Build POE IP Security Cameras System with POE Switch

Many people may require a POE IP camera system in their houses for property protection and safety, deploying IP cameras may be the best choice. Cameras linked with POE switches are convenient for users to install and eliminate unnecessary cables. With the development of IP camera systems, more intelligent IP cameras will be used in home IP security systems.

Undoubtedly, security is imperative for any business in modern society. IP camera security system offers an optimal solution to protect most businesses. Both a middle-sized company and a large-scale company need more than one IP camera for their IP camera security system. In this condition, the port number of POE switches is a good solution. a 24-port POE switch may be suitable for middle-sized networks, 48-port POE managed switches can meet requirements of large businesses like international hotels or enterprises.

How to Install A POE Camera?

If you are using a POE switch, regardless if it is a managed POE switch or an unmanaged POE switch, the easiest way to set up the POE camera is to simply connect it to the POE switch which will then provide the camera with data and power.

Why Use PoE Switch for IP Camera Systems?

When it comes to adopting PoE technology, some users may think it’s unnecessary to buy a PoE switch with a relatively high price. Compared with traditional solutions, adopting POE switches in IP camera systems have countless advantages.

  • Longer Runs

Connected with a POE switch, IP cameras can be installed anywhere, even to reach remote locations. With a single Cat5e cable, the distance of running POE IP camera can be up to 100m. If longer runs are required, POE repeaters may be needed.

  • More Connected Devices

A POE injector can also power IP cameras and save more space. However, what if there are many devices, say ten IP cameras, needing to be connected together? Under this condition, a POE switch that has more ports will provide the optimal choice.

  • Higher Power Output

POE switches can power devices in camera surveillance systems. Furthermore, the advanced POE+ switch that delivers more power can transmit up to 30W over Cat5 cables, compared with the average 15.4W offered by standard POE switches. As a result, the POE series switches can meet the demands for some power-hungry IP camera systems.

  • Easier to Manage With Troubleshooting Availability

Advanced POE switches allow each camera to be controlled remotely from any point in the IP camera systems. A managed POE switch can use a GUI interface to provide a topology view of the network and the devices connected to it, which functions in troubleshooting when a system goes down. Specifically speaking, each port on the POE switch can be programmed to send an automatic alert to the authorized users when a camera breaks down. After logging in, the user will identify which camera is broken and reboot it with the aid of the topology view. If the reboot doesn’t work, the user can send a technician to repair it immediately. POE switches can help to speed up the troubleshooting and repair process and minimize the overall downtime.

  • Lower Expense & Less Time

Since administrators can monitor and manage the switches remotely, in most of the cases, they can reboot any non-responding POE IP camera without going to the camera’s location, which saves both cost and effort.

How to use POE switch to build IP camera system

Step 1: Get a POE Switch

Step 2: Connect your IP Cameras to the POE Switch

Step 3: Plug Your POE Switch into the Router

Step 4: Power on the POE Switch

Step 5: Add the Cameras to Your NVR

How to Select, Choose or Buy a POE Switch for IP cameras?

To choose a suitable, reliable and best POE switch for your IP security cameras, there are few factors you need to consider: POE standard, POE IP cameras’ power consumption, POE switch maximal power supply, POE switch port number, cable length and etc.

  • Factor 1. POE IP Camera Power Consumption

A POE switch not only carries network connection but also supply power to Power over Ethernet (POE) IP cameras. However, IP cameras power consumption varies; some could draw up to 20 Watt such as PTZ IP cameras RLC-423 while others could consume as little as 3 or 4 Watt.

Therefore, a POE switch should be able to provide enough power for different types of IP camera via Cat 5 or Cat 6 cables.

There are mainly two types of power over Ethernet (POE) standards, theoretically, the POE standard (IEEE802.3af) could provide up to 15.4W of DC power on each port. In practice, only 12.95 W will be supplied to the IP cameras or other POE devices given the power loss that dissipates in the network cables.

Similarly, the POE+ standard (IEEE802.3at) can pump out up to 30 W per port while only 25.5W could transmit to Network-enabled devices in real time.

Choose a POE Switch that suits your surveillance needs and makes sure to double check your POE IP camera power consumption ether in the user manual or technical specification spreadsheet.

