Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch & UniFi Switch Differentiated

EdgeSwitch is targeted at the ISP, carrier, and broadband market. While UniFi is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. UniFi switches are easier to use and configure on the UniFi software platform built into the UniFi controller. UniFi switches also feature user convenience design features such as fan-less, quiet fan and slim bodies.

EdgeSwitch is a high-performance PoE+ Gigabit Ethernet switch with intelligent switching. The EdgeSwitch offers advanced Layer-2 switching protocols and Layer-3 routing features. Providing total non-blocking throughput. The EdgeSwitch features compatibility with SFP and SFT+ ports, with uplink speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps respectfully. 

The EdgeSwitch automatically detects and receive PoE from 802.3af/at devices. At 24 volts, manual configuration must be done to enable passive 24 volts PoE.

EdgeSwitch is available in the following port configurations: 

  • 8-Port Up to 10 Gbps
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps

UniFi switches share several features with EdgeSwitch and is an improvement on the same. UniFi switches are high-performance non-blocking high throughput Gigabit switches. With fully managed PoE+ for 802.3af/at and 24 volts passive PoE devices.

UniFi switches provide fiber connectivity via 1Gbps SFP ports and 10Gbps SFP+ ports, that can directly connect to high-performance switches or storage servers.

UniFi switches are developed in these port and throughput configurations:

  • 8- Port Up to 10 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps (2 SFT ports, 2 SFT+ ports)

ToughSwitch is a layer-2 managed switch with passive PoE capability. The switch is available in 5 port, 8 port and 16 port configurations with moderate a performance delivering at speeds of up to 1Gbps. ToughSwitch is an earlier model of Ubiquiti switches. Newer switches – EdgeSwitch and UniFi with better performance and more feature are replacing the ToughSwitch in high demand network applications.

What is a Power over Ethernet network switch?

A Power over Ethernet (PoE) network switch is an Ethernet network switch that is capable of driving DC power to powered devices that are connected to the switch via a length of Ethernet cable. They may also be called PoE switches or PoE Hubs. Power and data handling by switches is undertaken following specific 802.3 standards released by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

PoE switches are a niche variant of network switches that sit in networks and facilitate connections between multiple participant devices. Alongside power, these multiport devices are capable of sending, receiving, and forwarding data by using MAC addresses and other identifiers.

Power over Ethernet switches are key PoE Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE)

For a Power over Ethernet circuit to be functional and operate in accordance with the leading standards it must include key components. Network switches perform the role of providing power to participant Powered Devices (PD).

Powered devices are client devices within the PoE network that receive power and exchange data with the network switch. PDs are designed to receive power at a particular level as specified by the version of 803.2 PoE standards their ports use.

As they directly deliver Ethernet data and power these switches are classed as end-span devices. Also, the PoE network switch can be connected to PoE splitters that are capable of separating the power from the data signal and delivering it to non-PoE devices via separate AC power and RJ45 connectors.

Ethernet cable is used to transmit DC in PoE via two or four of the twisted pairs that make up the cable. The power is delivered over specific wire conductors within the 8 wire cable as specified by the IEEE standards. PoE usually used Category 5e cable or Category 6 cable and should be selected for its power handling capabilities. Cable is usually effective for power transfer for up to 100 meters (328 feet).

How do Power over Ethernet network switches work?

These analog devices drive power at multiple power levels via suitable Ethernet cables. The power levels delivered range from 13 watts (PoE) to 90 watts (PoE++). The switch is capable of detecting and classifying powered devices so that the correct amount of power can be delivered. Most network switches use sense resistors and a multi-point detection scheme to prevent overpowering devices and ensuring that false PD detection does not occur. The power is also regulated to prevent overvoltage and overtemperature on each of the pins of the PoE port.

IEEE compliant network switches that deliver power according to the key 802.3 standards.

The IEEE 802.3 standards for Power over Ethernet specify for networks with increasing power delivery.

