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.

4 common Ways to Extend Ethernet – short and long distance

With the development of the Internet, people rely on the network for their works and keep communicating with each other. This requires good network connection in office and home. In this article, we will introduce 4 common ways to extend Ethernet to avoid network blind spot.

  • Power line

The first way is using power line. It is new fashion devices to extend network signal within limited space. Power-line adaptors convert the network signal and add to the AC power line in home or office. The power line solution takes advantage of existed power cable to transmit the data simultaneously as the AC electric power. This solution has one constrains. It only works within the same power meter. If there are different power meters for each floor in the building, the power line solution couldn’t cross pass between two floors.

The power line adaptors usually work in pair, including transmitter and receiver. Plug the receiver into AC outlet closed to main network. Then more than one transmitter can be added in different rooms to pick up the network signal. Some of the power line transmitters support WiFi which can generate WiFi signal in those areas.

  • WiFi booster

The WiFi booster is the most common way to extend WiFi signal. WiFi booster, also name WiFi extender, repeats the WiFi signal from your router. In most of the case, the WiFi signal is being weakly by the walls. The WiFi booster can be installed on the right spots to pick up the signal and forward to destination. Usually, it is the L sharp path to avoid blocking from the multiple walls. The WiFi booster is installed in the turning point of L.

The WiFi signal not only can be weaken by the walls, but also can be jam by each others while there are too many access points picking up from the neighbors’. One of the possible solutions is switching the WiFi channel to avoid the signal crush. Usually the WiFi router supports manual pick the communicating channel.

  • Network Extender for up to 500 meters

According to IEEE802 standard, the network distance is limited to 100meters far. While the network installation spot is beyond 100meters, the network extender may help. The extender can repeat network up to 500meters with daisy chain setup. However, the convenient Network extender requires power source. Image there’re 2 network extenders for 300 meter. The power adapter has to be presented in each of these two extenders which bring new trouble. PoE network extender can deal with this power source issues.

What is PoE network extender? It is integrated with power over Ethernet technology which allows transporting data and power in one cable. So the power adapter can be removed. If users want 300 meters network, just connect 2 PoE extenders. The PoE extender can even power the remote ip devices if it is IEEE802.3 complaint.

The power will be add to the Ethernet cable by using PoE injector or switch closed to the main router. The PoE extender is simple plug and play products. No program required.

  • Optical Fiber – repeat long distance network.

The advantages is fiber optical is high speed, low latency, and long distance. The fiber optical can easily transmit communicating network up to 20 kilometers. Fiber optical refers to the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information as light pulses along a glass or plastic fiber strand. It needs straight line to transport the light and only data can be sent through. Because of fiber optical characteristics, there’s almost no loss and the speed is extremely fast.

It is fit for network communicating from building to building, even from city to city. In fact, the long distance network basically employs fiber optical technology today. If users want to setup network distance over 500 meters or above, fiber optical is a good way to go,

Generally speaking, PoE solutions and Fiber optical are suitable for long distance network extension. If network extending requires in short distance or limited space, Power line and WiFi booster can meet demand. Watch the video below see how to extend the network by using the power line adaptor.

Long Distance IP Camera Setup with PoE Network Extender

If you plan to install IP camera over 100 meters far away from the monitoring center and worry about the distance, PoE network extender can help. The network communicating will start getting worse when Ethernet cable is beyond 100 meters. Some unexpected phenomenon like connection drop and high latency will appear. The PoE network extender is designed to resolve these issues. Rather than convenient network extender, the Power over Ethernet technology is integrated to PoE extender which allows power and data are transported through single Ethernet cable. The power will be sent from the center as well as the data pass through each extender. 4 PoE extenders together can extend 500 meters PoE network by using daisy chain setup.

A PoE switch or PoE injector is required in monitoring center to inject the power to the Ethernet cable. So no extra power source is needed for each extender. The AC outlet is eliminated. The setup process is simple – plug and play. One end of PoE extender connects the cable from the PoE switch, and the other end links to extended cable.

Somethings need to be addressed out while using PoE extender to work with IP camera.

Usually the cable can be hanged in the air or buried under the ground. If you choose to hang up the cable, it is better to add plastic tube to protect the cable. The PoE extender is waterproof and requires no extra protection, but the cable may need the protection from harsh environments outdoors. Adding the tube also can ease the electricity discharge. When power and data are being transported in long distance, it becomes more easier to absorb the ESD in the air which can be sent to the devices and damage them eventually. If cable line is buried under the ground, the PoE network extender need to be placed in some protective closure because of moisture in the soil. Placing the extender in a closure is good for future maintaining.

High quality cable should be used when setting up IP camera. Cat 5e/Cat 6 are qualified grade. Make sure pure copper cable is used. Cat 5e/Cat 6 has high speed, but it doesn’t guarantee the material of the cable. The pure copper can decrease the power loss on the cable, otherwise power loss will turn to new issues if low quality cable is used. It will be converted to heat inline and create voltage drop at the other end of the cable.

What will happen while doing the wrong connection? If the IP camera cannot be powered, first thing is to check the PoE extender. The extender has two different ports, out and in. In port should be linked to PoE switch or injector to receive power and data and out port is to power IP camera. The IP camera could not work if the extender’s port is misconnected. The next thing is to make sure the twisted pair has the right sequence. Move the IP camera to the connection before the first extender. This can help you role out the issue even you don’t have network tester. The connector always needs to be paid attention. As more connectors are created, the possible failed points increase as well. The final thing is to be sure the pure copper cable is employed in the system. As we mentioned above, low quality cable can create power loss and voltage drop. If the remained voltage is lower than the camera required, the PoE power system will never turn on.

Want to find more information about extending the network without the limitation of distance? Click best way to extend the network beyond 100m.