeater, is an advanced version of Ethernet extender. It is a PoE-powered device that saves extras present AC power. Place a PoE extender between the PoE NVR and the PoE camera, power and data can be repeated to reach another 100 meters with each unit. In a word, you can think of it as a connector that required no extra power for the whole connection. Some PoE extenders support daisy chain setup, you are able to finish a long-distance deployment at a maximum of 500 meters by daisy chaining the extenders.

But one thing to be noticed, for applications just equip with router and NVR without PoE capability as the main network, the complete connection doesn’t make sense, as the PoE received by a PoE extender is obtained from the back-end(main network), in this situation, you should use PoE NVR or PoE switch instead, or turn to PoE injector for help.

Data Network Extension

Whereas if only the data network is required to be extended to the long range point because an AC power source is present in the scene, or a high power PTZ camera is planned to install.

The straightforward solution is adding a network switch (or Ethernet extender) to repeat the data network. As mentioned at the beginning, the TCP/IP network is limited to 100 meters which means you still need to extend the data network beyond 100 meters. You can place a network switch(or Ethernet extender) at the end of the first 100 meters to have two hundred meters link. However, the switch needs a power source. You should have a power source available at the extension point.

Or from the aspect to save the separate power cabling for the extension tools, you still can take advantage of the PoE extender. The PoE extender can draw the power inline from the back-end PoE switch or injector, and this eliminates the power source, as which we mentioned above. But such applications may bring some requirements in choosing PoE extenders.

I understand you may have a concern about whether it is safe to connect non-PoE devices such as routers, to PoE extender or not. The answer is positive. There is power handshaking within the standard POE system. If the PoE extender can’t verify your edge device needs the PoE, it will only supply the data without the power.

Consequently, it is important to choose PoE extenders support power handshaking mechanism, and this makes extension to be safe enough, especially for business uses. Reliability is crucial to a networking system, especially for security camera systems, any unexpected fail downs of the system may result in severe loss or hassle. Some PoE extenders can provide power handshaking, you should be fine to use it without any issue. Some PoE extender doesn’t provide power handshaking, in this case, you will need to add a PoE Splitter before your IP camera.

More You can Do When Longer Range is Needed

If a longer PoE transmission distance is required, which is about 300-500 meters, what to do can reach? Although we talked previously that PoE extenders can be daisy chained to get longer range, but there is some methods to be more reliable and convenient. Below we are going to introduce two methods that may be so practical and effective and out of the expectation. One is the 300 meters direct-buried PoE extension kit, and the other is the ultra long range PoE switch. Let’s look into these two relatively new concepts.

As to the first new method, work similarly as the way by daisy chaining two PoE extenders, but it has its unique feature, the PoE connection between two PoE extenders can reach up to 300 meters, while commonly daisy chaining two PoE extenders, the distance between the two extenders can only be 100 meters max., which is simply restricted by the Ethernet inherent transmission limitation. Therefore, it is a perfect choice for applications that install at places where are 200 meters to 300 meters away from the main network.

Imagine, only 200-300 meters long Ethernet cable used between the two PoE extenders can solve the long-distance implementation easily and clearly. Especially when immediate burial is required. It just needs to bury the long cable underneath and the two PoE extenders can be placed indoors or in a safe place. Cables are naturally more resistant to water, dust or anything that can cause damage. In addition, it is known that all electronics have a lifespan and are doomed to fail after a few years or decades. It’s a hassle to dig up the broken PoE extender for maintenance or replacement if it’s buried underneath. What a convenient, flexible and reliable system the kit can provide.

If the distance from the main network to the first PoE extender, and from the second PoE extender to the edge IP camera are utilized optimally, it can provide a maximum of 500 meters.

Next, if you already have plan to get a new PoE switch, adopt an ultra long range PoE switch is highly recommended. Unlike those common PoE switches that just can transmit a maximum distance of 100m or 250m(under extended CCTV or VLAN mode), there is special type, namely, ultra long range PoE switches, which feature long-range PoE transmission over a single long Ethernet cable, you are able to obtain a maximum of 500m transmission for IP camera handily as it features a special mechanism plus taking advantage of using a specific adaptor at the edge side.

No extra electrician active devices are present in the long run, reducing the potential for the risk of equipment falls down caused by the harsh installation environment. Apparently, long cable run in the system intends to serve a better resistance to bad weather, power surges, or other risks alike. The data speed won’t be a concern if you desire to adopt such a switch for IP devices that think network speed is the premise factor. Because the ultra long range PoE switch can remain 100Mbps network speed even in a 500m deployment. The multiple PoE ports meet the requirements of installation of a system with multiple IP cameras or other IP devices around the same location.

Is High Bandwidth & Low Latency Required?

PoE extenders or ultra long range PoE switches utilize PoE technology and Ethernet cable, the network speed will be interfered and lost in line, especially in a large length setup. For applications need to build a connection with high bandwidth and low latency capacity over long distance, the final solution should be fiber optic network. Because fiber optic technology has overcome the geographical and operational challenges of long-distance deployments with a maximum distance of up to 80 km without signal boosters, which makes use of glass or plastic fiber optic cable to achieve it.

To build a fiber optic network for IP camera installation, we can classify into three parts, including main network, signal conversion and connection. Below diagram we show you how to use optical fiber network in IP camera setup.

