Understanding Power over Ethernet: A Comprehensive Guide

3 min read
Understanding Power over Ethernet: A Comprehensive Guide
October 27th, 2023

Wireless networks have facilitated the transfer of information without cables, bringing everyday convenience. However, powering devices situated in inconvenient locations has remained a challenge. With Power over Ethernet (PoE), hard-to-reach devices are powered while also providing a network connection. Let’s delve deeper into the world of PoE:

What is Power over Ethernet?

PoE is a technology that allows devices to receive electrical power and data through a single Ethernet cable, a concept that has its roots in the early 1900s with “phantom power.” This technology evolved over the years, with Cisco being the first to create a successful PoE solution, which became standardized for wider use in 2003 by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Devices Utilizing PoE

Initially created for security cameras and VoIP phones, PoE now caters to a growing range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including wireless sound systems in smart homes, heart monitor implants with wireless capabilities, video conferencing solutions, and thin client computers. Airtame 2 is designed to work with PoE with the Airtame PoE adapter, supporting PoE types 1-4. The Airtame Hub has built-in PoE+ (Type 2) to deliver a solid network connection for unprecedented video & audio quality when conducting hybrid meetings.

The Benefits of Using PoE

PoE offers a plethora of benefits, including:

  • Single Cable Solution PoE allows for a single Ethernet cable to transmit both power and data to a device. This not only simplifies the installation process, but also reduces the chances of connection issues arising from multiple cables. The single cable solution ensures that devices such as video conferencing systems and screen casting solutions maintain a steady connection, providing a seamless experience during video and audio calls.
  • Stable and Reliable Connection Ethernet connections are generally more stable and reliable compared to wireless connections. PoE leverages this stability, ensuring a constant and uninterrupted power supply and network connection. This stability is crucial during video and audio calls, preventing disruptions that can occur due to weak wireless signals or fluctuating power supply.
  • Enhanced Network SecurityA wired network connection, facilitated by PoE, is inherently more secure than a wireless connection, which is more susceptible to interceptions and hacking. By utilizing a secure network, organizations can ensure the confidentiality and integrity of their communications, making video conferencing platforms more secure.
  • Quality of Service (QoS) FeaturesMany PoE switches come with Quality of Service (QoS) features, which allow for the prioritization of data traffic. Network administrators can prioritize video and audio call data over other types of data traffic, ensuring a smoother and higher-quality call experience. By reducing latency and jitter, QoS features enhance the quality of video meeting platforms.
  • Scalability and FlexibilityPoE technology is scalable, allowing for the easy addition of new devices to the network. Moreover, PoE facilitates flexibility in the placement of devices, including those used in video and audio conferencing, as they do not need to be located near power outlets. This flexibility ensures that organizations can set up conferencing systems in the most convenient locations, enhancing the quality of video and audio calls.

Power over Ethernet ensures a solid network connection for video meeting platforms, screen casting, digital screen signage, and more by providing a stable and secure connection, enhancing the quality of service, and offering scalability and flexibility in device placement. PoE is a smart choice for a cleaner, cable-free environment, offering a streamlined and efficient alternative for powering devices while connecting them to your network.

Interested in learning more about how PoE can benefit your organization? Sign up for a demo call to see how PoE enhances Airtame products.

Interested? Let’s talk.


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