I was wondering if leaving an active Ethernet port with no plug in it was safe . We have one in our kitchen right next to our face level and I was wondering if leaving it unplugged in the open was safe like does any radiation or infrared laser/light come out of it. Might sound very paranoid but I'm curious.
First: you are safe.
I'm assuming you have the standard plug that looks like this:
but if it is a wire that plugs into a laptop or desktop computer, the chances are good that it is a standard RJ45 outlet.
In that case, while the device on the other end could supply power to the port,
- it probably does not for most home devices / installations, and
- the power supplied even in that case is quite limited, and
- there is a sophisticated process to detect whether to supply power to the port, and people don't qualify. Also, in this case, there is no laser / radiation at all.
If you are using fibre, you are still safe. A fibre port does output laser light (see here), but it is a "Class 1" laser (see here), so you'll have to try kind of hard to get hurt by it. Plus, if it is fibre, there is absolutely no electrical hazard (fibre doesn't conduct electricity)
It is always reasonable to be interested in safety, and to seek out information to ensure your safety. Keep up the good work.
The question I'd be asking is whether your ethernet is safe from your kitchen? You wouldn't want to splash liquid into the port and cause corrosion of the socket, as then devices plugged in there in the future might not work. To protect the socket, search for a cheap RJ45 Dust Cover on Amazon/Ebay/your local computer store.
Another 'fix' is to take a old ethernet cable with a RJ45 plug on it, and cut it off leaving a inch or so of cable. Plug this into the port to keep dirt/dust out.
Completely safe. You can even touch the contacts. Also, even if there is a PoE (Power over Ethernet) injector or supply on the other end, I believe that power is not sent over the wire unless a compatible receiving device is connected at the other end.
If it's old enough ethernet - 10BASE5 - then it does need a terminator to stop the waves reflecting at the end and radiating a tiny amount of energy.
The terminators will look like this, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_termination
If it's a more modern ethernet, then you don't need to terminate. The termination only matters in that it degrades the signal, there is little radiation and nothing that would affect safety - mostly it's there to stop the energy bouncing back into the wire and confusing the electronics.
protected by Journeyman Geek♦ Mar 21 '18 at 5:22
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