D-Link is the latest networking vendor to push Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) to SMBs and small offices. The company's latest DES-1008P 10/100 switch can supply up to 15.4W of power on four of its eight ports, and lists for just £80.

The unmanaged switch has a total power budget of 56W, so it could power three Class 3 devices, such as wireless APs, plus one Class 2 device such as an IP phone or video camera, for example.

Power- over-Ethernet, enables network devices to run without a separate power supply, so they can be placed anywhere that there is an Ethernet connection, even if there are no mains sockets nearby. Possible locations include ceiling voids and wall-mountings, suggested D-Link.

Andrew Mulholland, the company's UK marketing manager, claimed that the DES-1008P is quiet-running and very simple to set up. It auto-negotiates for link speed and uplinks to other switches, he said.

By knocking out the need for mains adapters and cables, PoE allows businesses to make better use of their networks, he said. He added that the arrival of entry level devices such as the 1008P at last makes PoE cost-effective for smaller organisations as well as larger enterprises.