Articles on: Networking

PoE Switch Recommendation

What is PoE?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that allows network cables to carry both data and electrical power to devices such as IP cameras, access points, and VoIP phones. This allows for the powering of devices without the need for a local power source at the device location or having to run a separate cable for power. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using a PoE switch for your LiveReach setup, the different types of PoE switches, factors to consider before buying a switch, and our recommendations.

PoE Switch

A Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch is a networking device that integrates Power over Ethernet technology, allowing both data and power to be transmitted over a single Ethernet cable. This eliminates the need for separate power cables, simplifying installation and reducing costs, especially in scenarios where power outlets are limited or inaccessible. PoE switches come in various configurations, from unmanaged to fully managed, and are widely used in applications such as IP surveillance, VoIP phones, wireless access points, and IoT devices.

PoE Switch vs Normal Switch

Extended Cable Runs: The main advantage of PoE switches is that they can connect cameras over longer distances without worrying about voltage loss or cable quality. Ethernet is restricted to 328 feet. However, this range may be easily increased by connecting the PoE network switch or utilizing PoE extenders. This flexibility is especially valuable for outdoor and large-scale surveillance systems.
Simplified Installation: PoE switches eliminate the need for separate power cables, reducing clutter and simplifying installation, especially in remote or hard-to-reach locations.
Cost Savings: By consolidating data and power transmission into a single cable, PoE reduces installation and maintenance costs associated with traditional power outlets and cables.
Futureproofing: PoE addresses network capacity planning for both speed-based performance and to power network devices. It supports the explosion of IoT devices and the latest wireless technologies.
Remote Power Management: Managed PoE switches offer remote power management capabilities, allowing administrators to monitor and control power usage and troubleshoot issues remotely.

PoE Standards and Types

PoE (Power over Ethernet) standards define how power is transmitted over Ethernet cables to devices like IP cameras, VoIP phones, and access points. There are three main PoE standards, each with different power delivery capabilities:

IEEE StandardPoE typeMax power to device
IEEE 802.3afPoE15.4W
IEEE 802.3atPoE+30W
IEEE 802.3btPoE++60-100W (Type 3, Type 4)

If your devices need between 15.4 watts and 30 watts, you'll need a PoE+ switch (802.3at compliant).
For devices demanding more than 30 watts, a PoE++ switch (802.3bt compliant) is necessary, ensuring enough power delivery (consider Type 3 or Type 4 depending on your specific needs).

What is PoE+

PoE+ (802.3at) is an upgraded version of the original PoE standard (802.3af) that can deliver more power (up to 30 watts) over an Ethernet cable. This is important for devices that require more power, such as IP cameras with features like pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) functionality, higher resolution, or infrared night vision.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a PoE Switch

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a PoE switch for your LiveReach setup.

Port Speed, Number of Ports, and Power Requirements:

Port Speed

Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) is the preferred choice for LiveReach setup. Standard Ethernet (10/100 Mbps) can create bandwidth bottlenecks if you have multiple cameras or plan to expand in the future. Even if your current cameras use less bandwidth, future cameras might require more. Consider the total data throughput required by all your connected devices and choose a switch with sufficient bandwidth capacity

Number of Ports

Select a switch with enough ports to accommodate your current number of cameras and leave room for future expansion.

Power Requirements

A PoE switch's power budget is the maximum wattage that it can offer. The additional total wattage from connected devices should not approach or surpass the switch's maximum power budget. When selecting a switch, examine the budget per port to ensure that it is adequate to power your IP cameras. Determine if your switch needs to be PoE+ / PoE++

Note: Some PoE switches which were marketed as Gigabit speed, all ports in the switch might not be Gigabit.

Power Supply Voltage Compatibility

Match the power supply voltage of the switch to the voltage requirements of your IP cameras. Using an incompatible voltage can damage your cameras.

Unmanaged vs Managed

unmanaged switches are more like plug and play solution, easy to install in the network. We recommend using unmanaged switches because of their ease to set up and use. But, managed switches offer more capabilities like VLAN, PoE Power control & management, Remote network monitoring, advanced troubleshooting features. Managed switches requires more configuration to set up and manage but provide greater flexibility and control over your network.

For harsh environments, opting for industrial PoE switches designed to withstand extreme conditions is recommended

PoE Switch Recommendations

Gigabit Speed (1 Gbps) to avoid bandwidth bottlenecks
Go with popular brands - like Cisco, Aruba, Netgear, TP-Link, Ubiquiti etc
Atleast IEEE 802.3at compliant, otherwise referred as PoE+ support
Unmanaged Switch (Preferred for Simplicity). You can go with managed switches if you want more control over your network
Extra PoE Ports for Scalability : make it future proof
Adequate Power per Port (15W Minimum - works for most of standard IP cameras)

Ensure your chosen switch has a total power budget high enough for all your devices

Cat 5e (UTP) minimum for PoE+ Gigabit switch functionality (data & power). Cat 6 or Cat 6a (UTP) recommended for future-proofing high-speed network upgrades.

Here are out PoE switch recommendations categorized by managed and unmanaged options, keeping the above factors in mind:

Unmanaged : Amazon Link

Managed : Amazon Link


Updated on: 09/05/2024

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