IP camera installation may encounter all kinds of challenges, long range deployment is one of the most common ones. To overcome long range deployment, it is imperative to find solutions that help extend distances to IP cameras. PoE extender is widely used for extending the range of IP devices. Today, we’ll discuss how to use and choose PoE extenders for IP cameras over long runs.
How Far Can an IP Camera Run over Ethernet Cabling?
For most beginners to IP camera setup, they might have no idea for what is the exact distance of an IP camera. IP cameras rely on LAN to stream video to the central monitoring room for live video viewing or local recording. As IP cameras are digital cameras taking advantage of Internet protocol, the majority of IP cameras utilize Ethernet cables for data transmission, in other words, IP cameras are connected to the main network with Ethernet cables.
What is an Ethernet Cable?
Ethernet cables are wired network cables made by 4 twisted pairs of wires(8 wires) and attached with an RJ45 connector. They are mostly applied to achieve Internet connection by connecting network devices to routers, network switches, or something like that. Cat5e and Cat6 are frequently used, and higher categories of Ethernet cables are available to meet demanding applications.
Ethernet cables have different variations in their lengths. Sometimes people would get a short cable for reaching IP cameras located a little bit far, fortunately, the cable length can be extended. This issue generally can be simply solved by using the so-called inline couplers, which are cost-effective and easy-to-use tools by connecting two pieces of Ethernet cable physically.
Ethernet Cabling Distance Limitation
However, this above-mentioned method has its maximum range for the reason that Ethernet cables have their inherent limitations in practical uses, one of the drawbacks of Ethernet cables is the restricted transmission distance.
Ethernet cabling typically supports a maximum transmission distance of around 100 meters(328ft.) due to power and signal loss. That being said, beyond this range, there are probably not sufficient power and signal for IP cameras or other network devices to function normally.
Use PoE Extender to Extend the Distances
To maintain or increase the amount of power and signal for IP cameras over long distance runs, using PoE extenders is the most economic and convenient way to get the distance extended with its capability of signal and voltage boosting. In the following, we’ll walk you through PoE extenders for IP cameras involving elaborate information including what is, why choose as well as how to use and select.
What is a PoE Extender?
PoE extenders are advanced creations designed to get Ethernet cable transmission distance reached farther in a handy and safe way.
PoE extenders, aka PoE repeaters, are devices initially designed to improve the performance of long distance PoE devices, such as PoE wireless access points and PoE cameras. PoE extenders allow to double the distance of Ethernet cable with another 100 meters or stretching up to 500 meters(1640fts) Ethernet/PoE connection when using more models in the link.
They are advanced Ethernet/PoE extension devices adopting PoE technology, which made them a preference for most people with distance extension demands.
Since IP cameras and PoE cameras(IP cameras with PoE capability) have gradually become the replacement of traditional analog CCTV cameras that use coaxial cabling, so the coaxial cable extenders tend to fade out in the market in these years. Similarly, the old-fashioned UTP Ethernet extenders are less attractive because of the prevalence of PoE technology and the benefits that it brings to the actual installation of long distance IP camera deployment.
PoE stands for Power over Ethernet, which enables Ethernet cable to deliver power simultaneously. It streamlines the installation of IP devices, such as IP cameras, wireless access points, and VoIP phones. Generally, there are two types PoE devices, one is PSE(Power Sourcing Equipment), and the other is PD(Power Device).
Why Select PoE Extenders as the Extension Solution?
Now that we know that PoE extenders are one of the PoE distance extension tools. The question is why PoE extenders stand out to expanding distance, that said, what advantages can PoE extenders offer? Let’s simply get a closer look into several key reasons for making them an attractive option.
Increase the Range of PoE
For starters, PoE extenders function well making the PoE range be increased to farther locations for PoE devices, including PoE cameras, PoE WAPs, PoE VoIP phones, etc. The weak signal and power are effectively and safely boosted where the PoE extenders are placed among the link.
PoE extenders can be deemed as one of the most cost-effective solutions. Firstly, PoE extenders are not as expensive as other electronic devices. Furthermore, in most cases, you only require the PoE extenders to accomplish the distance extension, which means, only a single unit is needed, saving the cost of extra accessories. Besides, it features a safe PoE connection, you can do the work by yourself, eliminating the investment in hiring installers.
Quick installation is a prominent benefit worth including because of its simple plug-and-play setup. As long as you get the PoE extender plugged into the correct ports of both ends of network devices, the long range transmission will come into reality. Even if you don’t have much electrical knowledge, it is not difficult for you to set this gadget to work fast and easily.
