PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ Switches: What’s the Difference & Which One to Choose?

Power Over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that is used in almost all industrial segments for business networks. Power Over Ethernet is ideal for companies needing advanced networking capabilities. The technology enables data and power transmission to carry over a single networking cable.

PoE is gaining popularity due in part to its ease and efficiency, and for the reduction of equipment dependency. PoE operates through PoE switches, which have become an industry-wide standard of power delivery configuration. There are three variations of this system being used today——PoE switches, PoE+ switches, and PoE++ switches. Additionally, these switches can be used with any type of powered device including IP Camera, Access point, VoIP phones, Bluetooth accessories and more. Interested in learning more? This post breaks down most popular three difference PoE standard.

What Are PoE and PoE Switch?

PoE: Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology was released by the IEEE 802.3af standard in 2003, making it possible for PDs such as VoIP phones to receive power from PoE adapters and the power is up to 12.95W. The IEEE 802.3af also makes a standard that PoE operates over standard Cat 3 Ethernet cables in 2003 by using two of the four twisted pairs of cables.

PoE Switch: PoE switches are power over Ethernet enabled, which means that these devices have an option to transmit electrical current via network cables. If you have a lot of switches in your network, it is more than possible that it contains a switch type called PoE pass-through switch. These devices can essentially send what’s known as PoE and transmit electrical energy using Ethernet cables such as those found in cat5e/cat6. Most 802.3af switches can deliver up to 15.4 watts of capacity onto the electric field running through the aforementioned wires (44v-57v).

When To Use PoE?

PoE used for many applications where it isn’t possible to use USBs or AC power. PoE allows power over Ethernet cable which is much more cost effective and efficient than traditional systems. This can be useful in areas where a device is difficult to reach such as over 100 feet away from the nearest outlet. The standard PoE can reach 328ft, You can have up to 1500ft PoE extension after you add the PoE extenders to the link.

What Is PoE+?

As we mentioned above, PoE+ is was first developed and published in 2009 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE 802.3af standard. In many cases, power devices within the network require more PoE wattage up to 12.95, and PoE+ is the best solution that supports a higher power consumption requirement. The PoE+ can supply up to 25.5W to your edge devices.

What Is PoE++?

In the pursuit of enhancing wider scale operations for equipment applications, the IEEE 802.3 standard is once again required to upgrade its PoE+ technology to PoE++ in 2018. PoE++ is classified into two different types: PoE++ type 3 and PoE++ type 4. The new standard, makes use of a total 4 pairs of wire instead of just two likes from Ethernet cable in Type 3 setups.

This boosts power deliver up to 71W at a PD over four twisted cables for the Type 3 variant and up to 90W for Type 4 setups making sure that network devices stay operational regardless of location within a buildings complex wiring arrangement. Cisco’s proprietary technology UPoE (Universal Power Over Ethernet) works similarly to the PoE++ Type 3, extending support listed in the IEEE standard with an increase rated power output 45 watts across all four cables as opposed to 24 watts available per port without any upgrade options or proprietary features implemented on existing IEEE 802.3 PoE++ switch configurations.

PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++: Reference Chart & Comparison

Based on our introductory discussion, we have taken the liberty of creating a switch comparison chart by including important information that you may want to consider when deciding on PoE, PoE+, and PoE++. We’ve included necessary details that may be pertinent to your specific contemplated implementation needs and reasons why there are various choices available to you when deciding on which is most advantageous for your purposes.

The following chart details the similarities and differences between PoE, PoE+, and PoE++:

Note that the presented figures are only valuable if the switch is oversubscribed at maximum capacity in practice which rarely happens/ However note that many devices will usually not use full power, for instance if you have a PoE++ switch with Type 4 ports it does not mean all of these ports are going to be powered up at maximum 71W. Consequently, you need to calculate the power requirements for all the items connected via patch cables that you plan to connect to the switch and select corresponding patch cables for your system design.

PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++: Which One Should You Choose?

In the previous sections we’ve seen there are several differences between PoE++, PoE+, and PoE switches. We can now see that the power these devices use varies significantly and that this energy will influence their applications.

PoE, PoE+ and PoE++ are all network switches types. The major differences among these switches lie in the maximum power supply delivered by each port and their working mode, which reflect on their applications. At the same time, these switch types vary in terms of their power supply mechanisms and applications. A PoE switch is designed for Ethernet devices that require power under 15.4W such as access points, VoIP phones and sensors.

Meanwhile, the purpose of using a POE+ switch is to provide power under 25.5W to devices such as wireless access gadgets with 8 antennas or cameras with more advanced features including zoom functions, panning and tilting. In addition to this, a higher-powered Poe+ Type 3 switch is necessary for supplying up to 30W to devices such as laptops and TVs by transferring power via DC from your network system to them over cable rather than an additional power source.

One critical thing that we’d like to remind you is that when it comes to your data center, plants and construction materials should be chosen thoughtfully for maximum results. For example, if you assume your network only requires low standard power levels, you may just stick with PoE switching devices. However, if you’re planning to create a more robust and higher-performance network with multiple assorted devices or need to consider the limitations of some ports, then PoE+ or PoE++ switches might be the wisest investment.

When considering any upgrades for your infrastructure, PoE+ or PoE++ switch technologies may help. Although not every company needs a full upgrade, if your current solution is adequate and fits the demands of your business – which may take less time & money – it might make sense to stay with the current PoE network design.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully this article gives you a good understanding for how one company describes PoE and why we chose to follow the IEEE standards when it comes down to getting specifications from vendors. How much power your devices need is crucial when you’re trying to decide whether or not to invest in PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology. In fact, a growing number of households and businesses are starting to find it necessary to invest in PoE switches instead of non-PoE switches because the latter tend to have trouble transferring power simultaneously. However, in order to figure out the differences between PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ and how they affect your home or business, it’s best if you know what each PoE technology entails.

