What is Poe Switch: A Comprehensive Guide (2024)

Table of Contents

I am pleased to introduce you to PoE switch, a switch with innovative features capable of providing power to network devices over Ethernet cables. The birth of PoE switches solves the problem of traditional network equipment requiring independent power adapters, simplifies network cabling, and provides greater flexibility.

It follows PoE standards such as IEEE 802.3af, IEEE 802.3at and IEEE 802.3bt, and provides convenient power support for wireless access points, IP cameras, VoIP phones and other devices by combining power supply and data transmission.

Introduction to PoE switches

Definition and background:
PoE switch (Power over Ethernet Switch) is a switch with Power over Ethernet function, which can provide power to network devices through Ethernet cables. Traditionally, network devices (such as IP phones, wireless access points, network cameras, etc.) require separate power supplies, and PoE switches simplify the installation and cabling of devices by combining power and data transmission into the same Ethernet cable. , improving flexibility and convenience.

PoE standard:
PoE switches follow a series of standards, the most common of which include the following:

  • IEEE 802.3af: Also known as PoE or PoE standard, released in 2003. It provides up to 15.4 watts (W) of power output and supports 10/100 Mbps Ethernet rates. This standard is suitable for devices with lower power requirements, such as IP phones and wireless access points.

  • IEEE 802.3at: Also known as PoE+ or PoE Plus standard, released in 2009. It provides up to 30 W of power output and supports 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet rates. This standard is suitable for devices with higher power requirements, such as IP cameras and some wireless access points.

  • IEEE 802.3bt: Also known as PoE++ or 4PPoE (Four-Pair Power over Ethernet) standard, released in 2018. It provides higher power output, up to 60 W or more. This standard is suitable for devices that require higher power supplies, such as high-power wireless access points and network cameras.

These standards specify voltages, power levels of electrical supplies, and communication protocols between switches and devices to ensure safety, reliability, and compatibility. Depending on the power requirements of the device and the support capabilities of the PoE switch, the appropriate PoE standard can be selected to meet the needs.

How PoE switch works

PoE technology overview:
PoE technology is based on merging power supply and data transmission into the same Ethernet cable, transmitting power through switches to network devices that require power. This integrated design reduces the device’s power requirements and wiring complexity.

How PoE switches work:
The work of a PoE switch can be divided into the following steps:

  1. Detection: When a device is connected to the port of a PoE switch, the switch will first detect whether the connected device supports the PoE function. This is usually accomplished by sending a low voltage detection signal. If the device supports PoE, the switch will continue to the next step.

  2. Classification: In this step, the switch determines the power level required for the connected device. According to different PoE standards, devices can be classified into different power categories. This helps the switch determine the appropriate power to provide to the device.

  3. Power supply: Once a device is classified, the switch provides appropriate power to the corresponding port. The switch delivers power through the cable as data is transferred, eliminating the need for additional power lines. Power is provided based on the device’s needs and PoE standard support, such as IEEE 802.3af, IEEE 802.3at or IEEE 802.3bt.

  4. Data transmission: In addition to power supply, PoE switches are also responsible for transmitting data on Ethernet cables. Data and power are transmitted through the same cable pair, thus integrating data and power.

The role of PoE switch:
The role of PoE switches in the network is to provide power to various network devices, including but not limited to the following devices:

  • Wireless Access Points: PoE switches can provide power to wireless access points, allowing them to be flexibly installed where wireless coverage is required without the need for separate power lines.

  • IP Cameras: Powered by PoE switches, IP cameras can be more conveniently deployed in surveillance systems without the need for additional power lines, and their positions can be flexibly adjusted as needed.

  • VoIP phones (Voice over IP Phones): PoE switches provide power to VoIP phones so that they can be connected directly to the network through Ethernet, reducing complex wiring and power supply requirements.

By using PoE switches, these devices can be installed and deployed more flexibly and conveniently, simplifying network management and maintenance, and improving overall system reliability and flexibility.

Features and functions of PoE switches

Power transmission capacity:
The power transmission capabilities of a PoE switch depend on the PoE standard used and the design of the switch. Here are some common power transmission capability features:

-Power of the power supply port: Different PoE standards support different power output levels. For example, the IEEE 802.3af standard supports up to 15.4 watts (W) of power output, while the IEEE 802.3bt standard can provide up to 60 watts (W) or more.