  • IEEE 802.3af was released in 2003 and was the first standard for Power over Ethernet. Devices that use this protocol for power are known as Type 1 devices. Examples include VoIP phones or digital clocks. 802.3af specifies PoE networking with up to 15.4 watts of DC power (44-48 volts / 350 milliamps) supplied to compatible devices. The actual power received by PDs is often less than the maximum as a proportion is dissipated as heat, leaving the minimum guaranteed power as 12.95 watts. 802.3af network switches require a handshake with a powered device before power is supplied, following a specified connect/disconnect protocol.
  • IEEE 802.3at is a later version of PoE known as PoE Plus (PoE+). Switches and devices that use this form of PoE are known as Type 2 devices and include wireless access points and IP cameras. PoE+ is backward compatible with the 802.3af protocol and provides up to 30.8 watts to compatible PDs. 802.3at and 802.3af were incorporated into a single 2012 standard that is used to certify ports that can deliver both power levels. Both of these standards limit power delivery to only two of the 4 twisted pairs in a cable.
  • IEEE 802.3bt or PoE++ is a 2018 IEEE release that provides two distinct power levels for compatible PDs:
    • Type 3 devices can receive up to 55 watts of power.
    • Type 4 devices can receive up to 100 watts of power.

The power is delivered as phantom power over all four twisted pairs in a cable. This is achieved as the frequency at which power is driven is distinct from the frequency used for data transfer, so receiving PDs can separate data from power. The maximum power levels may not always be used as the PD will only draw the amount of power that is needed. Alongside power PoE++ also provides data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second depending on the specification of the network switch.

Types of Power over Ethernet switches

[A] Unmanaged Power over Ethernet switches are a basic type of PoE switch that provide the PoE ports and connectivity for a network without higher-level security, management functionality, modification, or customization. Because there is no software-based setup for these switches they are plug and play.

These basic PoE switches are usually used in small offices or domestic networking with fewer than 10 devices connected. They are a cost-effective choice. They simply pass a set level of power to the connected PDs and exchange data. These switches have less discrimination between the types of traffic that passes through the switch, particularly the handling of multicast traffic. If there is a failure of one of the links on the network an unmanaged switch lacks the redundancy strategies that managed switches do.

[B] Managed Power over Ethernet switches provide more complex functioning and Quality of Service (QoS) technology. They are more expensive than unmanaged PoE switches, but their performance can be optimized for maximum efficiency. These PoE switches have the capabilities for serving more complex enterprise-level networks including data centers. These network switches are distinguished by the high level of management with sophisticated monitoring and remote control. Managed PoE network switches provide power management, prioritization of user traffic, and scaling and interconnecting different networks. To harness the additional functionality a software interface is required where text-based commands can be used to program the switch.

[C] Hybrid Power over Ethernet switches deliver benefits from both managed and unmanaged PoE network switches. They are designed for smaller and simpler networks and offer limited management functionality and enhanced security for less cost than a managed switch.

PoE network switches vary in the number of ports available

PoE switches need to be selected according to the number of ports provided. There need to be enough ports to support the network and any expected expansion in size or complexity. Switches can carry between 8 and 54 ports with small to medium-sized business PoE switches carrying 20 ports. A network switch should always carry some spare ports.

PoE switches vary in speed

Most contemporary PoE switches offer Gigabit networking speeds. Power over Ethernet functionality should not affect the speed of data transfer.

Power over Ethernet network switches from leading manufacturers

  • EdgeSwitch by Ubiquiti is a high-performance PoE+ Gigabit Ethernet switch with intelligent switching. It is targeted at the ISP, carrier, and broadband market. The EdgeSwitch offers advanced Layer-2 switching protocols and Layer-3 routing features, providing total non-blocking throughput. It has compatibility with SFP and SFT+ ports, with uplink speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps respectfully. The EdgeSwitch automatically detects and receives PoE from 802.3af/at devices. At 24 volts, the manual configuration must be done to enable passive 24 volts PoE.

  • UniFi Managed switches are high-performance non-blocking high throughput Gigabit Power over Ethernet switches by Ubiquiti that are designed to be easy to use and configure. They provide fully managed PoE+ for 802.3af/at and 24 volts passive PoE devices. These slimline switches with quiet functioning are targeted at small and medium-sized businesses who need competent networking for a smaller number of computers and devices. The UniFi switches also come with a proprietary software platform and controller.