How to Choose the Right PoE Switch for Your IP Camera Systems?

When it comes to choosing PoE switches, you need to know that they come in many different forms. And we want to help you make sure you’re selecting the right one that’ll match your needs. IP Camera systems are an integral part of twenty-first century security, and the growing number of IP cameras has made it necessary to use specialized network hardware. A PoE switch provides power through a network cable such as Cat5e, or Cat6. A single cable can carry both power and data to each IP cameras at the edge.

PoE switches are one such device that is used in IP Camera systems to interconnect them at different locations. The market is filled with several choices of PoE switches in a variety of different configurations. So, when you’re searching for a PoE switch for your particular application, there are important considerations to be made. What factors go into selecting the right PoE switch for your situation? This article outlines some questions you should consider when thinking about how you choose the best PoE Switch for IP camera systems.

6 Factors You Should Consider When Choosing PoE Switches for IP Cameras Systems

PoE switches come in a variety of different sizes, features, and functions. When it comes to matching them up with your IP cameras, you have a lot of options to choose from. That doesn’t mean they’re all the same though! Even some similar PoE switches might not work well with specific cameras, so it’s important that you’ve done your research beforehand and have settled on the perfect one for you. Below are 6 essential factors which we think will help you decide which PoE switch is right for your system.

PoE Standard:

Many network applications require advanced PoE power capabilities. For instance, Pans, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) types of IP cameras need much more power because of the internal engine connected to them. However, the total PoE capability of a switch depends on the underlying standard for Power over Ethernet. Although it is common to use the term PoE for the latest version, these are the best PoE switches that support standards such as 802.3af and others. There are three IEEE standards as the following:

IEEE 802.3af Standard: The 802.3af is a standard that provides a way to power devices via the network cable itself. It can supply up to 15.4W. However, only 12.95W is supplied to the camera given the power loss in the cables which is ideal for most IP cameras from industry-leading brands. If you are working with PoE switches and PoE injectors, it’s best to consult the documentation for your specific model to ensure compatibility.

IEEE 802.3at Standard: The 802.3at is another standard developed by the IEEE to provide power through your network’s Ethernet cable, up to 25. 5W. This makes it perfect for PoE Switches (Power over Ethernet Switches), which can supply power directly to PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) Cameras, so you don’t have to run a bunch of wires throughout your office whenever a camera is required, especially in situations where you require multiple cameras and want to avoid the visual clutter of all those extra wires everywhere!

IEEE 802.3bt Standard: This is the latest PoE standard developed by IEEE. The PoE 802.3bt (aka PoE++) employs all four twisted pair to send the power while the previous version only use half of the twisted pair. The PoE++ can achieve 90W PoE output from PoE switch or PoE injector, and the remaining power still can maintain up to 71W at the edge. It is satisfied the power hungry application such as WiFi 6 access point, PTZ camera with heater built-in as well as other applications.

Number of Ports:

If you want to buy a PoE switch for your business or home, it’s important to pay attention to the number of ports. The number of ports can help to inform you of the amount of equipment that it would be able to power. For instance, PoE switches with 8 ports, 16 ports, 24 ports, or 48 ports would be able to power 8, 16, 24, or 48 security cameras, respectively.

Besides, it is also important to understand the difference between the IEEE 802.3af standard and the IEEE 802.3at standard, IEEE802.bt standard we mentioned above when deciding on how many devices you can power from your PoE switches.

Full Wire Speed and Non-blocking:

A non-blocking Ethernet switch has a wire speed capacity, which means there are no delays in the transmission process across all ports and a complete transfer takes place for each packet. For instance, in a 16 port Gigabit Ethernet switch, which offers 2 Gbps full duplex capacity, the ports would handle 16 Gbps in total. However, in a surveillance network, Non-blocking switch is not necessary unless it is the core switch which will aggregate the video source from edge switches. Even it is a 4K IP cameras which will need about 10Mbps bandwidth. The H.265 compression has decrease the data rate sharply. The 16-channel IP camera will consumes less than 200Mbps bandwidth when H.265 compression is enabled.

PoE Switch Power Budget:

Meanwhile, the factor to take into consideration about a PoE switch is that the higher the power supply or wattage, the more IP cameras you’ll be able to power with your PoE switch. For example, if you’re using PTZ cameras then you may want to ensure there are enough watts for your devices because they generally require more power than fixed IP Cameras.

When purchasing a PoE switch for IP cameras, be sure to purchase a high-power PoE switch for extended video or reduce the overall number of PTZ IP cameras connected to one PoE switch so as not to overload the power supply and potentially trip a circuit breaker.

Choosing Gigabit PoE Switch or Not:

As mentioned earlier, a PoE switch not only powers your IP cameras but also handles network data traffic. A 10/100 Mbps switch may be fine enough for powering 8 PoE IP cameras, but for large IP camera like 16 IP cameras system. You might need to the Gigabit PoE switch or at least the uplink port support Gigabit speed. The PoE ports doesn’t have to be Gigabit, because most of the IP cameras only comes with 100Mbps. However, the uplink ports which will be linked to network video recorder aggregate video sources from the all IP cameras. The network data traffic could be larger than 100Mbps.

Managed and Unmanaged PoE Switch:

For your IP camera systems, you can choose between managed and unmanaged switches. Do you go with an ‘unmanaged’ or a ‘managed’ switch? The choice depends on the way that you want to control and monitor your network. If you’re dealing with something simple like plug-in devices, then an unmanaged switch is right for you. However, if (or when) the project gets more serious, it’s best to use a managed switch because of its smart features, which will allow you to configure VLANs, Multicast groups, and more with ease using the web interface!

