If you’ve ever been involved with network devices such as wireless access points and network repeaters, IP security cameras, VoIP phones, lighting, and other such internet devices, you may well have come across the problem of how to connect and power them. One of the most popular solutions is using PoE switches.
We took a deep dive into the world of PoE switches and produced a guide on what you need to know:
Advantages of PoE Switches
One of the key advantages of a PoE switch is the ease and cost of installation as only a single cable needs to be run between the switch and each connected device to make them work, eliminating the need for separate power outlets or power supplies. In addition, devices may be easier to relocate, and a PoE switch will supply only the required power for each device making it very energy efficient.
Choosing PoE Switches
There are several options available when it comes to choosing the best PoE switch to meet your needs, so you will want to determine your requirements first. Three key considerations are the number of devices that you want to connect, the distance each connected device will be from the switch, and the required network speed. To protect your investment, you should also think about future expansion, such as additional devices that might need to be connected.
Do you Need SFP Ports
There are a few reasons why you might need to choose a PoE switch with SFP ports. One of the most common reasons is the distance a device is from the network switch. A standard RJ45 port can support distances up to 100m, however using a PoE switch with SFP ports and the right cable can achieve distances of up to 600m. An SFP port using a fibre cable may be more secure than a standard Cat5e or Cat 6 RJ45 Ethernet cable and is often considered more reliable. Click here for more information on network security.
Managed or Unmanaged Switches
If you have a small network with simple needs, then an unmanaged switch may be sufficient as these don’t have any settings and can simply be plugged in. When you have a larger or more complicated network, then a managed switch is generally a better option. These can be configured to suit your requirements and provide a lot of functionality. One useful feature is the ability to access them over the internet or local network and perform tasks such as restarting a crashed device, eliminating the need for someone to physically attend.
Brand, Quality and Reliability
Your network is almost certainly critical to your business, so you should choose a PoE switch made by a reputable manufacturer which offers products with high-quality components and is built with reliability in mind. A good supplier of networking equipment will stock a range of PoE switches from well-known brands backed up with a warranty.
So, whether you are designing a new network, or need to replace or upgrade your existing one, make sure you assess your needs carefully and choose the right PoE switch to meet your requirements both now and in the future. Click here for further information on network design and configuration.