Despite the essence of PoE extender to add flexibility to IP cameras or other network devices placement. The PoE extender itself also gives high flexibility because of its PoE capability. It receives power through an Ethernet cable at the same time, the power outlet around the PoE extenders can also be moved. Therefore, in the long run, you can place the PoE extender anywhere suitable without considering whether there is an AC power outlet present or not.
PoE extenders offer high scalability as the growth of your home or business expands the IP surveillance system. You are permitted to add more PoE extenders or other networking devices, such as PoE switches to meet the need to add more IP cameras or some else network devices for better surveillance performance or networking experience.
How Does a PoE Extender Come into Play?
Having known the functions and benefits provided by PoE extenders in Ethernet extension to IP cameras, next, you are supposed to find out how exactly does a PoE extender work? As a matter of fact, PoE extenders work simply, which is not as complex as imagined in the mind.
PoE extenders receive PoE from the main power sourcing equipment(e.g. PoE switch), and the consumed power and signal can be repeated and boosted internally inside the PoE extenders, then generate corresponding PoE and supply to the connected PoE cameras. All the connections among different devices are used Ethernet cables. Basically, one PoE extender provides 100 meters, and some support daisy chain capability, allowing you to use up to 4 pieces of PoE extenders to reach 500 meters of PoE transmission from the main PSE to the edge PD.
Where Should You Place the PoE Extenders?
According to the above-talked content, PoE extenders apparently should be placed between the PSE and PD, take the PoE switch and PoE camera are examples to make a brief diagram.
One thing to note, it is advisable for you to place the PoE extender as closer to the IP camera as possible considering the increasing power and signal loss as the further the distance will be.
The Buyers Guide to Choose the Best-suited PoE Extenders for IP Cameras
Choosing the best-suited PoE extenders is tough work calling for considerate selection. As you know, if wrong or unmatched models are bought, which would be money and time-consuming. Here we plan to discuss several crucial factors that asked for extra emphasis and some key features that should be looked for, hoping to help the buyers get the proper and pleasant purchasing.
Factors to Focus on
Different types of IP cameras or different scales of IP camera systems have different bandwidth requirements. Bandwidth is used to estimate the speed of the network. The network speed that can be supplied to the IP cameras is the level of the IP camera’s real performance. To avoid issues like video lags or video drop frames, you need to figure out the actual bandwidth consumption of all the IP cameras linked to a PoE extender and buy ones that can satisfy the needs. Generally, more IP cameras refer to the larger bandwidth needed.
PoE extenders typically provide network speed of fast Ethernet(100Mbps) and Gigabit Ethernet(1000Mbps). If only a few IP cameras demanding for long distance deployment, fast Ethernet is enough. Gigabit is better to fit larger systems or for future-proofing uses.
If you desire to use PoE extenders to work with PoE cameras, the PoE standard is one critical factor you should bear in mind. PoE cameras comply with IEEE802.3 PoE standards, and so do the PoE extenders. Different PoE standards show different power outputs and are supplied to connected IP cameras. The PoE standards of both devices need to be matched accordingly.
PoE extenders complied with the IEEE802.3af standard and can only give up to 12.95W, while those that support the IEEE802.3at standard provide a maximum of 25.5W, and some even adopt advanced IEEE802.3bt standard, supplying 71.3W max. output power to get high power PTZ cameras with heaters or sensors function well over a long range. In general, PoE extenders with IEEE802.3bt compliance also can work with PoE cameras with IEEE802.3af/at compliance.
The housing of the PoE extender largely determines the use life or capability of adapting to a practical deployment environment. PoE extenders are made of plastic or metal housing. Plastic housing tends to apply for indoor uses, on the contrary, metal housing definitely comes with superior resistance to physical elements, like rain, wind, corrosion, etc.
●Operating Temperature Range
Another facet to look into is the operating temperature range. How wide the range of PoE extenders can provide, or the capability to withstand extreme temperature, make them categorized into commercial grade and industrial hardened grade. Commercial grades generally are meant to work with an operating temperature range from 0 to 40°C, and industrial grades can reach a range of -40 to 75°C. Consequently, if your PoE extenders work under extreme weather, especially for outdoor or industrial applications, you’d better choose those that support wide operating temperatures.
● IP Rating
Actually, water or moisture is the major factor that caused harm to the PoE extenders, as the majority of installers bury the PoE extender underground or expose them at harsh outdoor. It is a tremendous necessity to confirm the IP rating provided by PoE extenders. To effectively resist water or moisture ingress so as to reduce product failures, you are supposed to select PoE extenders support at IP66 waterproof rating, and IP68 is the better ensuring the optimal reliability.