Unmanaged PoE switches are simpler and cheaper than Managed PoE switches due to the lack of monitoring and management. They require more time for their set up, which renders them less flexible, but they have other benefits as well. However, it’s important to check your applications’ requirements when buying them because not all systems need managed switches, and unmanaged options might have worked well enough for some applications.


PoE switches are great for wiring up your IP camera systems. They can save a lot of running costs and allow for longer runs of devices that use power over Ethernet, such as your cameras. PoE switches are integral to any IP security system. Whether you’re just getting started or adding on to an existing setup, you need a nice reliable PoE switch, otherwise you’re going to have to get more power extenders. It is important to choose the right PoE switch for your system size and the kind of security you want. One more thing to remind, the PoE switch can only reach 100 meters (328ft) before the data start dropping. You can add the PoE extender to extend the PoE network byond 100 meters.

Everything you need to know about Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet is a technology that allows you to send both power and data over twisted-pair Ethernet cables. The edge devices such as IP Cameras, VoIP Phones, and Wireless Access Points can be powered by the same cable that connects them to a network.

The IEEE PoE earliest standard is 802.3af-2003, which provides 15.4 watts of DC power over standard Cat3 and Cat5 network cables. However the newer devices required more power, so a new standard was created in 2009 – IEEE 802.3at – with a maximum of 30W and 25.5W remaining power budget actually reaching the devices. These standards still exist today and are often sold to help you easily get started with your PoE installation. The latest standard IEEE802.3bt employs all 4 twisted pairs to send the power which makes the maximum power output come to 90W and the remaining power budget still have 71W at the edge.

What is PoE++?

The latest update to Power over Ethernet is the IEEE 802.3bt standard, known as PoE++. The major difference between PoE++ and PoE+ is that PoE++ power sources can provide over twice as much power to their PDs.

The PoE++ takes all 4 twisted pairs to send the power, and PoE/PoE+ only uses half (2 twisted pairs) to transfer the power.

In order to achieve 71W high power, both PSE (PoE switch or injector) and the PDs (IP camera, access point) must compatible with the latest standard. If the PoE switch only supports PoE+, the switch will not supply enough power and the whole link will downgrade to PoE+. The latest standard is backward compatible with PoE+/PoE.

How Does Power Over Ethernet Work?

In the fast network (10/100Mbps), only half of the twist pairs are being taken to transfer the data. It leaves two spare twisted pairs which can be used to send the power. This is a very primitive idea to design the PoE system. Actually, the passive PoE system still uses this method to send the power over an Ethernet cable.

With IEEE802.3 specification, one important mechanism – power handshaking was added to the system. The PSE (PoE switch and injector) need to verify and classify the edge device before it releases the power over the Ethernet cable. If the PSE can’t verify the edge device is PoE compatible, it will not send the power.

Now the PoE camera can go through the same twisted pair as the data. It is the PDs’ job to split the power from the data. According to IEEE802.3, the PDs should be able to accept power from data pairs (12-36) or spare pairs (45-78). Some of the products like the access point don’t fully implement the standard and keep the spare pairs (45-78) for passive PoE (24VDC). It will create an unexpected issue when the PoE++ switch is being used to supply power because the PoE++ switch will send 48V through all 4 twisted pairs.

How to Upgrade to Power Over Ethernet?

Adding PoE to your network is as straightforward as it gets, and there are two ways you can do so——POE switches and a POE injector:

PoE switches are network switches that have a Power source built-in. Simply connect PoE compatible IP devices to the switch, and the switch will automatically detect whether they’re compatible with PoE or not and enable power, there is power handshaking we mentioned above.

PoE injectors are devices that can convert non-PoE-switch to PoE compatible. These devices aren’t as powerful as PoE switches, but they work in a pinch. The PoE injector takes its power from an AC power source and converts it into the correct voltage for a PoE device. A POE injector is typically either a multi-port rack-mounted unit or a single port injector that is connected via a patch cable.

It’s also possible to upgrade non-PoE PDs such as IP cameras with PoE using a PoE splitter. The PoE splitter takes the network connection from the cable and taps it off before converting the power into the DC low voltage used by the camera.

How Much Power can PoE Devices supply?

PoE+ devices supply a maximum of 30 watts per port, while PoE devices supply a maximum of 15.4 watts per port, PoE++ the latest standard supplies 90 watts, but that’s not all. Some power will get lost over the length of the cable; the longer the cable, the more power will lose.

The lowest guaranteed power available at a PD is 12.95 watts per port for PoE, 25.5 watts per port for PoE+ and 71W for PoE++.

PSEs also have a maximum budget, which can be measured in watts. Most PSEs don’t have enough power budget to give every PoE-capable PD all the power they want, because most people don’t need all that much. Usually, the PoE switch shares the power source. Just make sure you calculate your needs before you buy a PoE-capable PSE.

What Are the Benefits of Using PoE?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a way to send both power and data over a single Ethernet cable. It is typically used to provide both electricity and data to network devices such as PoE Wireless Access Point, PoE Switch, PoE IP Camera, VoIP phones, and networking equipment. Moreover, PoE has many economic and efficiency benefits for businesses of any size.

Cost efficiency-You don’t have to hire a specialized electrician or spend money on network installation costs to install PoE.

Time savings-Power over Ethernet doesn’t require electrical power cabling to be installed and it doesn’t need a qualified electrician to fit network cables, saving both time and installation costs.

Quick deployment-Power over Ethernet eliminates the need to have an expensive electrical contractor come in, and is easy to set up and reposition.

Flexibility-As power isn’t always needed from an electrical outlet, you can place your devices where they are most needed even the AC outlet doesn’t present nearby.

