Ethernet extenders are handy devices that anyone can use to expand the range of your home or office network range. Their purpose is to physically connect two or more cables and thus provide uninterrupted connection. Once connected, they enable the same stability and speed as your current Ethernet.
Extenders can also be used for commercial purposes to provide a stable and fast connection to all connected devices. They can be a great addition to your business network. There are many available devices with various features. So you can choose one that meets your specific needs by reviewing several factors.
The cables used to connect extenders within the network are usually 10 Mbps or higher. And the bandwidth will affect the length they can cover. Typically, the more bandwidth you have, the longer you can expand the distance between devices. An excellent way to determine the reach of your extension is to compare the speeds of the end devices and then choose one that matches the network’s speed.
On the following source, you can see the explanation on bandwidth and its importance for the network quality:
Know Bandwidth Requirements
An Ethernet extender should be compatible with the network’s frequency. These devices provide optimal performance at speeds of 10 – 100 Mbps. Your bandwidth (the data amount your network can transmit at any moment) is the main factor that determines how far you can expand the signal. But it has a low impact on connection speed.
The thing with bandwidth determines how long you can extend your Ethernet signal. If it’s high, i.e., the more bandwidth you use, the distance you can expand will be shorter. The best solution for this is not more extenders but more bandwidth.
Distance You Want to Connect
Another thing to do is determine the distance of the connections you need to extend. And a business that needs Ethernet expansion should always consider how many devices it needs to accommodate. In most cases, the distance they cover should be more than enough for devices you plan to connect.
A good commercial-grade extension can provide a range of up to 4,000 feet. Usually, POE extenders can expand the wired network up to this length. For example, a typical commercial-grade device must be able to handle distances of at least 12,000 feet. That’s an excellent feature for businesses that need to connect to multiple locations.
Ethernet extenders should have a built-in auto-MDIX feature. These are special devices that detect polarity and adjust signaling accordingly. Also, they should support jumbo frames if you need to transmit data at higher speeds.
When you have multiple devices connected to a network, you should consider their distances. Choose an extender that can reach the maximum length. But remember that each of these devices has a limited range. When it reaches the maximum, you should join another network expander. And so on until you get full coverage. In short, the extender’s range will determine how many you will have in your network.
While an Ethernet extender can significantly increase the range of a network, it’s also essential to choose the proper power supply and security level. Most commercial-grade extenders need a separate power source. They serve many devices, so an independent power source will prevent network overload.
You can click here and opt for devices that are compatible with your current power source. They are known as POE extenders (power over Ethernet) and can extend the Ethernet network up to four thousand feet. Make sure there’s POE capability in the device’s specs.
Ethernet networks can get damaged because of external factors like electric discharge, cable discharge events, etc. So they need ESD protection, usually several channels. That means that extenders you plan to connect should also have ESD protection. That’s somehow essential in industrial environments.
While both desktop and plug-based Ethernet extenders have advantages, the latter is a better option for large businesses. A desktop-based unit is more flexible for small businesses and offers more ports. On the other hand, a wall-mounted unit can save space and provide a better cable layout.
Also, don’t forget your operating conditions. Depending on many factors like temperature, humidity, vibration, voltage exposure, and risk of mechanical shock, you’ll choose two options. The first one is a standard extender, while the other is a device with a hardened chassis to withstand harsh conditions.
Type of Wiring
Another aspect to consider when choosing an Ethernet extender is the type of wiring. For example, it can use wireless technology or copper, coax, or fiber optics cables. Devices that use unconditioned copper wiring can be used only if your current cables are made of this material of coaxial.
Coaxial cables are convenient for carrying weak signals. These frequencies usually can’t handle environmental interference or stronger electrical signals. As coaxial wires are well-insulated, the transmission of these signals will be stable.
The most reliable option is optical fiber cables, which are suitable for longer distances and environments where they can be deployed. They consist of thin fibers coated with plastic within a protective tube. These fibers carry a signal in the form of light flashes. They can have different applications, but it’s mostly for long-distance networks or when the entire business area needs a high-speed data connection.
When choosing an Ethernet extender, it’s essential to know what they can do. One of the things you should consider before the purchase is MTBF (mean time between failures). It shows the quality of components used to make a particular extender. If this parameter is low, the device will likely be of poor quality and vice versa. Also, make sure to check the warranty period.
The key features of a commercial-grade extender are reliability and portability, and its cost and performance also matter. You should also consider it can handle and how it can benefit your business. You need the device that will cover long distances, support different signals, and withstand various environmental conditions.