[Overview] What Is Ethernet Extender, Its Functions, and Types? [MiniTool Wiki]

What Is Ethernet?

Ethernet is a data-transmission protocol for computing devices connected by a local area network (LAN). This technology specifies physical-layer cabling as well as the format of digital data protocol units (PDUs).

Read more: What Is Ethernet & Why Use It & How Does It Work?

What Is an Ethernet extender?

An Ethernet extender is any device that is used to extend an Ethernet or network segment beyond its inherent distance limit, which is approximately 100 meters (328 feet) for most common forms of twisted pair Ethernet. Therefore, it is also known as a network extender or LAN extender.

The Ethernet extenders adopt a variety of transmission techniques and physical media like wireless, copper wire, fiber-optic cable, and coaxial cable. They deliver traffic between LANs transparent to higher network-layer protocols over distances that far exceed the limits of the standard Ethernet.

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Ethernet Extender Functions

In general, there are two main functions of an Ethernet extender.

  • Extend the distance of an Ethernet connection far beyond the standard 100-m limitation.
  • Expand the cabling options to include a wider range of physical media like unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable, coaxial cable, and CATx cabling.

Types of Ethernet Extender

There are a few types of ethernet extenders with each having its own special functions.

#1 Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet describes any of several standards or ad hoc systems that pass electric power along with data on twisted-pair Ethernet cabling. This enables a single cable to offer not only a data connection but also electric power. PoE extenders are a good solution for powering distant devices located in non-powered or hard-to-reach areas.

#2 WiFi Extender

A Wi-Fi extender is a device that takes an existing signal from a wireless router or wireless access point and rebroadcasts it to create a second network. It is also called a wireless range extender or a wireless repeater. A wifi extender is needed to bridge the gap when 2 or more hosts have to be connected over the IEEE 802.11 protocol and the distance is too long for a direct connection to be established. 

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#3 Ethernet over Coax

Ethernet over Coax (EoC) is a family of technologies that support the transmission of Ethernet frames over coaxial cable. It can extend your network over existing coax cable without costing much money. An economic way for Internet extending.

#4 Ethernet over T1

This is a kind of Ethernet extender that expands your network through multiple 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX Ethernet across fractional T1/E1 lines.

#5 Ethernet over UTP

This type of Ethernet extender extends your Internet over UTP cable with managed and unmanaged multiport and single-port Ethernet extenders.

#6 Industrial Extender

Hardened, DIN rail extenders designed for harsh industrial environments. Some with PoE.  

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