What is a PoE?

A Power over Ethernet (PoE) Injector is a device that enables the delivery of both electrical power and data over a single Ethernet cable to network devices. It’s a common solution used in networking to power devices like IP cameras, wireless access points, VoIP phones, and other networked equipment in situations where it may be inconvenient or impractical to have a separate power source for each device.

Here’s what a typical PoE injector looks like and how it works:

Appearance: A PoE injector is a small, typically rectangular or box-shaped device with Ethernet ports and a power input. Its appearance may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer, but it generally includes:

  1. Ethernet Ports: PoE injectors usually have at least two Ethernet ports – one labeled “Data In” or “LAN” and another labeled “Data + Power Out” or “PoE Out.” The “Data In” port is where you connect your network switch or router, and the “Data + Power Out” port is where you connect the device you want to power.
  2. Power Input: There’s usually a power input port that accepts an AC or DC power source, which provides the electrical power to be sent over the Ethernet cable.

How It Works: The PoE injector works by taking power from a standard electrical outlet and combining it with the data signal from your network switch or router. Here’s a simplified overview of how it operates:

  1. You plug the PoE injector into a power outlet and connect it to your network switch or router using a standard Ethernet cable. This provides the data signal.
  2. You then connect the device (e.g., an IP camera or wireless access point) that you want to power using another Ethernet cable. This cable runs from the “Data + Power Out” port of the injector to the device.
  3. The PoE injector combines the electrical power with the data signal and sends both over the Ethernet cable to the connected device.
  4. The powered device receives both data and power through a single cable and operates accordingly.

PoE injectors are a convenient way to power network devices in locations where it’s challenging to run separate power lines. It’s important to ensure compatibility between the PoE injector and the device you want to power, as there are different PoE standards (e.g., IEEE 802.3af, IEEE 802.3at) that provide varying levels of power delivery. Additionally, PoE injectors should be used within their power budget to avoid overloading them.