  • Current limitation: PoE switches usually limit the current of each power supply port to ensure the safe operation of the device. These current limits are usually specified in standards, and the switch will apply appropriate current control based on the power requirements of the device.

Automatic detection and power supply:
PoE switches have auto-detection capabilities and are able to identify and provide power to devices that comply with the PoE standard. Here are the relevant features and functions:

  • Device detection: When a device is connected to the port of the PoE switch, the switch will automatically detect whether the device supports the PoE function. This detection is usually based on sending a low-voltage signal and using the device’s response to determine whether PoE is supported.

  • Automatic power supply: Once a device is recognized as supporting PoE, the switch will automatically provide it with appropriate power without additional configuration. This way, the device can immediately start drawing power from the switch and start functioning normally.

Remote power management:
PoE switches have remote power management functions that can monitor and control the power supply status of remote devices. Here are the relevant features and functions:

  • Power supply status monitoring: PoE switches can monitor the status of power supply equipment in real time, including whether the power supply is normal, current usage, etc. This allows administrators to remotely monitor and diagnose problems with power supply equipment.

  • Power supply control: PoE switches can remotely control the opening and closing of the power supply port, thereby achieving remote control of the power supply equipment. This is useful in situations where you need to temporarily shut down or restart your device.

  • Fault detection and alarm: PoE switches can detect fault conditions of power supply equipment and issue alarms when necessary. This helps to detect and solve power supply problems in time to ensure reliable power supply to the equipment.

Through these features and functions, PoE switches can provide convenient power supply management while improving the availability and management efficiency of network equipment.

Application areas of PoE switches

Internet equipment:
PoE switches are widely used in various network equipment, providing them with convenient power supply and flexible deployment methods. Here are some common application scenarios:

  • Wireless Access Points: PoE switches can provide power to wireless access points, allowing them to be easily installed wherever wireless coverage is required without the need for separate power lines. This simplifies cabling and management of wireless networks.

  • IP Phones: Powered by a PoE switch, IP Phones can be connected directly to the network via Ethernet without the need for additional power lines. This simplifies the deployment and management of IP telephony systems and provides flexible phone location installation.

  • Network Cameras: PoE switches provide power to IP cameras, making them more convenient to deploy in surveillance systems without the need for additional power lines, and the location can be flexibly adjusted as needed.

  • Network equipment: Other network equipment, such as network storage devices (NAS), network printers, and network terminal equipment, can also be powered by PoE switches. This simplifies equipment installation and management and reduces cabling complexity.

Home and office environment:
The use of PoE switches in home and office environments provides convenience and flexibility for a variety of devices. Here are some common application scenarios:

  • Smart home devices: PoE switches can power smart home devices, such as smart lighting systems, smart door locks, smart cameras, etc. In this way, users can provide power to multiple devices through a single PoE switch and centrally manage them through the network.

  • IP Phone System: In an office environment, a PoE switch can provide power to an IP phone system, allowing phone devices to be connected via Ethernet without the need for additional power lines. This simplifies phone system deployment and management.

  • Video conferencing equipment: PoE switches can provide power for video conferencing equipment, such as video conferencing cameras, audio equipment, etc. In this way, the equipment can be more conveniently installed in the conference room and managed centrally through the network.

  • Network security equipment: Network security equipment such as network firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and security cameras can also be powered by PoE switches. In this way, security devices can be flexibly deployed in the network to provide comprehensive network security protection.

Through the application of PoE switches, home and office environments can achieve more simplified, flexible and reliable device power supply and management, improving overall efficiency and convenience.

Advantages and considerations of PoE switches

Simplified wiring:
PoE switches have the following advantages, which can simplify the wiring process and provide more flexible device deployment:

  • Reduced power adapters: Traditional network equipment often requires a separate power adapter to provide power. With PoE switches, devices can directly obtain power through Ethernet cables without the need for additional power adapters, reducing the number of devices and the complexity of power lines.

  • Simplified cabling: Since PoE switches can power devices through Ethernet cables, they can reduce the number of power lines required for cabling. This simplifies the network cabling process, reduces cable clutter, and reduces cabling cost and complexity.