Main network may be existing or is easy to build one. Ethernet or PoE network generally consists of routers, Ethernet switch, or PoE switch, moreover, and when referring to IP surveillance network, NVR or PoE NVR will include for most situations.

Regarding to signal conversion, we should learn some basics. The main network part employs Ethernet cable to transmit electric signal, whereas fiber optic network use fiber optic cable to transmit light signal. As a result, signal conversion tool are needed, and they are fiber media converters and SFP transceivers(aka SFP modules). These two gadgets have to work together to finish the signal conversion job, and for most applications, they are both used in a pair. Some people wonder why these two things don’t produce as one product directly, and this is largely determined by the SFP modules. In order to meet different needs, SFP modules are varied network speeds and transmission distances, and some of them only work with specific brands due to different protocols being used.

Last but not the least, connection is the key for a successful installation. As illustrated above, we need to use fiber optic cable as connection or transmitting media for signal. Fiber optic cables are divided into single-mode and multi-mode fiber optic cables. Single-mode serves a long distance transmission with higher bandwidth due to its cable structure, a cleaner channel is used to transmit signal with less attenuation. Multi-mode fiber cables are more widely for applications with a shorter transmission distance(within 300-400 meters). Fiber optic cable are not always pre-made like Ethernet cable, it is a quite complicate work to get connector attached properly, but for home or regular business use, pre-terminated fiber optic cable is a fair option. The connectors have been pre-terminated and 100% tested in the factory, so the performance effect can be guaranteed and it features plug-and-play to make connector termination easier and faster.

What if Installing Multiple IP Cameras?

For applications to install not just one or two cameras in the long distance, using PoE extenders for each link is not cost-efficient and increase installation hassle as you need to run long cable from the main network to each PoE extender and to each IP camera separately. Here you should consider to use PoE switch or PoE powered switch to reduce long range deployment challenge, to place a PoE switch at a suitable point, only one main cabling is needed instead.

These two methods are differ from how they get power. PoE switches need to be powered by AC power source by plugging an adaptor into an power outlet, which PoE powered switches accept PoE power option. Let’s see how this works.

If AC power source is available for extension tool, to choose PoE switches is feasible. PoE switches integrate multiple Ethernet or PoE ports in one unit, you can daisy chain one after the main network device like router or NVR, and power and network can be delivered over single cable then supply for IP cameras at different points. Similarly, a maximum of 100 meters PoE transmission is extended. But if you ask for greater distance, it is not reasonable to daisy chain more PoE switches to avoid heavy data latency problem, and ensure the stability for the whole system.

While if AC power is not easy to get, I believe PoE powered switch is the best assistance. By using the PoE passthrough switch, you can easily extend PoE for another 100 meters by transmitting power and data simultaneously via one network cable. 

PoE powered switches, also called PoE passthrough switches, work as both a powered device (PD) and a power sourcing equipment (PSE), which means that the switch itself can be powered by a PSE (PoE switch or PoE injector) while simultaneously providing power to the connected PDs(IP camera). Since the PoE passthrough switch has built-in passthrough feature, it can be installed in any place without the constraints of an AC outlet.

What’s more, in order to provide multiple PoE ports, the PoE powered switch should have high PoE power budget, so 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.

More Information Need to Know in Long distance IP Camera Setup

Consider Power Loss is Necessary

Make clear how much power is needed for the extension device is not only need to figure out the power consumption of the IP cameras, but also require to think about power loss issue.

There is always a loss of performance during transmission, especially in long-distance implementations. The electricity is dissipated as heat and released into the air, eventually leading to great voltage drops over the long cable runs. In theory, the longer the distance, the more power loss. Hence considering power loss plays an important role in the selection of extension equipment.

PoE Extension Emphasis Compatibility

PoE complies with different PoE standards, including IEEE802.3at, IEEE802.3af, and IEEE802.3bt as well. These standards depend how much power the PoE extension devices can be received and supplied. Find out the actual power budget is needed, and then choose the compatible one to decrease installation failures. And there are passive PoE extension devices available, this kinds of devices may not work compatibly or safely with your ready-to-install PoE cameras.

Choose Pure Copper Cable if Possible

Remember to utilize pure copper Ethernet cable, Cat5e, or Cat6 or higher categories to avoid voltage drop and decrease power loss problems. Especially when the distance of cabling is a little bit long, pure copper cables experience a weak power and data loss inline. The cable quality determines how much power and bandwidth can be remained and be received by the camera over a long run inline. Pure copper cable is able to provide a better performance and safety to connection compared to the cheaper copper clad aluminum(CCA) cables. If the cable are sold at a too low price, it may need to confirm the quality repeatedly.

Implement Surge Protection is Useful

For IP surveillance camera installation, especially for the outdoor applications, it is quite important to implement protection measures to ensure the stability and durability.And you should concern the harm of surges, especially under lightning days. Lightning strike is considered one of the most dangerous and deadly events that can occur in outdoor network installations, damaging sensitive data center equipment and even causing personal injury. Try to secure the whole PoE system with enhanced surge protection by adding PoE surge protectors at both sides.

Look into Waterproof Rated in Outdoor Deployment

Additionally, water ingress issue is a main reason to cause device damage or system failure. If the extension tool may be placed at  wash-down areas or high-humidity places, it is bether to pick up the outdoor-rated type, which are well designed with at least IP67 waterproof rated houses, and this gives a better guarantee to enhance system stability and extend the usage life.

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