What Is Power over Ethernet (PoE) & PoE vs Ethernet over Power [MiniTool Wiki]

What Is Power over Ethernet?

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) describes any of several standards or ad hoc systems that pass electric power together with data on twisted-pair Ethernet cabling. That enables a single cable to provide both electric power and network connection to devices like wireless access points (WAPs), voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones, and Internet protocol cameras.

power over Ethernet VoIP phone

Transmitting power over Ethernet cabling takes advantage of several common techniques. 3 of those technologies have been standardized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard IEEE 802.3 since 2003. Those standards are known as alternative A, alternative B, and 4PPoE. 

Power over Ethernet Devices

The following are the example devices that adopt PoE technology.

  • WAPs
  • VoIP phones
  • IP cameras including pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras
  • IP Television (IPTV) decoders
  • Network routers
  • PoE Ethernet switches
  • PoE splitters
  • Inline Ethernet extenders
  • Remote point of sale (POS) kiosks
  • Networked audio breakout and routing boxes
  • Public address systems, and hallway speaker amplifiers
  • Wall clocks with time set using network time protocol (NTP)
  • Outdoor roof-mounted radios, outdoor point to point microwave and millimeter-wave radios
  • Meters, sensors, controllers, etc. industrial control system components
  • Intercoms, entry cards, keyless entry, and so on access control components
  • Intelligent lighting controllers and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting fixtures

power over Ethernet IP camera

Distinguish PoE with Ethernet over Power

Ethernet over power refers to applying power line communications (PLC), which carries data on a conductor that is also used simultaneously for AC electric power transmission or electric power distribution to consumers, in a home to interconnect home computers, peripherals, and entertainment devices that have an Ethernet port.

Powerline adapter sets plug into power outlets to establish an Ethernet connection using the existing electrical wiring in the home. That permits devices to share data without the inconvenience of running dedicated network cables.

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