  • Increased flexibility: PoE switches provide flexible power supply methods for devices. Equipment can be installed more freely where needed without being restricted by the location of the power outlet. This makes the deployment of network equipment more convenient and flexible.

Management and security:
When considering a PoE switch, here are management and security factors to consider:

  • Power supply management: PoE switches have remote power management functions that can monitor and control the status of power supply equipment. This enables administrators to monitor the status of power supply equipment in real time and perform remote control and troubleshooting.

  • Device authentication: To ensure security and compliance, PoE switches usually support device authentication capabilities. This means that only devices that meet specific certification standards can draw power from the PoE switch. Device authentication can prevent illegal devices from accessing the network and improve network security.

  • Power supply capacity planning: When using a PoE switch, power supply capacity planning needs to be based on the power requirements of each device and the capacity of the power supply port. Make sure the PoE switch has enough power to meet the power needs of all devices and avoid overloading or under-powering issues.

  • Network isolation and security configuration: When using a PoE switch, network isolation and security configuration need to be considered to ensure safe isolation between powered devices and non-powered devices. This can be achieved through appropriate network configuration and access control policies.

PoE switch deployment and configuration

Power supply requirements:
When deploying a PoE switch, here are some power requirements to consider:

  • Power capacity: The power capacity of a PoE switch refers to the total power it can provide. Choose a PoE switch with sufficient power capacity based on the power needs of the connected devices. Make sure the switch’s power capacity can meet the power needs of all powered devices to avoid overload or under-power issues.

  • Cable wiring requirements: When using the PoE function, you need to use cables that comply with the PoE standard. Common PoE standards include IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at. These standards define specifications for power transmission between sourcing equipment and receiving equipment. Make sure to use standards-compliant cables and choose the appropriate cable type based on the specific PoE standard.

Network Configuration:
When configuring a PoE switch, here are some common network configuration options:

  • VLAN settings: Virtual LANs (VLANs) can create logical partitions in a network to group different devices or users. By configuring VLAN, logical isolation and security between devices can be achieved. By setting VLAN on the PoE switch, the power supply equipment can be divided into different VLANs as needed and isolated from other equipment.

  • Power supply priority adjustment: PoE switches usually support the power supply priority adjustment function. By adjusting the power supply priority, you can provide higher power supply priority to specific devices to ensure stable power supply. This is very important for some equipment that requires high power supply stability, such as IP telephone systems or video conferencing equipment.

  • QoS configuration: Configuring Quality of Service (QoS) optimizes network performance based on the specific requirements of the application. By setting appropriate QoS parameters, you can ensure that the data flow of the power supply device receives sufficient bandwidth and priority to ensure its normal operation.

  • Security configuration: In order to ensure the security of the network, PoE switches need to have appropriate security configuration. This can include access control lists (ACLs), port security, user authentication, etc. Prevent unauthorized devices from accessing the network by limiting access to powered devices and implementing appropriate security measures.

The above configuration options can be adjusted based on specific network requirements and device needs. It is recommended that when deploying and configuring a PoE switch, you refer to the device’s user manual and documentation provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper configuration and optimal performance.

Summarize:

As an innovative network device, PoE switches play an important role in modern networks. It integrates electricity power transmission and data transmission functions provide convenient power support for various devices, such as wireless access points, IP phones, and network cameras. PoE switches offer many advantages, such as simplified cabling, reduced use of power adapters, and increased flexibility.

When deploying and configuring PoE switches, ensure that power supply requirements, such as power capacity and cabling requirements, are met, and appropriate network configurations, such as VLAN settings and power supply priority adjustments, are made for optimal performance. We believe that by using PoE switches, you will be able to enjoy convenient power supply in homes, offices and other network environments, and improve the efficiency and reliability of the network.

  • What are PoE switches?
  • What is difference between PoE switch and normal switch?
  • What is the power in PoE switch?
  • Do switches need PoE?
  • What is PoE used for?
  • Can I use PoE switch as normal switch?
  • What is the disadvantage of PoE switch?
  • Do all switches do PoE?
  • How do I know if a switch is PoE?
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