  • Factor 2. POE Switch Maximal Power Supply

Meanwhile, the maximal power supplies of your POE switch matters as well. If the maximal power supply of the all your cameras exceeds your POE switch power cap, then the POE switch won’t provide enough power for all your POE IP cameras, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) IP cameras in particular.

Insufficient power supply to the IP cameras are the common culprits for video loss and IP camera poor performance.

That being said, when buying a POE switch for IP cameras, it’s important to go for a POE switch with more power juice or reducing the number of PTZ IP cameras plugged into the POE switch as PTZ cameras draw more power than other IP cameras.

  • Factor 3. POE Switch Power Supply Voltage

Many security cameras run either 12V or 24V power, if not supplied with the proper power voltage, the IP camera either won’t work or even be overloaded.

For example, 12V IP security camera is powered by a 24V power source or vice versa, the IP cameras would likely to be burnt out or fried. To provide the proper amount of power for the POE IP cameras, one of an important feature to look for in a POE switch for IP cameras is its abilities to automatically adjust voltage accordingly.

For example, a POE switch with 802.3af compatibility is able to accommodate the power input of your IP security cameras, for example, GS308P POE Switch comes with IEEE 802.3af compliant.

  • Factor4. POE Switch Port Number

If you are looking for POE switch for more than 4 cameras, it’s important to check the port number, such as a POE switch with 8 ports, POE switch with 16 ports, POE switch with 24 ports, or POE switch with 48 ports.

While the port number largely depends on your actual need as well as the overall power consumption of your IP cameras.

For example, a 24-port POE switch with 370W power supply could power 24 IP cameras with IEEE802.3af standard (15.4W per port) while it could only power 12 IP cameras with IEEE802.3at standard (30W per port).

  • Factor 5. Gigabit POE Switch or Not

As mentioned before, a POE switch not only supply power to the IP cameras but also carries network connection.

A gigabit switch is getting an upper hand in comparison with a 10/100 Mbps switch because you do not want the switch to become the data bottleneck when you are powering 4 POE IP cameras in addition to other devices on the switch. (Learn whether IP security cameras slow down your home network)

  • Factor 6. Unmanaged or Managed POE Switch

The main differences between an unmanaged and managed POE switch lie in functionality, configurability, and of course, the price tag.

Unmanaged POE switch (cheaper) is a plug-and-play with no setup required while managed POE switch allows you to configure networking protocols, as features such as VLANs, IGMP Snooping or more.

For most homeowners, an unmanaged POE switch fits the budget and works to meet the needs for powering POE IP cameras.

What’s the Difference Between PoE NVR and PoE Switch?

“I’m going to install two IP cameras in my house. If the NVR already has PoE switch built in, just use that? Actually, I have no idea whether to use a PoE NVR or a PoE switch matching with them. So, what’s the difference between them? Can some one help me?” This article intends to explore the differences between PoE NVR and PoE switch. Let’s break down the differences and the pros and cons of each in details so that you can make an informed decision.

What is PoE? 


Power over Ethernet (POE) is a technology that lets network cables carry DC power. PoE connections offer greater flexibility in terms of where you can locate a device, because with a PoE connection, there is no need for the additional power cable. This reduces the complexity of installing in awkward locations.

You can find two kinds of PoE capable devices today: power sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered devices (PD). Sometimes a device functions as both a PSE and PD. Power over Ethernet (POE) technology sends 10/100/1000 Mbps of data and 15W, 30W, 60W, and up to 90W of power budget to devices over Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cables for a maximum distance of 100m.

PoE benefits organizations in 5 five primary ways — 1. reduced installation costs, 2. increased installation safety, 3. responsive deployments, 4.high performance data-gathering capabilities, and 5. productivity enhancements. POE has many applications, but the three key areas are: VoIP phones, IP cameras, Wireless access point.

What is PoE switch?

A switch is a device that allows devices on a network to communicate. A PoE switch has the Power over Ethernet functionality built into it, delivering power and data over the same cable for easy installation. It is a dedicated device that contains multiple Ethernet ports to provide power and network communications to IP devices. This allows a PoE switch to expand the reach of an NVR system because you can connect IP cameras to the PoE switch rather than the NVR. A PoE switch expands a network created by a router. Therefore, it must be connected directly to a router on the same network as your NVR. Most PoE switches have limited power, so you can only power smaller devices.

What is PoE NVR?

