How does PoE work?

al4629740
al4629740 used Ask the Experts™
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I have a  Netgear 8-port 10/100 switch with 4 PoE ports.  How does the PoE ports work?  Do they automatically send power over the ethernet to a device that is designed to recieve that type of power?
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Senior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
In every network cable there are a couple pairs of wires that are not used for anything (Look at the end of a network cable and you'll see 10 individual wires). PoE sends voltage over those wires and the devices on the other end are then powered by it.

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Commented:
Could it be ANY device that has ethernet connection?
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Only certain devices are equipped to receive power from those wires. They have to be PoE compatible.
be careful forcing PoE to some devices. I recall an issue of homeworkers plugging their PoE providing cables into cisco routers and killing them
In most case POE on ports should not be an issue but obviously it can be. You should be able to disable POE on those ports and only turn it on if and when you connect a POE device to it.

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