Power Devices on Your Network with a POE Switch

POE switches are becoming commonplace due to their versatility and ability to simplify cabling requirements. Many devices, such as VoIP telephones, IP security cameras, and doorbells, can be powered via a POE switch. Using a switch can completely eliminate the need for separate power and data cables. You can find a wide range of new and used POE switches on eBay.

What exactly is a POE switch?

A POE, or Power over Ethernet switch, performs the same functions as a traditional switch, but it also offers the added ability to power devices via a network cable. Many POE switches can automatically detect if a connected device is POE compliant or not, which means both POE and non-POE devices can be used with POE switches. POE switches are often used with IP-based CCTV systems as they minimise the number of cables needed to install the devices.

What specifications should be considered when choosing a switch?

POE switches come in various shapes and sizes. Some factors that should be considered include:

  • Intended application: Switches that will be used outdoors may require weatherproofing.
  • Power output: The total power draw of connected devices determines the POE's total output.
  • Switch type: For some applications, hybrid switches can be used, while others may require full POE switches.
What is the difference between hybrid and normal POE switches?

A hybrid POE switch includes both POE and normal ports, while a regular POE switch can accommodate POE and non-POE devices on all of its ports. Hybrid POE switches are often used when only a few POE devices need to be connected to a network. This is because hybrid switches tend to be less expensive than full POE switches. When using a hybrid POE switch, devices that need POE can only be connected to a POE-enabled port. However, full POE switches support the use of both POE and non-POE devices on any of its ports.

What is the difference between a managed and unmanaged POE switch?

Managed POE switches offer useful features which allow network administrators to control the switch, whilst a normal POE switch simply relays the traffic between connected devices. Managed switches are often used when a great amount of control and security is required. There is also a significant price difference between the two types. Unmanaged switches tend to be more affordable than managed POE switches.