Safety-Electrical power can be delivered via 48VDC which is considered safe by UL standards. PoE also has built-in safety features, such as if there’s a disruption in power, the PSE automatically stops sending the power.

Reliability-As a company or user, if you’re using PoE, you don’t have to worry about what device is plugged in where, as every device gets power from the network. This also means that the installation and distribution of network connections are super easy and effective. It’s easy to control the power supply to disable or reset devices, too.

Scalability-When installation and distribution of network connections is simple and effective, this makes connecting new offices simpler as well. This means that there is a cost-effective way for businesses to grow in the future.

Security-As PoE devices attached to networks with high-level security enjoy the same security protection as other network assets, Power over Ethernet devices do not rely on security from the device itself but rather from the network.

Devices that use Power over Ethernet

As technology advances, and we’re being pushed further into the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices, the range of products and equipment that can be powered by PoE has been increasing. Power over Ethernet supports the following devices:

VoIP Phones-The original PoE application. For an IP phone to work, it must be connected to a power outlet and have a single connection to a wall socket. It can also be remotely powered down if it doesn’t need to be used, just like with older analog systems.

IP Cameras-The use of IP cameras has spread throughout the world and has become an industry standard for fast and easy installation. This has ensured that small to large-scale security systems can be created.

IP Intercoms– IP intercoms can use PoE, as they’re door intercom systems that work in the same way as a “IP camera”, transmitting power and data signals over the same network cable.

IP Speakers-These are the latest audio systems for music and public addresses, where the entire audio system is connected via a LAN or WAN network. This allows the IP speakers to be connected via Ethernet cable, along with Ethernet power from a PoE switch.

Wireless IP Access Points-Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RFID readers are all devices that are commonly PoE compatible. This allows them to be remotely located or relocated, wherever there is access to power over Ethernet.

What Are PoE Standards?

IEEE 802.3at, IEEE 802.3bt, IEEE 802.3bt+ and IEEE 802.3af are power supply standards released by the IEEE to ensure interoperability across a broad range of devices (PDs) and power sources (PSEs). They help devices and power sources operate at the same voltage levels but deliver different wattage. What’s the difference between the four standards?

  1. Power over Ethernet (PoE)-The IEEE 802.3af standard supplies up to 15 watts of DC power from a Power Source Equipment (PSE) to PoE-enabled devices and 12.95 watts from the PD to a powered device because of losses on an Ethernet cable. It uses two pairs of wires like CAT3 or CAT5 cables as a medium.
  • Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+)-The IEEE 802.3at standard is also referred to as High PoE supplies power up to 30 watts of DC power from PSE and 25.5 watts from PD because of losses on an Ethernet cable. It also uses two pairs of wires such as CAT5 cable or higher as a medium.
  • PoE++- The latest IEEE standard after IEEE 802.3af & 802.3at standards for taking all 4 twisted pairs to send the power. PoE++ supply up to 90 watts of DC power from the PSE and 71 watts from PD due to losses in the cable. This standard uses four pairs of wires as a medium, like traditional CAT5e or CAT6 cables.

Is Power over Ethernet Safe to Use?

IEEE 802.3af/at/bt-compliant PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology is safe and is not a threat to any device that’s not designed to work with PoE. If a PSE intends to send power, it initiates a handshake procedure with the PD (Power Device), which establishes how much power the PD requires.

This handshake is harmless, and can only be completed if there’s a PSE and PD on both ends of the cable. If this handshake isn’t completed, then no power is sent to either device – making it inherently safe. However, the passive PoE system which removes the power handshaking could cause harm to your edge device. There is a significant difference between the standard PoE and passive PoE.

Understanding the Actual Power Budget of PoE Switch

One of the factors that affect power consumption on PoE switches is the power budget. Different PoE switch models have different power budgets. Some managed PoE switches for large enterprise networks can supply up to 400W, but for a home network, it’s better to use a basic unmanaged PoE switch with a lower power budget.

What Is PoE Budget?

When considering power usage for a hardware installation, you will need to make sure the PoE Switch or Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) can meet the power requirements of Powered Devices (PDs) such as IP cameras, Voice over IP (VoIP), and Wireless Access Points (WAPs).

All PoE switches have a limited Budget——the total amount of power they can provide in watts to PDs at the same time.

The Actual Power Budget – The Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch sends both the data and power to the remote IP device, so you can remove the AC outlet that is used to power the device. As we all know, electric devices only take the power they need. For example, an access point only draws 5W even when a 100W power adapter is being used.

The following table lists the power consumption rates of some common network devices and how much power they need to operate.

How to Choose the PoE Switch to Meet the Power Demanding?

IEEE has a set of standards for PoE (Power over Ethernet). There are three types of pluggable connectors we can use when working with Ethernet cables: IEEE 802.3af, IEEE802.3at, and IEEE802.3bt. The output power on IEEE802.3af is 15.4W, on IEEE802.3at the output is 30W and on IEEE802.3bt the maximum output is 90W.

However, these are not the actual power budget! This is the maximum power that PoE switches inject into the network cable. The remaining budget for PoE switches is 12W for PoE, 25.5W for PoE+ switches and 71W for PoE++ switch (type 4 class 8). This difference in output is due to power loss over the course of the cables. Eventually, the heat created by this loss will be dissipated.

The new IEEE 802.3bt standard is the latest standard that employs all 4 twisted pairs to send the power. This new standard will make a difference for power hungry applications like access control, POS, interactive displays, cellular base stations, etc.

How to calculate the power in a PoE system?

