PoE makes surveillance sense

Issue 4 2023 Surveillance, Products & Solutions

A business wanting to install surveillance cameras on its premises must consider how to supply power to wherever it wants to place a camera, and that could mean paying for additional electrical work. Some buildings may require a permit, or even prohibit the kind of modifications needed to support cameras. A business may even have to compromise on its security plans, as there might be no feasible way to bring power to places where a camera will be most effective, such as in a ceiling-mount or a remote corner.

Installation and maintenance can often be a complicated process for traditional cameras that require separate cabling for both power and data, making them costly to install. The solution is something we’re all familiar with in our phones and other USB devices — both power and data delivered over a single cable. This is thanks to Power-over-Ethernet, or PoE.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) simplifies IP camera installation, with both power and data carried over a standard network cable. Using PoE means less modification to your premises, requires no electrician or building permit, and will need less maintenance. Supported by an increasing number of new cameras, the PoE standard can deliver power to even high-end devices, making advanced monitoring systems available to a wider range of organisations.

PoE offers several unique business benefits:

• Power and data delivered to devices using standard network cabling (Cat 5e/Cat 6/Cat 7).

• Central management of an organisation’s entire IP infrastructure from a single PoE switch.

• Applications include cameras, wireless access points, IP phones, and biometric access panels.

• Delivers up to 90 W of power to each device, with more to come.

• Supports even high-end devices, including advanced cameras.

“Adopting PoE means you need only one cable to both connect and provide power to remote devices up to 100 metres away from the switch. If you already have networking cables installed throughout your business premises, you might then only need to purchase a compatible NETGEAR PoE switch, and turn it on,” says Tobie van Schalkwyk, Product Manager for NETGEAR at Duxbury Networking.

In the absence of a network, the installation of the required cabling for a PoE surveillance system is still simpler, safer, and cheaper than anything involving electrical work. PoE switches are available in a wide range of configurations to suit businesses of all sizes. Both managed and unmanaged switches are available to satisfy different IT requirements.

An 8-port switch has enough power to connect a small environment, such as a few cameras and access points in a single small area, while larger models can generate enough power to supply high-end IP equipment throughout an entire building. PoE usually reduces the total cost of a security installation, and planning for it now will make it easier to maintain equipment within your business in the future.

The PoE market encompasses several fully independent IEEE standards — 802.3af (PoE) and 802.3at (PoE+), with a third called 802.3bt recently ratified. This new standard will further raise the power output for connected devices up to 100 W, allowing for even more advanced devices to be connected.

NETGEAR envisages the proliferation of all kinds of equipment powered and controlled using PoE hardware, including displays, speakers, and advanced IoT sensors. The secure, smart, green building of the future is only possible with the right infrastructure, and PoE is the technology that can make it a reality.

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