EdgeSwitch is available in the following port configurations:

  • 8-Port Up to 10 Gbps
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps

UniFi switches are developed in these port and throughput configurations:

  • 8- Port Up to 10 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps (2 SFT ports, 2 SFT+ ports)

ToughSwitch is an earlier Ubiquiti network switch model that has been superseded by EdgeSwitch and UniFi. It is a layer-2 managed switch with passive PoE capability. The switch is available in 5 port, 8 port, and 16 port configurations with moderate performance delivering at speeds of up to 1Gbps.

RoHS compliant PoE network switches for reliable network performance

Our range of Power over Ethernet network switches from leading manufacturers like Ubiquiti and Mikrotik are manufactured using parts and materials of excellent quality and provenance. The Power over Ethernet switches are all compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. This EU law limits the use of hazardous materials like lead or cadmium in electronics. Also, the PoE network switches shown to comply with domestic and international Conflict Minerals legislation that prevents Tin, Tungsten, Tantalum, and Gold from conflict or forced labor sources being used in electronics.

Why are Power over Ethernet network switches important?

PoE Switches are an excellent choice for future-proofing an existing network.

By eliminating the need for a separate power supply, PSE like PoE switches provides a significant saving on the installation costs for a wired network. There is no need to provide power cabling or outlets and network setup is free from the complexities of a professional electrical installation. As the cabling is connected only to a network switch, PDs can be flexibly positioned without proximity to a power outlet.

A key advantage of using a PoE switch is the power management that these devices can deliver. The switch is able to automatically detect power consumption and only supply power when it is needed. It will not drive power to powered down or switched off devices. These switches save a significant amount of energy and money where they are used.

PoE network switches are an advantageous network component for a range of emerging Internet of Things, RFID, and Smart home applications including:

PoE switches for VoIP phones

Voice over Internet Protocol phones are the modern alternative to traditional analog “land-line” telephony and are increasingly used by businesses of all sizes as their primary phone network. With VoIP, voice and multimedia communications are transferred over Internet Protocol networks meaning that network switches can be used for the precise exchange of data and powering of the phones.

A Power over Ethernet VoIP switch will use the IP addresses of connected handsets (softphones) and perform the function of a conduit for exchanging call data. VoIP phones are usually Class 2 or Class 3 devices, requiring a wattage over 10 watts. Network switches that are suitable for both PoE and VoIP require high data rates, ideally in the Gigabit range.

Power over Ethernet switches for Surveillance Systems

The simplicity and utility of IP cameras have meant that they have superseded CCTV as a practical home security solution. When powered by PoE, IP cameras do not need to be installed near a power outlet meaning that their optimal positioning can be prioritized. High-definition security cameras and motion sensors can be connected to a 48-52 volt PoE network switch for power supply and to relay images for cloud storage, monitoring, and management third-party security software like iSpy or Digi Fort.

PoE network switches for Fire and Gas Alarms

Another example of the utility of PoE switches in smart home networking is their use in modern gas and fire alarm systems. Rather than using analog telephone systems (POTS) for monitoring and relaying of information to the emergency services, a single Ethernet cable can be used for power, monitoring, and control of networked alarm systems.

Power over Ethernet switches for Video Doorbells

A high-quality PoE networking switch is a critical component for video doorbells like Ring. Stick-up cam video doorbell network switches provide Power over Ethernet and high-speed connection to cloud-based monitoring software without the need for electrical wiring.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the maximum cable distance for Power over Ethernet 100 meters (328 feet)?

Ethernet cable runs are generally limited to no more than 100 meters because of the cumulative effects of signal attenuation along the length of the cable. Above 100 meters, transmitted data will be affected by the signal loss that affects the performance of the network connection. Power over Ethernet injectors or extenders may be used with low loss cable to extend the distances over which PoE is used.

Can a non-PoE network switch like the Mikrotik Cloud Router Switch be used with Power over Ethernet?

A standard Ethernet network switch is unable to drive DC power to PDs. It is possible to add PoE functionality to individual ports by introducing an inline PoE mind-span or injector that is able to drive the required power to the client device. Mid-spans also provide Ethernet connectivity that allows data to be relayed to and from the standard switch with no loss of network performance.

In conclusion

Network switches are the backbone of wired networking and a PoE switch provides exceptional utility due to its data and power handling. The range of applications for PoE continues to expand making a Power over Ethernet network switch a great investment for a network that needs to be future-ready.