We often need to calculate how many devices can be plugged into a PoE switch. To better illustrate this calculation, I would first like to introduce two important components to understand when we calculate power consumption on a PoE switch:

Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE)-this is equipment that delivers power over Ethernet. It is typically a PoE switch or PoE injector that comes with a predetermined Total PoE Budget.

Powered devices (PDs)- these are pieces of hardware that need power and connect to a PoE switch, such as IP cameras, WAPs, and VoIPs. They also come with a variety of demands, ranging from 6W to 65W even higher.

As a rule of thumb, the total sum of these demands cannot exceed the power budget from the PoE switch. So, how many devices can you link to a PoE switch? It all depends on two different factors: the maximum power output from your PoE switch, and the max power requirements from all your devices.

One way to measure a PoE switch’s power is the PoE Budget, which is the total amount of power that is available for the switch to distribute across PoE-compatible devices. For instance, a 16-port 802.3 PoE+ switch has a 200W PoE Budget. With this much power, the max power requirement for all your devices cannot exceed 200W.

One thing we always missing is the power loss inline. The actual power you receive for all those edge devices will be less than 200W. As we mentioned above, the power will be lost and converted to heat, we can’t ignore those power losses.

This conservative method is subtracting the power from the total power budget for each device. If the IEEE802af device is attached to the PoE, it takes 14.4W, and it will take 30W with PoE+ edge devices. Eventually, this method will reserve 20-30% additional power, but more is always better than less right? You have kept some power margin in the system.

How Can I Reduce the Power Consumption of a PoE Switch?

Using Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)-PoE switch with Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) is a technology defined as IEEE 802.3az to reduce switch power consumption during periods of low network traffic and aims to reduce power consumption by more than 50%. It also has a green function which not only saves the link load power and saves the power used for transmission, but also detects link status and adjusts the power according to cable length. Note that your device port and connecting device must support 802.3az for this PoE switch to imply the Energy Efficient Ethernet, otherwise, the switch will work as a regular PoE switch.

PoE Switch vs non-PoE switch – What is the difference?

Technology in the networking industry is always advancing. Businesses need to be on the cutting edge of system implementation to stay ahead. There are two main types of network switches: non-PoE switch and PoE switch. By using a PoE switch, your business is well equipped for the future and gives itself the best chance at continual growth and expansion.

What is a Power over Ethernet (PoE) Switch? Where Can You Use It?

A PoE switch, or Power over Ethernet switch, helps lay down the Ethernet cable and provides both power and data to the edge device such as PoE IP camera, PoE access point, PoE VoIP phone. Currently, you can find all kinds of switches that apply the PoE technology in different ports 4, 8, 16, 24 port PoE switches, and 48 port PoE switches.

PoE Switch vs Non-PoE Switch: The Key Differences

The biggest difference between power over Ethernet (PoE) switch and a non-power over Ethernet (non-PoE) switch is the power. A PoE switch not only supplies the network (data) but also power. The non-PoE switch only provides data exchange.

You can deploy a standard PoE switch to the network and attach both PoE and non-PoE devices to the switch. We emphasize the standard PoE switch here because we will need to rule out the passive PoE switch. It is not safe to connect non-PoE devices such as PC computers to a passive PoE switch. The standard PoE switch complies with IEEE802.3 specifications. It will initial the power handshaking to the edge device before it decides to send the power. If the PoE switch didn’t receive the correct feedback from your edge device such as a PC computer, the standard PoE switch only will provide data exchange on that specific PoE port.

Actually, you also can use the PoE injector to turn the non-PoE switch to be PoE compatible. The PoE injector can add power to the Ethernet cable and send it to the edge as well as the data.

In other words, you can consider the PoE switch as the non-PoE switch plus the power source which complies with IEEE802.3af/at/bt specification to manage the powering process.

Benefits of PoE Switches

PoE Switches automatically know how much power each device needs and supply only that, which results in less energy wastage. This will save your company money in the long run, as it is more efficient than regular switches.

There are other benefits to using PoE switches:

  • They use a single cable, so it’s easy to create a network.
  • You can expand your network even if power is problematic.
  • It is easy to maintain and monitor remotely.
  • You don’t need an electrician to wire the switch.
  • The total cost is lower to use PoE switches than traditional switches when it works with the PoE devices.
  • PoE switches manage energy more efficiently, saving money.

With the rise of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, PoE switches will future-proof your business, enabling you to have more devices on your network while optimizing usage.

Types of PoE Switches?

Managed PoE Switch: This is the most advanced option because it offers a high level of control and management as well as full security. It’s found in data centers and enterprise networks.

Unmanaged PoE Switch: This is typically used at the home or in a small business without an I.T team, and it’s hard to use and not cost-effective for large teams with sensitive data.

Web Smart PoE Switch: This option offers access through the Internet to manage ports and virtual networks and doesn’t require highly-trained staff to use. Though it has security features, it doesn’t have a variety of functions like a managed switch.

What Should I Pick?

Unmanaged switches are a good choice if you don’t have any IT knowledge or someone to personally set up your network. They require no configuration and can be used right out of the box.

Managed switches require a high understanding of networking and are usually used in production networks by professionals.

What Are the Disadvantages of PoE Switches?

PoE switches can transmit up to 100 meters over Ethernet, which may not extend as far as people would like in large campuses, restaurants, and enterprises. However, there are still solutions to extend PoE range—devices such as PoE extenders or powered fiber optical solutions.

Devices that use the IEEE 802.af standard is limited to 15.4W, while IEEE 802.at devices can supply up to 25.5W. If you need PoE devices to power over 30W of power, make sure your PoE switch has enough wattage for your specific needs. The new PoE standard IEEE802.3bt can supply up to 71W by using all 4 twisted pairs to send the power.