● Mounting Options
Similar to networking devices like network switches, PoE extenders allow being mounted in different ways. You can find desktop mounting, pole mounting, rack mounting, and so on. Remember to consider which mounting can best fit your deployment environment and space.
Features to Look for
High quality is always fundamental to guarantee a successful setup and stable operation. PoE extenders are produced by numerous brands, this can be found when searching on the Internet or all kinds of shopping platforms. We should only pay an eye to those good qualities. You can judge from the comprehensive strength, including the reputation of the brands, the descriptions and sources of the product pages or their websites, the price of the products, the after-sale policies and terms, and so on. Don’t try those that are sold at an irrationally low price. As a rule of thumb, the higher price generally indicates better quality.
A safe integration to the existing network is of great significance for the reason that this might impact the stable operation of the network or the security of the business data. Some PoE extenders support seamless connection, that said there is no harm to the current data, such as packet loss, etc.
●Easy to Use
Finding PoE extenders that give complete user guides and easy-to-use design can effectively get rid of the frustration of complex setup and reduce system downtime, especially for businesses.
When encountering problems in the future, timely technical support is useful to get the problems resolved easier and quicker. Notice whether there is online or offline technical support offered by the companies that you are ready to trust.
How Do FASTCABLING’s PoE Extenders Help Increase Distances to IP Cameras?
Provided that only one or two PoE cameras require to use PoE extender to extend the PoE distance within 200 meters(656ft.), 5540-75 is the perfect PoE extender due to its simple installation and cost-efficiency.
Add one unit of the PoE extender to the link, and it equips with one PoE input and one PoE output, you can easily extend the PoE range with a simple plug-and-play setup and its considerate LED indication.
With its compact size and plastic lightweight design, it is ideal for space-constrained deployments. IP67 waterproof rated declare its high reliability and superior resistance to water or moisture.
It supports fast Ethernet and it is not a problem to satisfy even the 4K cameras. Complied with IEEE802.3af/at standard, supplied sufficient power to various PoE cameras, including PTZ cameras.
Or still one or two PoE cameras with long-run demand, but the distance is over 200 meters, which means using one piece of PoE extender can’t address the issue, the specially designed 5540-01 PoE extension kit is the advanced solution with no need to chain PoE extenders limited to every 100 meters.
5540-01 PoE extension kit, unlike the traditional use of a PoE extender, the distance between two PoE extenders is not just 100 meters, and this is expanded to a maximum of 300 meters.
A longer distance means fewer failure points during the long runs. Take the 500 meters PoE transmission between the PoE switch and the PoE camera, for example, you need 4 pieces of PoE extenders to realize the goal, but with the help of 5540-01, only two PoE extenders can reach 500 meters PoE connection.
What’s more, it gives great convenience when using direct burial installation, only Ethernet cable will be buried underground when the distance is not beyond 300 meters.
What if there are two IP cameras waiting for extended less than 300 meters(984ft.), and reliability is a crucial demand, don’t miss the 5540-60 because it is made from IK10 metal housing, and its dual PoE outputs feature.
5540-60 PoE extender supports IP68 waterproof rated and wide working temperature ranges of 40°C ~75°C, offering high reliability when suffering from element threat under harsh environment. If demanding ultra reliability to against corrosion, Fastcabling also launched a fully metal type, the 5540-55 95W 2 Port Waterproof PoE Extender with 60W Output. The 5540-55 as its name implies, can supply 60W max. output power, which is the perfect choice for meeting high power PTZ cameras with heaters or sensors.
Dual PoE outputs allow installers to get flexible installation. If one location requires mounting two IP cameras, you can install the two PoE cameras only thru single long cabling to the PoE extender, saving lots of hassle and cost to some extent. Moreover, if there the second camera is set over 100m from the location of the first camera, you can link the first camera to one of the PoE out ports, and the other is used to connect the other PoE extender for extending the distance to the second camera.
It also enables quick and easy installation without the complex knowledge and skills needed. Complied with IEEE802.3af/at/bt standard, and support 60W max. PoE and each PoE output get 30W max. power.
4. PoE Extender Plus PoE Switch
It is also a common scenario demanding more IP cameras to be extended for now or future. Only need to add a PoE switch behind the PoE extender. This method does save hassle and money on separate long cabling and setup, however, it has its unavoidable drawback, namely, accompanied with a higher risk of all the connected IP cameras dropping offline at the same time as long as any failure occurs to the PoE extender. Fortunately, you can choose to solve the issue with the long range PoE switches, which will talk about later.