POE Switches

Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch & UniFi Switch Differentiated

EdgeSwitch is targeted at the ISP, carrier, and broadband market. While UniFi is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. UniFi switches are easier to use and configure on the UniFi software platform built into the UniFi controller. UniFi switches also feature user convenience design features such as fan-less, quiet fan and slim bodies.

EdgeSwitch is a high-performance PoE+ Gigabit Ethernet switch with intelligent switching. The EdgeSwitch offers advanced Layer-2 switching protocols and Layer-3 routing features. Providing total non-blocking throughput. The EdgeSwitch features compatibility with SFP and SFT+ ports, with uplink speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps respectfully. 

The EdgeSwitch automatically detects and receive PoE from 802.3af/at devices. At 24 volts, manual configuration must be done to enable passive 24 volts PoE.

EdgeSwitch is available in the following port configurations: 

  • 8-Port Up to 10 Gbps
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps

UniFi switches share several features with EdgeSwitch and is an improvement on the same. UniFi switches are high-performance non-blocking high throughput Gigabit switches. With fully managed PoE+ for 802.3af/at and 24 volts passive PoE devices.

UniFi switches provide fiber connectivity via 1Gbps SFP ports and 10Gbps SFP+ ports, that can directly connect to high-performance switches or storage servers.

UniFi switches are developed in these port and throughput configurations:

  • 8- Port Up to 10 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps (2 SFT ports, 2 SFT+ ports)

ToughSwitch is a layer-2 managed switch with passive PoE capability. The switch is available in 5 port, 8 port and 16 port configurations with moderate a performance delivering at speeds of up to 1Gbps. ToughSwitch is an earlier model of Ubiquiti switches. Newer switches – EdgeSwitch and UniFi with better performance and more feature are replacing the ToughSwitch in high demand network applications.

What is a Power over Ethernet network switch?

A Power over Ethernet (PoE) network switch is an Ethernet network switch that is capable of driving DC power to powered devices that are connected to the switch via a length of Ethernet cable. They may also be called PoE switches or PoE Hubs. Power and data handling by switches is undertaken following specific 802.3 standards released by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

PoE switches are a niche variant of network switches that sit in networks and facilitate connections between multiple participant devices. Alongside power, these multiport devices are capable of sending, receiving, and forwarding data by using MAC addresses and other identifiers.

Power over Ethernet switches are key PoE Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE)

For a Power over Ethernet circuit to be functional and operate in accordance with the leading standards it must include key components. Network switches perform the role of providing power to participant Powered Devices (PD).

Powered devices are client devices within the PoE network that receive power and exchange data with the network switch. PDs are designed to receive power at a particular level as specified by the version of 803.2 PoE standards their ports use.

As they directly deliver Ethernet data and power these switches are classed as end-span devices. Also, the PoE network switch can be connected to PoE splitters that are capable of separating the power from the data signal and delivering it to non-PoE devices via separate AC power and RJ45 connectors.

Ethernet cable is used to transmit DC in PoE via two or four of the twisted pairs that make up the cable. The power is delivered over specific wire conductors within the 8 wire cable as specified by the IEEE standards. PoE usually used Category 5e cable or Category 6 cable and should be selected for its power handling capabilities. Cable is usually effective for power transfer for up to 100 meters (328 feet).

How do Power over Ethernet network switches work?

These analog devices drive power at multiple power levels via suitable Ethernet cables. The power levels delivered range from 13 watts (PoE) to 90 watts (PoE++). The switch is capable of detecting and classifying powered devices so that the correct amount of power can be delivered. Most network switches use sense resistors and a multi-point detection scheme to prevent overpowering devices and ensuring that false PD detection does not occur. The power is also regulated to prevent overvoltage and overtemperature on each of the pins of the PoE port.

IEEE compliant network switches that deliver power according to the key 802.3 standards.

The IEEE 802.3 standards for Power over Ethernet specify for networks with increasing power delivery.