PoE NVR is a network video recorder with built-in PoE switch meant for use with PoE based IP cameras. Equipped with a PoE switch, the PoE NVR provides both power and network to the cameras via a single Ethernet cable. There is no need for an additional PoE switch, which will reduce the cost of equipment in theory. Simply run one CAT5e/6 cable from the camera to the NVR, and it will provide power to the camera while streaming video/audio/data all over one single cable.

The Difference between PoE NVR and PoE switch

From the above, you will see that both PoE NVR and PoE switch can provide power and data transmission. However, the former is limited in minimal network administration experience while the latter can expend the network freely. With PoE NVR, all the cameras have directly wire back to the NVR as the PoE switch is integrated to recorder box which is good and not good. If the system is small such as 4-channel IP camera system, PoE NVR makes the setup quickly. However the flexibility gets worse while the cameras are increasing. With PoE switch, multiple cameras can connect to different switch before it return to the NVR. Thinking that a PoE switch needs to be placed anywhere near your NVR or router would be a mistake when there are many camera in the system. It makes the most sense to place your switch as close to the biggest cluster of cameras as possible. This can make for a lot of short cable runs from IP cameras to switch. From there, it’s just a matter of running a single cable from that switch back to your router. The end result is that you simultaneously put all of your IP cameras on your network by running that one cable.

There’s no way to conceal the fact that purchasing an NVR with a built in switch is going to be cheaper. A standard NVR purchased together with a dedicated PoE switch will probably cost you about 25% more than the alternative. If you still have a demand for the same type of “camera hardwired to NVR” setup and your NVR is out of warranty, you’ll now find yourself needing to replace the entire NVR instead of the much cheaper network switch. The PoE switch is being integrated into the PoE NVR, if the PoE NVR go defective, the both NVR and the switch has to be replaced.

The PoE NVR is going to require that you run your cable the same way you would with an analog system. In this scenario, you’re going to be running a cable for each camera all the way back to the NVR to create your hardwired connection. Your cable length is limited, in this case, to the standard 328 feet unless the PoE extender is being deployed.

PoE IP Camera VS Analog Camera

To start with the topic, let’s make clear the definition between PoE IP camera and analog camera. PoE IP camera, also called IP camera, is a digital video camera. It receives data over the Internet through Ethernet cable. Every IP camera has its own IP address in order to connect to network to transfer images. Analog camera captures analog video image and transfers it with coax cable. The analog camera needs to convert the video to analog so that video can be received by analog devices.

Actually the comparison of IP camera and analog camera is the comparison of the traditional and new technology.

4 main differences of these two cameras will be discussed in the following.

  • Video Quality.

Undoubtedly, IP camera has higher video quality than analog camera. It offers wide or narrow field of view and better zoom-in capability. Since it uses digital signal to transmit the video, it can recognize the faces and numbers clearly. Compared with IP camera, analog camera has a overall lower video quality. Zoom-in capability doesn’t exist in the camera and the site range is limited. Not to mention the facial and number recognition.

  • Distance

IP camera has 100 meters distance limitation with Ethernet cable. Because the IP camera sends digital image, the clarity of the image will be 100% percent maintained and sent back to NVR. Analog camera can be set up to 300 meters over coax cable. Although analog connection is longer, the clarity will lose as the distance increases.

  • Cost

 Building up IP camera system is expensive. The cost of IP cameras is higher than analog cameras.

  • PoE capability

 IP camera can be powered by twisted Ethernet cable instead of running the electrical wire. But analog camera is not PoE-supported.

Except for the different features below, PoE IP camera and analog camera are powered and connected to different devices. IP camera needs to be linked to Network Video Recorder(NVR) to record videos down. There is a product called PoE NVR which can provide both power and network solutions to cameras. To build the NVR system Cat 5e/Cat 6 Ethernet cable should be applied to transmit data. Besides, IP camera is not necessary to link directly to the NVR. As the camera is on the same network that connects to the NVR, the videos can be recorded down. However, analog camera can only be connected to Digital Video Recorder(DVR). Analog cameras connect to the DVR via the coaxial cable. In the DVR system, power will not be sent directly to cameras. So, if you choose to use the DVR system, you have to solve the problem of power.

Generally speaking, IP camera and analog camera has its own pros and cons. Hope this article would give you some tips on choosing the camera system. Click here to learn more about the differences between DVR and PoE NVR.   Click here to know how to Set up Home IP Camera System with Power over Ethernet.