Tripp Lite
1111 W. 35th Street
Chicago, IL 60609
+1 (773) 869-1774
+1 (773) 869-1329

A Brief Overview of Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet, or PoE, allows both data and power to be delivered over a Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable. By eliminating the need for separate electrical wiring, PoE reduces the time, complexity and costs associated with powering a variety of networked devices.

power over ethernet endspan with ups battery backup to powered device

Powered Device (PD) – A device that receives power through the Ethernet cable. Examples include security cameras, wireless access points, VoIP phones, sensors, etc.

Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) – The device supplying power to the Ethernet cable:

  • PoE-Capable Network Switches (Endspans) deliver power and data to PDs
  • Power Injectors (Midspans) are placed between non-PoE switches and PDs

Types of PoE Devices

Extenders – The maximum length of an Ethernet cable is 100 meters (328 ft.) but this can easily be extended using a hub or switch. In PoE applications, an extender is used to "repeat" both the data and power, extending the cable run another 100 meters. This can be done a number of times before power degrades below the requirements of the PD.

power over ethernet extender

Splitters – To power a non-PoE device, a splitter draws power from the Ethernet cable and passes it to the device via its power port.

power over ethernet splitter

Media Converters – Transparently convert fiber to copper and provide power to PoE-compliant devices such as IP cameras, VoIP phones and wireless access points. A media converter is a type of PSE (it requires an AC power source) and is typically used when extending a data network beyond the limits of Ethernet.

power over ethernet media converter


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Tripp Lite
1111 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60609
United States

+1 (773) 869-1111 Main
1 773.869.1329 Fax

Business Hours
8 AM - 5:30 PM CST

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