Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that transmits both electric power and data over a single Ethernet cable. It eliminates the power source at the edge. With PoE, it not only saved the cost but also the time to deploy the network system.
The PoE devices usually installed in networks are including PoE Switch, PoE Injector, PoE NVRs, PoE IP cameras, PoE access points, etc. PoE Injectors and switches each have their own role to play in the network and can be used individually for different situations.
Let’s try to understand what each one does, as well as their pros and cons, and how to choose which one to use for your network.
PoE Switch vs PoE Injector: What Are They?
PoE switches are a type of network switch that applies Power over Ethernet technology. By using a PoE switch, you can connect your IP devices by using a single Ethernet cable to receive both power and data. There are many different kinds of PoE switches on the market.
Commonly seen are 4-port, 8-port, 16-port, and 24-port PoE switches based on the number of ports. You can also find PoE switches that have varying levels of control, such as unmanaged PoE switches and managed PoE switches.
A power injector is a device that acts as a middleman between your router, switch, or hub and the PD. An active PoE injector accepts data from a non-PoE switch and transfers it by injecting power into it. A passive PoE injector, on the other hand, also injects the power to an Ethernet cable, but it removes the power handshaking. There is a significant difference between the active PoE injector and the passive PoE injector. You will need to know what you are dealing with when you work with a passive PoE injector, otherwise, it may melt your edge devices.
With a PoE injector, you can turn non-PoE switch or router to PoE compatible. PoE Injectors are a more affordable solution than replacing your entire network infrastructure.
PoE Switch vs PoE Injector: Pros & Cons
PoE Switch and PoE Injector devices have different features and capabilities. It is important to consider your network needs when making a final choice, as it will determine which PoE device will work best for your needs. We’ve outlined the features and differences of each device below and we hope it will help you make the right decision.
While many PoE injectors are quick and easy to install, switches are built for long-term use. In fact, switches are more scalable than PoE injectors but more complex
On the other hand, a PoE injector requires low installation costs since it’s just one device, while a PoE switch can range in price depending on what you want and need. For example, a switch may end up being cheaper in the long run if you need to expand your network down the line.
PoE switches and injectors offer different features. PoE switches require a little modification to your existing network. PoE injectors don’t change your network much, and they are easy to mount anywhere.
If you need to power up a single device, you should use the PoE injector. However, if you need to power up a number of devices or add PoE throughout the whole network, then you might use a PoE switch.
The downside to a PoE switch is that it’s only one device. If that’s the case and something goes wrong, production could be down for all the PoE devices attached to that PoE switch. A PoE injector, on the other hand, can be replaced easily.
Although an injector has many advantages over a switch, switches are recommended for larger networks with more complex setups.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches and injectors each have their own advantages and disadvantages, but they are each designed to solve different problems. When deciding between a switch and an injector, it is important to consider what you need. For instance, a switch would be a great solution for someone who needs to cover a large area with attached devices, whereas an injector is perfect for one or two devices that would need power separately from the network. You should also make sure your device supports PoE before connecting it to a PoE-enabled network, otherwise, you need to add a PoE splitter before your device to separate the power from data.