  • IEEE 802.3af was released in 2003 and was the first standard for Power over Ethernet. Devices that use this protocol for power are known as Type 1 devices. Examples include VoIP phones or digital clocks. 802.3af specifies PoE networking with up to 15.4 watts of DC power (44-48 volts / 350 milliamps) supplied to compatible devices. The actual power received by PDs is often less than the maximum as a proportion is dissipated as heat, leaving the minimum guaranteed power as 12.95 watts. 802.3af network switches require a handshake with a powered device before power is supplied, following a specified connect/disconnect protocol.
  • IEEE 802.3at is a later version of PoE known as PoE Plus (PoE+). Switches and devices that use this form of PoE are known as Type 2 devices and include wireless access points and IP cameras. PoE+ is backward compatible with the 802.3af protocol and provides up to 30.8 watts to compatible PDs. 802.3at and 802.3af were incorporated into a single 2012 standard that is used to certify ports that can deliver both power levels. Both of these standards limit power delivery to only two of the 4 twisted pairs in a cable.
  • IEEE 802.3bt or PoE++ is a 2018 IEEE release that provides two distinct power levels for compatible PDs:
    • Type 3 devices can receive up to 55 watts of power.
    • Type 4 devices can receive up to 100 watts of power.

The power is delivered as phantom power over all four twisted pairs in a cable. This is achieved as the frequency at which power is driven is distinct from the frequency used for data transfer, so receiving PDs can separate data from power. The maximum power levels may not always be used as the PD will only draw the amount of power that is needed. Alongside power PoE++ also provides data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second depending on the specification of the network switch.

Types of Power over Ethernet switches

[A] Unmanaged Power over Ethernet switches are a basic type of PoE switch that provide the PoE ports and connectivity for a network without higher-level security, management functionality, modification, or customization. Because there is no software-based setup for these switches they are plug and play.

These basic PoE switches are usually used in small offices or domestic networking with fewer than 10 devices connected. They are a cost-effective choice. They simply pass a set level of power to the connected PDs and exchange data. These switches have less discrimination between the types of traffic that passes through the switch, particularly the handling of multicast traffic. If there is a failure of one of the links on the network an unmanaged switch lacks the redundancy strategies that managed switches do.

[B] Managed Power over Ethernet switches provide more complex functioning and Quality of Service (QoS) technology. They are more expensive than unmanaged PoE switches, but their performance can be optimized for maximum efficiency. These PoE switches have the capabilities for serving more complex enterprise-level networks including data centers. These network switches are distinguished by the high level of management with sophisticated monitoring and remote control. Managed PoE network switches provide power management, prioritization of user traffic, and scaling and interconnecting different networks. To harness the additional functionality a software interface is required where text-based commands can be used to program the switch.

[C] Hybrid Power over Ethernet switches deliver benefits from both managed and unmanaged PoE network switches. They are designed for smaller and simpler networks and offer limited management functionality and enhanced security for less cost than a managed switch.

PoE network switches vary in the number of ports available

PoE switches need to be selected according to the number of ports provided. There need to be enough ports to support the network and any expected expansion in size or complexity. Switches can carry between 8 and 54 ports with small to medium-sized business PoE switches carrying 20 ports. A network switch should always carry some spare ports.

PoE switches vary in speed

Most contemporary PoE switches offer Gigabit networking speeds. Power over Ethernet functionality should not affect the speed of data transfer.

Power over Ethernet network switches from leading manufacturers

  • EdgeSwitch by Ubiquiti is a high-performance PoE+ Gigabit Ethernet switch with intelligent switching. It is targeted at the ISP, carrier, and broadband market. The EdgeSwitch offers advanced Layer-2 switching protocols and Layer-3 routing features, providing total non-blocking throughput. It has compatibility with SFP and SFT+ ports, with uplink speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps respectfully. The EdgeSwitch automatically detects and receives PoE from 802.3af/at devices. At 24 volts, the manual configuration must be done to enable passive 24 volts PoE.

  • UniFi Managed switches are high-performance non-blocking high throughput Gigabit Power over Ethernet switches by Ubiquiti that are designed to be easy to use and configure. They provide fully managed PoE+ for 802.3af/at and 24 volts passive PoE devices. These slimline switches with quiet functioning are targeted at small and medium-sized businesses who need competent networking for a smaller number of computers and devices. The UniFi switches also come with a proprietary software platform and controller.