Additional Considerations to Use PoE Extenders for IP Cameras
Pure Copper Cable
Using pure copper cables, such as Cat5e, Cat6 or higher categories for connection can effectively decrease power loss and voltage drop. Avoid using the cheaper copper clad aluminum(CCA) cables or others that come with an extremely low price, otherwise, the performance and safety of the system might experience great threat.
Sometimes, only using PoE extenders won’t make sense to extend the PoE range, because PoE extenders are not active devices, they need to receive PoE from the back end instead of creating by themselves. When connecting the PoE extender to PoE cameras, place a PoE switch to get PoE, or if only the network switch is in function, remember to add a PoE injector to inject power to the link. Another situation is when used with non-PoE cameras, you still have a chance to utilize PoE transmission by applying a PoE splitter.
From what is mentioned earlier, we know that PoE extenders tend to use in harsh outdoors. It is significant to take additional account into a careful installation. Although high quality or outdoor type PoE extenders are applied, you still face the risk of water or moisture because of improper installation. It’s highly recommended to do more protective measures in virtue of tools, like a wrench to fasten the gap that might leak water or moisture in, or the conduct to cover cable, achieving true waterproof capability.
Surges protection is worth an investment, as surges exist all the time, and they always cause severe damages, such as system failure, and fire disasters, especially during lightning weather. Employ surge protectors on both sides, the main network and the PoE camera can absorb extra surges to maintain a stable operation.
Alternatives to Extend Ethernet Distance, What are the Differences?
Virtually, it is not difficult to find out some other worth considering options to extend Ethernet cable distance. They come with their pros and cons to meet people with different requirements and deployment conditions. Here we list three universal alternatives that are accepted by the installers and consumers:
● PoE Switches
●Fiber Media Converters
●Wireless Network Bridges
PoE switches, undoubtedly, might be the first thought that comes into our minds as they have been applied for home or business networking widely and they permit the users to stick with existing Ethernet cabling.
Adding a new PoE switch can get another 100 meters, which is the same as PoE extenders but with the demand for on-site AC power sources, thus this is ideal for applications where AC power sources, such as power outlets, are available or easy to obtain.
Luckily, with the development of PoE power provision, PoE powered switches are come into the real world to eliminate the need for a present AC power outlet for the switch. They can receive PoE from the main PSE(PoE switch or PoE injector). To utilize them, you should invest in high power PoE++ PSE.
There are long range PoE switches that break the inherent limit with special technology, providing a maximum of 800 meters long distance Ethernet/PoE transmission to IP cameras or other network devices. If you have a plan to replace the old network switch, this device couldn’t be better. Certainly, it is also suited to use as the second PoE switch if your network switches still function well.
Fiber Media Converters
Fiber media converters can also be regarded as a sort of Ethernet extension device to some extent although this approach sources a different cabling medium to accomplish data transmission, fiber optic cabling.
Using fiber media converters to make conversion between fiber and Ethernet, to make valid communication between the two entirely different mediums. Fiber optic cabling enables far long distances (up to 80km) than its copper-based Ethernet cabling counterpart. There are some else features such as large bandwidth, high network speed, excellent safety, security, etc. Whereas fiber media converters are not able to get PoE connection from the main network point as fiber optic links don’t carry power.
Related Article: Fiber Optic Network in Long Distance IP Surveillance
Wireless Network Bridges
The above-discussed Ethernet/PoE extension methods call for wired cabling over long runs. In fact, you are opted to extend the distance to IP cameras saving the hassle of running long cables.
Wireless network bridges are tools that help build wireless LAN over 1 kilometer from the main network to the remote end. The signal is transmitted through the air wireless. It is a fair choice to break Ethernet distance limitation when lacking sound conditions to run a cable or get optimal convenience.
To utilize the wireless network bridges, you are supposed to ensure that you have a free line of sight deployment for installing them, otherwise, you know that WiFi signal can be severely impacted by physical obstructions like walls, and trees.
Related Article: Long Range Wireless LAN
Talk to the Experts
It might be overwhelmed, especially for beginners, when making the decision whether PoE extenders are the best-suited choice or how to use PoE extenders or Ethernet extensions for IP cameras or other IP devices, such as wireless access points, VoIP phones. Talk to one of the FASTCABLING experts today, and tell us your challenges and confusion, so as to save cost and hassle for a successful installation with the assistance of professional advice.