Most hosted or cloud-based communications systems require Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality.
Power over Ethernet technology enables network cables to carry electrical power. Many network devices today (such as printers, security cameras, or computers) require two cables – one to connect the device to the network, and one to connect it to electrical power.
A device that is PoE-enabled requires only one cable that acts as both the network connection and the power connection.
PoE is most commonly used with:
There are significant advantages to adding PoE to your system installation. Here are 5:
A common method for adding PoE to your network requires a PoE switch. A PoE switch is a network switch that detects PoE-compatible devices and enables PoE power automatically. Simply connect your PoE switch to a power connection, then connect your network devices to the PoE. All of your devices will receive power and network data via the PoE switch.
There are two main types of PoE switches: managed and unmanaged. Both are useful and serve a purpose, but there are differences in price and functionality.
Considerably less costly than managed PoE switches, unmanaged PoE switches simply allow you to provide power and network signaling to your PoE-enabled devices. Unmanaged switches are very easy to use (simply plug-and-play), but are quite limited in functionality.
Managed PoE switches do cost more than their unmanaged counterparts, but their functionality is more robust. These devices allow you to configure and manage your local network, giving you the ability to control and prioritize traffic. They also give you a greater capacity to troubleshoot remotely.
A managed PoE switch is the recommended choice for hosted phone solutions.
To learn more about PoE, to find out which PoE-integrated devices are available, or to discuss the possibility of an upgrade for your system, contact a UnitedCloud specialist.
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