One of the hidden costs of PoE switches is the increased cost of the hardware. As I mentioned before, the typical Power over Ethernet switch costs more than its non-PoE switch. That’s because PoE switches include a power supply. However, system cost will be lower after you consider the power adapters, separately cable and wiring jobs in the field.

PoE Switch vs PoE Injector – How to pick?

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 Switch:

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.

PoE Injector:

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.

Do I Need a Managed PoE Switch to Set up a Home or Business Network?

Using a managed PoE switch can be a great way to get the most out of your network. A managed PoE switch gives you more control over your network by allowing you to configure settings and create different rules. This type of switch can come in handy if you want to optimize your network for specific applications or prioritize certain devices.

What Is a Managed PoE Switch?

A Managed PoE switch allows network administrators to use a graphic user interface or command line to manage and configure local area network settings. A managed PoE switch is designed for simple and straightforward configuration of network devices as well as monitoring common network tasks. Compared with an unmanaged switch, a managed switch offers enhanced features that make troubleshooting, monitoring and controlling the performance of the local area network more streamlined and efficient. The added features can help professional network administrators maintain the integrity of their local area networks efficiently without any major setbacks.

Features of Managed Switches for Your Business Network

Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) Snooping

IGMP Snooping is a method of reducing unnecessary multicast traffic. It works by controlling the multicast traffic on a managed switch and filtering the traffic downstream.

Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs)

In order to reduce unnecessary traffic, network administrators can group devices together with Virtual Local Area Networks. Virtual Local Area Networks allow for additional security measures to be applied to network communications, and some have the ability to improve management capacity.

Quality of Service (QoS)

The Quality of Service (QoS) feature on a managed PoE switch allows you to prioritize different types of network traffic, and manage the available bandwidth in your network. It does this by giving devices with more packets of data more bandwidth. A typical use for this is prioritizing traffic between two devices that frequently exchange data.

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

Managed PoE Switches are available with a suite of management tools and features. One of those is the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), which will allow network managers to monitor network performance and the health of their network. One great use for SNMP is to notice any potential problems and address them before they have an adverse impact on your network.


The idea of redundancy is to provide a backup network option if a device or traffic routing fails. The backup devices are used to quickly switch over to the redundant side of the switch if the main site fails. Redundancy is a way to safeguard your network by providing an alternate data path in case a connection or cables fail. Managed switches use Spanning Tree Protocol or STP to provide redundant paths in the network. This prevents loops that are created by multiple active paths between switches and allow one active path at a time. With STP, there is a lesser chance of downtime and redundancy also proves more profitable for a business.

The goal is to save what you were doing when the failure occurred, then quickly get things up and running again. Redundancy is also useful for making copies of the configuration files for a switch. Businesses that cannot afford downtime would make an extra configuration backup so that when one of their switches dies, they are able to quickly set it up without starting from scratch.

Port Mirroring

Managed switches have a useful feature called port mirroring, which helps diagnose network problems. When you configure port mirroring, copies of traffic are sent to a single port on the same switch. This allows you to use a network analyzer and diagnosis and fix problems without disrupting the network, reducing downtime.

Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)

Spanning Tree Protocol is a way to reduce loops on a network. A loop occurs when there are multiple paths on the network and packets can keep looping around, causing some devices to come to a grinding halt. Spanning Tree Protocol is important for large enterprise networks, but it’s not as big of a concern for home networks.

Security Access

Managed switches are a great way to add security features to your network. First, features like 802.1X Port-Based Network Access Control (PNAC) and PoE (Power over Ethernet) port control provide you with the capability to control which devices can gain access and where they can access the network point it connects to. For instance, most switches come with management software, which allows you to define each port as “static” or “dynamic”——static ports let you specify a unique and fixed MAC address, so you only allow one address to connect freely; dynamic ports offer more flexibility by allowing multiple devices while ensuring that each device uses a temporary MAC address so as not to conflict with any other addresses in the network.

Remote Access Management

Managed switches give you control over your LAN and any traffic flowing through it. They also provide advanced features to help you control the data flow. Managed switches have all of the features of an unmanaged switch and come with the added benefit of being able to configure, monitor, and manage your network from the outside. This ensures that only the appropriate people have access, and it allows you to control the data flow more.

Port Aggregation

Port aggregation is a way to combine multiple Ethernet links together, making them act as a single logical link. The benefit of being able to combine ports comes from being able to assign more data across a dedicated connection resulting in an overall increase in performance. Port aggregation also provides redundancy; if one link fails, the remaining ports in the channel continue to communicate uninterrupted until a faulty link can be replaced.

When and Where to Use a Managed Switch?

If you want to have more control over your network at home, it’s ideal to choose a managed PoE switch. It makes the best choice of all for homeowners——especially if you’re looking for a product that offers privacy security from malicious third parties.

Managed PoE network switches are made for businesses that need to manage the flow of data and information. Managed PoE switches also enable users to access more control over the traffic compared to unmanaged switches; allowing them to remotely monitor and troubleshoot their system’s external links and internal connections.

Active PoE vs. Passive PoE: Which Should You Use?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a solution that provides data transmission and electric power to devices using one cable. That means that end-users can power PoE capable devices without separate power supplies or electrical outlets near the powered device.

There are different types of PoE technology. Some PoE just provides active PoE and others provide passive. If you want to know more about the difference between active PoE and passive PoE, you can read this article.

What Is Active PoE?

Active PoE works according to a set standard specification: IEEE802.3af, IEEE802.3at, IEEE802.3bt. These are highly compatible standards. The compliant devices will complete a “power handshaking” with the PoE power supply at low power. If the power handshaking is successful, the device will negotiate the power needed and power up fully. If the handshake fails, the power supply will not deliver any power and the device will not turn on.

What Is an Active PoE Switch?

