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POE & POE+ Explained

So what is POE? Well POE means Power Over Ethernet and this is a method of sending power to a network device, e.g. an IP camera along the same data cable that connects it to the network switch or router.

Nearly all Camsecure IP webcams are dual power so they can be powered from a separate DC power unit and the network carries the signal back to the router or switch, or they can be used via POE which makes installation simpler as there is only one cable to take to the camera - the network cable.

POE camera vs Non POE camera

Using POE for your IP cameras has many advantages, there is a time and cost saving as there is no need for extral electrical sockets to be installed for the cameras, and as only a single network cable is required its easier to install and move your IP webcam to a new location.

There is a higher degree of safety for the equipment too as POE delivery is intelligent, and designed to protect network equipment from overload, underpowering, or incorrect installation.

POE power comes from a central and universally compatible source, rather than a collection of separate power supplies so its also easier to back up the power to the cameras using a central UPS battery back up unit.

Different Types Of POE

There are a few types of POE depending on the power that is required and although its important to get the correct amount of power for your camera or other POE device in order for it to work correctly, you wont damage anything by using the wrong POE unit. That is if you need 20 Watts for the device and plug a 30 Watt POE unit on to it, the camera will still only draw its 20 watts and will work fine with 10 Watts to spare. If you only put a 10 Watt POE unit on to a camera needing 20 Watts then the camera would simply not work as there would not be enough power for - but again no damage will be done to either component.

So here are the different POE standards:-

POE - The 802.3af POE standard is fine for network devices that require up to around 13 Watts of electrical power.

POE Plus - Often marked as POE+ is the 802.3at standard and nearly doubles the amount of electrical power available to powered devices up to to 25.5 Watts.

Hi-POE - Is obviously much higher power and is used for cameras such as our IP Speed Domes which also have motors in them to move the camera and zoom in and out etc. These operations mean that the camera draws much more power so for this type of camera a Hi-POE supply is required. Hi-POE can provide in excess of 60 Watts of power and one Camsecure model injector can supply 95 Watts if necessary.

POE Plus switches and injectors will recognise 802.3af powered devices and enable POE to use them as normal. POE Plus powered devices can also be connected to 802.3af POE switches or injectors, and are supposed to restrict how much power they use accordingly. All camsecure IP webcams that use POE have the required standard in their specification e.g. POE / POE+ / Hi-POE so its easy to know which type of POE injector or switch you need.

Using POE With Cameras

First off, POE power units need between 40 to 60 Volt power supplies which are supplied with the units. These power supplies should only be plugged in to the POE device they come with e.g. only plug into the Injector or Switch that they are meant for. If you plug this POE PSU into a camera or other device directly you will destroy that device. The POE unit then sends the appropriate voltage and current for the power required to the camera or other POE device on the end of the cable and auto detects what is required.

POE Camera and Switch Wiring Example

Using POE With Cameras

To use a POE camera with a POE Network Switch or POE Router simply plug the camera into a POE port and you are set. Providing the port has enough power for your camera everything will work fine.

If you need more power or if the Switch or Router does not have POE, then for a single camera you can use a POE Injector. This will plug in between the camera network lead and the router or switch and will inject power to the camera keeping it isolated from the non POE switch. If you have a non POE router and want to add two or more POE cameras to it then you will find it cheaper to use a POE switch and plug this into one of the ports of the router and then plug the POE cameras into the POE switch.

Using POE is so much simpler than using separate power units for the cameras and makes a neater installation too.

POE will work on 10/100 and Gigabit networks too. Gigabit Ethernet is a uses various technologies for transmitting Ethernet frames at a rate of a gigabit per second, as defined by the IEEE 802.3-2008 standard.

If you are using full copper network cable e.g. CAT5, CAT5e or CAT6 then you will be able to run your POE cameras on up to 100 metres of cable before needing a POE Extender. BUT if you use the cheaper CCA network cable (Copper Covered Aluminium) you will struggle to reach anywhere near this distance for POE. So use the best cable and your POE cameras will work fine. You can find out more about Netowk Cables here. 

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