White Paper

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE): A Smart Strategy For Upgrading Today's IP Surveillance Networks

Source: WYNIT Distribution, LLC

An ever-increasing number of today’s businesses, school districts and healthcare facilities are delving into Smart Ethernet switches with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology—and reaping big benefits for their IP Surveillance networks.

PoE Switches: The Basics

With PoE technology, IP cameras are powered using the same LAN cable (typically a UTP Cat5e or better) that also carries the IP video data. Normally, at the center of the network is a PoE switch—a traditional Ethernet switch that has the additional capability of “injecting” PoE power (48VDC) on the LAN cable. A PoE switch will commonly have 4, 8, 16, 24 or 48 ports, although other variants are also available. This switch provides power and data to the IP camera on each port—using a single LAN cable—up to 330 ft. (100 m.) away.

PoE switches fall into three basic categories: unmanaged, smart and managed.

  • Unmanaged switches provide basic connectivity between networked devices at a low cost. However, they aren’t capable of changing settings or functions. They tend to be easy to use and good for simple connectivity only.
  • Smart switches have a Graphical User Interface (GUI) with easy-to-understand controls, and are managed via a web browser. They provide intuitive guidance to users and are ideal for those who have no advanced network training.
  • Fully Managed switches have a GUI, and also a more technical Command Line Interface (CLI), which allows network administrators to create scripts to program and manage multiple switches. Fully managed switches have a full suite of capabilities that are often beyond the needs of a basic IP surveillance network.

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