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There are four options to power your AP. The options depend on whether or not your AP receives power from a power supply or if it receives inline power. The four connection options are:

  • A switch with inline power (such as a Catalyst switch).
  • An inline power patch panel between the switch and the AP.
  • A power injector between the switch and the AP. A power injector is a device that plugs into a wall socket, and then connects into the Ethernet line to provide power to one port (in this case, the AP).
  • A local power supply.

Of these power methods, the first three use PoE to supply power to the AP.

PoE is a technology that eliminates the need for a separate power supply to plug into the AP. That is, power is delivered—as the name suggests—over the same Ethernet cable used to deliver data. This is ideal for places where it might be difficult, if not impossible, to provide a separate power source.

You must also consider the distance between the AP and the switch. The maximum range for 100BaseT Ethernet is 100 meters.

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