EdgeSwitch is available in the following port configurations:

  • 8-Port Up to 10 Gbps
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps

UniFi switches are developed in these port and throughput configurations:

  • 8- Port Up to 10 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 16-Port Up to 18 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 24-Port Up to 26 Gbps (2 SFT ports)
  • 48-Port Up to 70 Gbps (2 SFT ports, 2 SFT+ ports)

ToughSwitch is an earlier Ubiquiti network switch model that has been superseded by EdgeSwitch and UniFi. It is a layer-2 managed switch with passive PoE capability. The switch is available in 5 port, 8 port, and 16 port configurations with moderate performance delivering at speeds of up to 1Gbps.

RoHS compliant PoE network switches for reliable network performance

Our range of Power over Ethernet network switches from leading manufacturers like Ubiquiti and Mikrotik are manufactured using parts and materials of excellent quality and provenance. The Power over Ethernet switches are all compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. This EU law limits the use of hazardous materials like lead or cadmium in electronics. Also, the PoE network switches shown to comply with domestic and international Conflict Minerals legislation that prevents Tin, Tungsten, Tantalum, and Gold from conflict or forced labor sources being used in electronics.

Why are Power over Ethernet network switches important?

PoE Switches are an excellent choice for future-proofing an existing network.

By eliminating the need for a separate power supply, PSE like PoE switches provides a significant saving on the installation costs for a wired network. There is no need to provide power cabling or outlets and network setup is free from the complexities of a professional electrical installation. As the cabling is connected only to a network switch, PDs can be flexibly positioned without proximity to a power outlet.

A key advantage of using a PoE switch is the power management that these devices can deliver. The switch is able to automatically detect power consumption and only supply power when it is needed. It will not drive power to powered down or switched off devices. These switches save a significant amount of energy and money where they are used.

PoE network switches are an advantageous network component for a range of emerging Internet of Things, RFID, and Smart home applications including:

PoE switches for VoIP phones

Voice over Internet Protocol phones are the modern alternative to traditional analog “land-line” telephony and are increasingly used by businesses of all sizes as their primary phone network. With VoIP, voice and multimedia communications are transferred over Internet Protocol networks meaning that network switches can be used for the precise exchange of data and powering of the phones.

A Power over Ethernet VoIP switch will use the IP addresses of connected handsets (softphones) and perform the function of a conduit for exchanging call data. VoIP phones are usually Class 2 or Class 3 devices, requiring a wattage over 10 watts. Network switches that are suitable for both PoE and VoIP require high data rates, ideally in the Gigabit range.

Power over Ethernet switches for Surveillance Systems

The simplicity and utility of IP cameras have meant that they have superseded CCTV as a practical home security solution. When powered by PoE, IP cameras do not need to be installed near a power outlet meaning that their optimal positioning can be prioritized. High-definition security cameras and motion sensors can be connected to a 48-52 volt PoE network switch for power supply and to relay images for cloud storage, monitoring, and management third-party security software like iSpy or Digi Fort.

PoE network switches for Fire and Gas Alarms

Another example of the utility of PoE switches in smart home networking is their use in modern gas and fire alarm systems. Rather than using analog telephone systems (POTS) for monitoring and relaying of information to the emergency services, a single Ethernet cable can be used for power, monitoring, and control of networked alarm systems.

Power over Ethernet switches for Video Doorbells

A high-quality PoE networking switch is a critical component for video doorbells like Ring. Stick-up cam video doorbell network switches provide Power over Ethernet and high-speed connection to cloud-based monitoring software without the need for electrical wiring.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the maximum cable distance for Power over Ethernet 100 meters (328 feet)?

Ethernet cable runs are generally limited to no more than 100 meters because of the cumulative effects of signal attenuation along the length of the cable. Above 100 meters, transmitted data will be affected by the signal loss that affects the performance of the network connection. Power over Ethernet injectors or extenders may be used with low loss cable to extend the distances over which PoE is used.

Can a non-PoE network switch like the Mikrotik Cloud Router Switch be used with Power over Ethernet?

A standard Ethernet network switch is unable to drive DC power to PDs. It is possible to add PoE functionality to individual ports by introducing an inline PoE mind-span or injector that is able to drive the required power to the client device. Mid-spans also provide Ethernet connectivity that allows data to be relayed to and from the standard switch with no loss of network performance.

In conclusion

Network switches are the backbone of wired networking and a PoE switch provides exceptional utility due to its data and power handling. The range of applications for PoE continues to expand making a Power over Ethernet network switch a great investment for a network that needs to be future-ready.