Dual Ethernet Mini Computer and PC
Whether you’re looking for information on dual ethernet port mini PC or you’re searching to buy one, you’ve come to the right place as we will explain what dual ethernet port mini computers are, what they can be used for, and where you can buy them.
What is a LAN Port?
A LAN port, commonly known as a LAN (Local Area Network) port connector or network port, is used to connect computers, including industrial mini PCs, to the internet, computers, sensors, or other devices. Ethernet ports are often located on the back of computers and are used to establish a wired connection to other devices.
What is a Dual Ethernet Port Mini PC?
A dual ethernet mini computer is, as the name suggests, a mini PC that’s equipped with two RJ45 Ethernet LAN ports. Most mini computers with dual ethernet ports are industrial-grade computers that are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The dual GigE ports are full-speed Gigabit ports, offering plenty of bandwidth for your system to connect to the internet, sensors, high-resolution cameras, and other devices that support the standard.
Furthermore, Mini PCs with dual NICs are industrial grade, meaning they are designed and built to be deployed in industrial environments that are too harsh for regular computer systems. They are harsh for PCs because systems are often exposed to excessive dust, dirt, shocks, vibrations, and extreme temperatures in such environments.
For this reason, industrial mini PCs employ a rugged design that allows them to withstand deployment in such environments. This differentiates industrial mini PCs from regular desktop PCs because consumer-grade desktop computers are not built to withstand deployment in such environments.
What Are Dual Ethernet Ports on Mini PCs Used For?
1. Link Aggregation
Dual Ethernet ports can be used for link aggregation, commonly known as ethernet bonding. Link aggregation involves grouping ethernet interfaces at the physical layer to create a single logical interface.
Bonding Mode 4 (802.3ad) commonly known as the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) is used for load balancing and fault tolerance. 802.3ad allows grouping of Ethernet interface at the physical layer to create a single logical layer.
This allows organizations to combine two or more Ethernet network connections in parallel to increase the bandwidth of the system beyond what’s possible with a single ethernet connection. Ultimately, the main benefit of link aggregation is the increased bandwidth that organizations can achieve by bonding ethernet connections together.
Moreover, oftentimes organizations require more bandwidth. So, instead of replacing a computer system with a newer model that has higher bandwidth, link aggregation allows organizations to increase the bandwidth of their system without investing in new computer equipment. This is done by bonding ethernet ports, allowing for higher data throughput.
2. Load Balancing
Links aggregation using dual ethernet ports enables embedded computers to divide incoming and outgoing traffic using multiple interfaces, thus reducing network congestion and providing more effective use of internet bandwidth.
Also, link aggregation creates redundancy in the event that one of the cable becomes disconnected or fails, another cable can be plugged in to keep your system connected to the internet to offload critical information to the cloud for remote monitoring and control.
4. Connecting Multiple Sensors, Cameras, and Other Devices
The second use for dual Ethernet ports on a mini PC is that it offers the ability to connect multiple cameras, sensors, or devices to an industrial computer. One of the ports is often used to connect to a router to the internet, while the other port is used to connect to a camera or sensor in an industrial setting.
How Many Ethernet Ports Can a Mini Computer Be Equipped With?
Most industrial mini computers offered by Premio come equipped with dual GigE Ethernet ports that support data transfer speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second. At Premio, we understand that organizations often need more than one ethernet port to connect a system with multiple sensors, cameras, and network switches. As such, we configure all of our systems with a minimum of two RJ45 Ethernet ports.
That said, mini industrial computers can be equipped with as many as 18 GigE Ethernet ports, allowing the system to connect to up 18 different cameras and/or sensors. Furthermore, computer systems can be configured with up to 16 PoE+ Ethernet ports, allowing the system to send/receive data and power to up to 16 cameras or sensors.
Gigabit Ethernet ports are capable of transferring up to 1,000 Megabits of data per second. The same goes for PoE+ ethernet ports, as they are also capable of transferring up to 1,000 Megabits of data per second as well as delivering up to 25.5 watts of power.
PoE+ RJ45 LAN ports eliminate the need to run power to a connected device that supports this standard. Organizations often seek systems that are configured with PoE or PoE+ ports because it removes the need to run a separate power supply to power a connected camera or sensor since power and data are sent through a single Ethernet cable.
Furthermore, for organizations that require a lot of bandwidth, mini PCs can be configured with dual 10GbE ports for a combined data throughput of 20 Gigabits per second.
Now, let’s compare regular desktop PCs to place things into perspective. Regular, consumer-grade desktop PCs typically come equipped with a single onboard GigE port. However, premium industrial-grade mini PCs come equipped with 2x GigE ports, offering organizations the flexibility to connect to the internet and/or other devices, sensors, or cameras.
How Can Ethernet Ports Be Added To Mini Computers?
At Premio, all of our mini PCs come equipped with onboard Dual GigE ports. For customers who require additional GigE or PoE+ ports, additional ports can be added via expansion daughterboards or modules. The onboard LAN ports support Wake-on-LAN and PXE.
Wake-on-LAN is a standard that allows an organization to turn a computer system on remotely anywhere in the world via a network message. That said, for an organization to utilize wake-on-LAN, the feature must be enabled in the BIOS first and then configured via the operating system. The second feature that we will discuss is PXE.
PXE is an industry-standard interface that allows computers on a network that do not yet have an operating system to be configured and booted remotely by an administrator, thus allowing administrators to remotely configure systems and install an OS without having to visit the physical location of a fanless mini PC with dual LAN.
How Fast Are the Dual Ethernet Ports On a Mini PC?
Standard Gigabit NICs are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 1,000 Megabits per second, whereas 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 10,000 Megabits per second. Furthermore, PoE+ Ethernet ports are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 1,000 Megabits per second while delivering up to 25.5 watts of power to the connected device.
Where Can I Buy an Industrial PC with Dual LAN?
You can buy Industrial computers with Dual LAN from Premio. Premio has been manufacturing embedded computers for over 30 years in the United States. Premio offers a wide variety of industrial embedded computers that can be configured according to your specific requirements. So, if you have a project that requires embedded computers with dual LAN ports, we have you covered with a wide variety of options to choose from. Furthermore, most of our solutions can be expanded via daughterboard modules for additional GigE, 10GbE, and PoE+ ports, so we are confident that you will find a solution that meets your specific requirements. For help choosing the appropriate industrial PC, contact one of our industrial computing professionals, and they will be more than happy to assist you with choosing the solution that’s right for you.