The standard/active POE switch is a PoE control chip that is built-in. It will send power to a powered device, then wait for stable transmission. If the device is disconnected, the POE switch will stop supplying power and try to detect it again.

Another similar product is the standard/active PoE injector. The PoE injector doesn’t provide switching function. It simply injects the power to the Ethernet cable and sends it together with data to the edge device. It is a handy tool to turn non-PoE switch or routers into PoE compatible equipment.

It is safe for standard PoE switch to work with non-PoE devices such as PC computers because of the power handshaking. The POE switch will only send the data without power when the non-PoE device is attached to the standard PoE switch.

What Is Passive PoE?

Passive Power Over Ethernet, or passive POE, is a type of power input to Ethernet cable that does not require power handshaking. It’s very important to understand the specifications of your device and make sure it requires the same type of POE as the input you are going to provide. For example, many CCTV cameras are passive POE but they need a 12v power supply using either a DC power balun or passive POE injector. However, there are more expensive POE cameras that have an active POE handshake and will negotiate with the switch for the correct input. The same can be said for PoE access points, which require a passive 24v power supply.

What Is Passive PoE Switch?

Non-standard/ Passive POE switches come with safety hazards. They don’t come with a POE control chip, so they can’t tell the difference between PoE cameras and other devices. This can result in transient voltages and may burn out any device connected to it. The price of non-standard PoE switches is cheaper, but you risk sending too much voltage to your devices. Please be aware that passive non-standard PoE switches deliver power without negotiation. If you aren’t sure how to install one of these, we recommend considering a standard PoE switch with active PoE control to prevent the potential hazards. All of the recommendations below are based on a standard PoE switch.

Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch: The Key Differences

Passive PoE switches deliver power over Ethernet cables, but they don’t comply with any IEEE standard. Active PoE switches, on the other hand, are compliant with IEEE standards, and there is a difference in the power supply pins of these two types of PoE switches. If safety is your top priority, you should use an active PoE switch; if you have a limited budget and cost is your main concern, a passive one might be a better choice.

Security camera systems: Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch

Active PoE: In this case, IP cameras will not turn on unless it completes a handshake between the PoE power supply and the device. If the handshake isn’t approved, then the camera won’t turn on.

Passive PoE: When using passive PoE, the camera will turn on regardless of its power parameters. Since there’s no power handshaking, you may risk burning out the camera if it’s receiving a higher voltage than it can handle.

Cost: Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch

The cost of an active PoE switch differs from the passive PoE switch mainly because the active PoE switch has a built-in power controller, which the passive one does not. This means that the passive PoE switch relies on information from outside sources to detect and classify the PD (power demand) system. As a result, it’s not surprising that the active PoE switch costs more than the passive PoE switch.

Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch: Which is the Better Choice for Your Network?

One way to keep your network safe is by using a PoE switch. We suggest active PoE switches because they can detect power wiring issues and help prevent accidents. We may also use passive PoE switches if cost is a concern, but be aware that they do not have any power detection function. It is important to make sure the passive PoE switch you buy matches the power specifications exactly to the device you are powering on, otherwise you can easily damage your device. Finally, it’s never okay to connect computers and other non-PoE devices to the passive PoE switch. Read Everything you need to know about Power over Ethernet to dive into the PoE technology.

Management PoE Switch VS. Unmanned PoE switch

In our daily life (at home or in the office), PoE switches play an important role in connecting our data and information. In addition, PoE switches can not only transmit data signals, but also transmit power to external devices. Both power and signal can be sent at the same time. There are two types of PoE switches: managed and unmanaged. Managed and unmanaged switches are widely used in businesses, modern cities, and traffic management. How does it work? What’s the difference between them?

Unmanaged switches

Where a managed switch needs management that works exactly the way you want it in return for your network, an unmanaged switch works without any input from you. There are no configuration interfaces or options for repair and support. These network devices work in their simplest form. You do not need to enter an additional code. The unmanaged switch gives consumers the peace of mind that they have everything connected and started automatically. For private companies and small businesses, this would be a preferred choice.

Managed switches

If you have a company or an international hotel, you have to work with 1000+ colleagues. How do I connect all computers that work together? A managed switch is a device that can be configured and properly managed to provide a more personalized experience for those using the box. Monitoring the network is not the only function of managed switches. Control over data is another skill that makes managed switches more intellectual. This point can be shown by its characteristics. Managed switches generally provide Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) that allows users to monitor the status of the switch and individual switch ports and provide statistics such as traffic throughput, network errors, and port status. In summary, managed switches are designed for heavy workloads, high traffic, and deployments requiring custom configurations.

What are the differences between Managed and Unmanaged Switches?

Network switches are like the “brain” of a home network or a business network. Selecting suitable and highly efficient switches is an important task for network administrators. But how do we know which type of switch is right for us? This is a problem that has long puzzled people. We analyze the image of different switches. There are five main factors to focus on.

1. Performance

2. Features

3. Costs

4. Security

5. Places of application


A major difference between managed and unmanaged switches is performance. Control switch is configurable Control of access and LAN traffic – Priority SNMP. It allows remote troubleshooting of the network. Managed switches also require one or more administrators who understand the concepts of network configuration and monitoring and how these concepts apply to a switch configuration. Unmanaged switches tend to have a plug and play installation process. Unmanaged switches plug and play with limited configuration such as the default QoS settings.


Managed switch features may vary by manufacturer and model, but often include:

• STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) support for switch and link redundancy without creating loops. There are several STP iterations that are commonly configured, including traditional STP, STP per VLAN, fast STP, and multiple STP.

• the ability to implement quality of service;

• VLAN support;

• Bandwidth speed limitation; and

• Gate mirroring.

