What Are the Different Types of PoE?

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The Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a networking technology that performs the dual function of carrying power and data. The PoE uses twisted ethernet cables to perform networking functions.

After the start of the Internet of Things (IoT), PoE technology has an even more significant role to play. The IoT devices need a single cable that can transfer both data and power. Moreover, voice-over-internet phones (VOIP), Internet protocol cameras, TVs, routers, and intercoms in residential and commercial spaces use the same PoE-powered devices.

The challenge of PoE-powered devices is that they all have different requirements. Thus, to fulfill those requirements, you will need PoE switches. There are separate PoE switches available. You can choose a control aligning with the conditions of your device.

What Are PoE Switches?

What’s the primary difference between PoE switches and conventional switches? Well, they can access power and data through a simple ethernet cable. However, you can make an orthodox switch PoE using special devices like a PoE splitter hub and injectors.

Once you are clear about PoE switches’ application and operability, it will come down to your decision-making. The kind of control you want to use with your device. However, all PoE-enabled devices accept all switches, but not all switches offer similar features.

Do you want to use features like excess security, which is a need for devices prone to security breaches? Then, you will need advanced switches.

Let’s have a look at the different types of PoE switches available and their features.

Classification of PoE

1. The Unmanaged PoE Switch

These are the most basic switches. You can adjust them according to your PoE-enabled devices’ needs. Moreover, the controls are most suited for home networks and small office compounds.

With these switches, you don’t need to temper the interface of your devices. As they are entry-level switches, they don’t have any security setup. But if you are using them for smaller networks that use less than ten computers, they do the job efficiently.

Do you run a business where you can’t afford any potential leakage of information? Then, you should go for upgraded switches which offer secure setups.

2. The Smart or Hybrid PoE Switch

Smart or hybrid switches are more like managed switches with limited features. The operability of these switches is easy. Furthermore, all the elements are easily accessible through the internet.

These switches work well for smaller businesses that offer IT solutions and applications. Most VoIP service providers prefer these switches for their operation. The most significant upside of a hybrid switch is ‘ease of use.’ That’s because you don’t even need a very highly skilled professional to operate these switches.

With these smart switches, you get features like QoS that are very useful for small IT businesses. Also, you can configure ports and create a small virtual network. They are also suitable for VLANs and small workgroups. Do you seek more advanced features like network management through remote accessibility? You will have to go with purely managed switches.

3. The Managed PoE Switch

Managed switches offer everything that you don’t get in unmanaged and hybrid switches. With managed switches, you can set up high-security networks. Besides, you also get full access to control and address the problems in your network.

The managed switches mainly cater to businesses that need 24*7 monitoring and control. As they are advanced switches, they add more value to your networks. And more value always comes with extra cost. These switches are costly. But if you have a scalable business, the regulators justify their price.

Managed switches let you focus on traffic on your network. Moreover, it helps you track their movement and partitioning. Also, with these switches, you get the flexibility to connect with a variety of other networks.

Different Types of PoE

IEEE releases PoE standards to fill the need for a higher power. Currently, there are four significant types of PoE available. They are Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4. Let’s check out these types, along with their technical names.

1. PoE

The PoE Type 1 applies to the earlier PoE technology. In simple terms, it is also referred to as 2-pair PoE or PoE. This type belongs to the original IEEE 802.3af standard, which has been in existence since the year 2003.

One can use this type to connect many types of low-powered devices to the network. The connection occurs through two pairs. This type provides a maximum of 12.95W power to all devices and 15.4W (DC) to all PoE ports.


  • VoIP phones
  • Wireless access points
  • Surveillance cameras

2. PoE+

The PoE Type 2 works more like that of PoE Type 1. That’s because both these types use 2-pair PoE. This type belongs to the IEEE 802.3at standard, which came into existence in 2009.

For devices, this type can deliver 25.5W power. Likewise, it delivers 30W power to each port. Moreover, this type is suitable for connecting high-powered devices to the network.


  • Alarm systems
  • RFID readers
  • PTZ cameras

3. PoE++

It is another type of PoE that belongs to the IEEE 802.3bt standard, which has existed since the year 2011. This type is also known as 4-pair PoE. That’s because it uses four pairs of twisted-pair copper cables to transmit the power.

At the port level, this type can deliver 60W power. Likewise, it can provide 51W power to all devices.


  • Building supervision devices
  • Video conferencing equipment
  • PTZ cameras

4. Higher-Power PoE (PoE++)

It is the type 4 PoE, which is highly modern and up-to-date technology. Among all other PoE types, type 4 provides immense power capabilities. This type belongs to the latest IEEE 802.3bt standard.

This type can deliver  90W power at the port level. Besides, it provides 70W power to each device.


  • Laptops
  • High-power devices
  • Flat screens

How to Choose the Correct Type of PoE Switch?

1. How Many Ports Will You Need?

It depends upon your requirements and the limitations of your network. You can get a switch that has as little as four to five controls. At the same time, you can get solutions with more than fifty configurations.

When you take a final call about the number of ports you might need, make sure you consider the number of users or devices your network can support. You need this when operating in a large organization with many employees. In a large organization, you need managed switches. Moreover, you also have to use controls with the greatest configuration.

2. What Is the Speed That the PoE Switch Will Provide?

In previous years, Ethernet speeds were a lot slower. But ever since advanced switches entered into the scene, the whole dynamics changed.

More like the number of ports, now you can choose switches with specific speed rates. With primary Ethernet 802.1, you get a speed of 10MBPS. With Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, you get the speeds 100MBPS and 1000MBPS, respectively.

Also, there are special switches available that offer speeds in the range of 2.5GBPS to 100GBPS. These specialized switches are most convenient for data centers and only access points.

3. What Sort of Redundancy Do You Want for the Network?

Redundancy in a network means you use redundant switches that never come into play until your core switch fails. The redundant controls are usually identical to the core switch and have a similar configuration. The type of redundancy an entity needs depends upon the cost of a network disruption.

As unmanaged switches do not offer any redundancy, it’s okay to go with these switches if you operate on a small scale. You don’t usually need redundancy if you use only a bunch of devices on the same network. But if you are a large organization, the cost of redundancy is much higher than the price of managed switches. Always have managed switches with redundancy.

Final Thoughts!

It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in or the type of organizational setup you have. PoE switches can change the way how networks work. With a PoE switch, you don’t need to rely on a centralized hub. Moreover, you can also have an in-house setup. That, in turn, increases the reliability and scalability of your network.

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Hi, I'm Mr. Hua, The funder of HoweVision technology, I'v been woking industrial communication equipment for 8 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to industrial communication from a China supplier's perspective.

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