What Is Power over Ethernet and Why Should You Care?

Power over Ethernet, or PoE, is a technology that allows you to transmit both data and power over a single Ethernet cable. While this might not seem like a big deal at first glance, the implications of PoE are far-reaching and can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at PoE and explain why it’s become such an important part of the IT landscape.

How PoE Works

PoE transmits data and power over one Ethernet cable by using two wires to carry DC power (negative and positive) and four wires to carry data (transmit positive [TP], transmit negative [TN], receive positive [RP], receive negative [RN]). The amount of power that can be transmitted depends on the PoE standard being used; the most common standard, 802.3af, can transmit up to 15.4 watts while the newer 802.3at standard can transmit up to 30 watts.

The big advantage of PoE is that it simplifies wiring by eliminating the need for separate AC power lines. This is especially beneficial in situations where AC power is not readily available or where running new AC lines would be cost-prohibitive. PoE also offers a degree of redundancy since both data and power can be transmitted over the same cable; if one wire fails, the other can still keep things up and running.

Why You Should Care About PoE

PoE++ offers many advantages for both home users and businesses alike. For home users, PoE can be used to connect network devices that are located in difficult-to-wire areas such as attics or crawl spaces. This eliminates the need to run AC power lines to these locations, which can save you both time and money.

For businesses, PoE can be used to connect IP phones, WiFi access points, and security cameras to the network without having to run separate AC power lines to each device. This simplifies deployment and reduces installation costs. Additionally, since all of these devices are now connected via Ethernet, they can all be centrally managed which makes it easier to troubleshoot problems and apply updates/security patches.


Power over Ethernet is a game-changing technology that offers a multitude of benefits for home users and businesses alike. If you’re not already using PoE to simplify your networking infrastructure, now is the time to jump on board!

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