Guide to Ethernet Thermometers
An ethernet thermometer is a network enabled device for, at the very least, measuring temperature. Many ethernet thermometers are very capable network enabled computers capable of measuring a lot more than just temperature.
Adding a thermometer to your ethernet network gives a number of benefits:
- Accessibility - you can access the ethernet thermometer from anywhere on your network;
- Zero software install - all management features work through a web browser negating the requirement to install any software on your PC;
- Manageability - most ethernet thermometers support SNMP meaning that you can manage the ethernet thermometer using your existing network management software. You can check the thermometer's readings and make sure the device is still responding all using your exsting software;
- Active alerts - because the ethernet thermometer is sitting on your network, it can talk to services like email;
- Wide choice of probes - most ethernet thermometers are capable of measuring a lot more than just temperature.
Of course, there are some disadvantages too:
- Network dependency - if your network fails then the ethernet thermometer will not be able to send out alerts that rely upon the operation of the network, like emails for instance;
- Cost - ethernet thermometers tend to cost more than stand alone thermometers. The very highly featured ethernet thermometers tend to cost as much as a reasonably well specified PC;
Features of Ethernet Thermometers
- Web enabled - view the management pages from anywhere all without installing any software;
- SNMP enabled - integrate the thermometer into your existing network monitoring infrastructure using the widely used SNMP protocol. All network management software supports SNMP as a means of reading data from a wide range of devices. Your monitoring software can also handle the alarming too, all from a single central location. With SNMP also comes alerting using SNMP traps. If you use an event notification tool, then simply configure the thermometer to send heat event traps to your event notification system and handle your alerting from another central system;
- Extensive range of probes - most ethernet thermometers, especially the mid to high end models support a wide range of probes like: temperature, temperature & relative humidity combined, light, air flow, power presence, wetness, security, power monitor, smoke detector, motion detection, dry contact and camera;
- Alerts - expect at a minimum email alerts but many ethernet thermometers are also capable of activating a siren/strobe light as well as SMS text messages;
- Logging - a central requirement for many ethernet thermometers is periodically logging the temperature so that a history of readings can be provided either for trending analysis or as a regulatory requirement. Ethernet thermometers usually are capable of logging temperatures and all of the other readings from supported probes over an extended time. Typically you can then download the log using your web browser for later analysis.
Whilst an ethernet thermometer will typically be substantially more expensive than a standard thermometer, you can expect substantially more from an ethernet thermometer in terms of its capability.
Ethernet thermometers really shine when it comes to alerts. If you have a requirement for out of hours alerting of your temperatures, then you may find that an ethernet thermometers is well worth the extra cost.