A unique feature of unmanaged switches is the MAC address table mentioned above. Maintaining a MAC address table will reduce the total number of broadcasts broadcast and limit the number of possible collisions within the domain. This is also an important distinction between an unmanaged switch and an Ethernet hub.

cost In terms of cost, unmanaged switches are significantly cheaper compared to their managed counterparts. However, few unmanaged switch options are considered enterprise options. Instead, organizations interested in unmanaged switches can purchase them directly from the manufacturer online or through big box stores.


We can say that the managed switch is doing very well from a security point of view. Security features can be configured for managed switches that unmanaged switches cannot use. Managed switches provide protection for the data plane, control plane, and management plane. An unmanaged switch is not very good. No security other than accessories such as lockable terminal covers.

Application locations

The managed switch could make an incredible contribution to the data center of large corporate networks. Unmanaged switches are better suited for small business networks, homes, labs, conference rooms, etc.

How to choose between a managed and an unmanaged network switch

In many cases, consumers must select the most appropriate network switches to ensure that the entire network system is working properly. Then managed switches versus unmanaged switches: how do you choose the right switch for your practical network needs? What kinds of switches are there for business networks?

There is a little example that can tell the truth. An adult needs two eggs a day to replenish enough protein. Should a child also eat two eggs a day? The extra value can be wasted because it cannot be absorbed. As mentioned earlier, managed switches are more expensive than unmanaged switches because they require software patches, updates, and often an experienced person to be deployed. However, complex networks consisting of servers, wireless access points, PCs and IoT devices often require the configuration options for managed switches.

Small businesses with dozens of connected devices can probably get away with implementing an unmanaged switch. The functions of managed switches are unlikely to be used because a single flat network can easily handle the traffic generated by a small network. Therefore, the additional cost of a managed switch is unlikely to add any value to the business.

An organization may need a managed switch as the business is approaching hundreds of devices. In this case, the ability to use VLANs to divide the LAN into multiple broadcast domains can ensure optimal network performance. In addition, larger organizations likely have an IT network professional who can configure advanced performance, security, and monitoring features.

PoE Switch VS. PoE Injector: Which Should Choose for PoE Networking System Setup

The Internet has become an important part of our daily lives. In order to make life more convenient, there are various network devices on the market, such as IP phone, wireless access point and IP camera. These devices not only need to get the network through the Ethernet cable, but also need to get the power through the wire. When the number of devices is large, the wiring will be complicated. How to solve this problem?

Recently, PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology has been widely used, which can transmit power and network simultaneously through a single Ethernet cable. PoE devices include power sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered devices (PD). PSE is a device for transmitting power, and then PoE switches and PoE injectors are PSEs. Devices that receive electricity are called PDs. People often ask:  PoE switch vs. PoE injector: Which one should choose? This article will compare these two PSEs to help you make a choice.

What is a PoE switch?

PoE network switches or Power over Ethernet switches are built-in PoE injection network switches. Therefore, it can transmit both power and network to the PD directly connected to it through a single Ethernet cable. PoE network switches are considered to be one of the smartest ways to invest in your network system.

PoE switches are mainly used with IP cameras, VoIP phones and wireless access points (WAP). You can usually buy 4/8/16/24/48 port PoE switches. PoE network switches can be divided into many types, such as unmanaged, managed PoE switches, outdoor PoE switches, industrial-grade switches, and 800m long-distance PoE switches. PoE switches provide power and establish network connections for IP cameras that support PoE through network cables such as Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6.

What is PoE Injector?

Power injectors are also called PoE injectors or midspans. They are small, simple hardware devices connected to your network, allowing you to power other devices through your network. There are two types of PoE injectors, including passive PoE injector and active PoE injector.

In order to add PoE to conventional non-PoE network connections, PoE injectors are often used. Although all ports of PoE switches can be used for power supply and network transmission, some older switches without PoE function cannot be used with PoE devices because they can only transmit network but not power. Fortunately, if you just want to use PoE technology, you don’t need to upgrade all your existing switches to PoE-compatible switches. Compared to replacing your original network infrastructure, PoE injector is a cheap and easy way to allow some PoE devices to be used with non-PoE switches.  

The injector injects power into the data obtained from the non-PoE switch and transmits the power and network to the PD through a single Ethernet cable (such as Cat5e and Cat6 cable). The two main benefits of using power injectors in your network are cost and flexibility.

PoE switch vs. PoE injector: The choice depends on network requirements.

Among the two PoE PSE devices mentioned above, PoE network switches are currently the most commonly used devices. Because of its high efficiency and cost-saving advantages, PoE switches are often the first choice when planning to establish a PoE network for homes or offices.

However, before PoE switches became popular, non-PoE switches were usually used in home or office network construction. When you need to add some PDs with PoE to these network systems, what would you do? In this case, you don’t need to discard the existing non-PoE switch and buy the new ones with PoE. PoE injectors can be added to each PD, saving you the trouble of upgrading switches. However, it should be noted that the PoE injector is only suitable for PoE network systems with a few PDs. If you want to add dozens of PDs, it is more appropriate to choose a PoE switch.

As the company continues to expand and homes become more and more intelligent, PoE switches are an effective part of taking your network in the right direction. Any network device that requires a small amount of power to operate and communicate on the network can be plugged into the PoE switch. PoE injectors can still meet some special needs. The latest IEEE802.3 bt standard can provide 95W high power, and the 95W PoE injector is a good choice without changing the existing network infrastructure. 10G PoE injector is another device that injects power into a 10G network. So how to choose PoE switch and PoE injector depends on the actual situation. The PoE switch has integrated the power supply in the switch, and the PoE injector is used as a power supply that can increase the power to the twisted wire and transmit the network and power to the front-end IP devices.