Confused by PoE, PoE+, and PoE++? This guide breaks down the differences, power levels, and uses for each standard, so you can choose the right one for your needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • PoE standards deliver power over Ethernet cables to devices like cameras and phones.
  • PoE+ offers more power than standard PoE, while PoE++ provides even more.
  • Choose the right PoE standard based on your device’s power requirements.

Q: What are the different PoE standards and their power levels?

A: The three main PoE standards are:

  • PoE: Delivers up to 15.4 watts of power.
  • PoE+: Delivers up to 30 watts of power.
  • PoE++: Delivers up to 60 watts of power.

The best PoE standard for you depends on the power requirements of your devices.

In today’s technology-driven world, Power over Ethernet (PoE) has become an indispensable tool for powering and connecting IP devices like security cameras, VoIP phones, and wireless access points. But with different PoE standards available (PoE, PoE+, and PoE++), choosing the right PoE switch can be confusing. This blog post delves into the world of PoE, explaining the different standards, their power capabilities, and the factors to consider when selecting the perfect PoE switch for your specific needs.

Powering Up Your Network: A Guide to PoE Standards

Imagine a world where you can power and connect your network devices with just a single cable. That’s the magic of Power over Ethernet (PoE), a technology that transmits both data and electrical power over Ethernet cables. But with different PoE standards available, choosing the right one can be confusing.

This guide will break down the three main PoE standards – Type 1 (PoE), Type 2 (PoE+), and Type 3 (PoE++) – and help you understand their key differences and applications.

Understanding the PoE Ecosystem:

Before diving into the standards, let’s familiarize ourselves with the players involved in a PoE network:

  • Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE): This is the device that provides power over Ethernet, typically a network switch or injector.
  • Powered Devices (PDs): These are the devices that receive power over Ethernet, like IP cameras, wireless access points, and VoIP phones.

Type 1: PoE (IEEE 802.3af)

The OG of PoE standards, Type 1 delivers up to 15.4 watts per port. This makes it ideal for low-power devices like VoIP phones, simple security cameras, and sensors.

Type 2: PoE+ (IEEE 802.3at)

PoE+ takes things up a notch by offering up to 30 watts per port. This increased power enables it to handle more demanding devices like PTZ cameras, IP phones with larger displays, and alarm systems.

Type 3: PoE++ (IEEE 802.3bt)

The powerhouse of the PoE family, Type 3 delivers a whopping 60 watts per port. This opens up possibilities for powering devices like gate and building access controls, small computers, TVs, and even medical equipment.

Beyond Type 3: UPoE

A variant of PoE++, UPoE ups the ante with 100 watts per port, catering to ultra-high-power devices like multi-radio access points and building automation systems.

Table 1. Comparison of Parameters of PoE, PoE+ and PoE++

The comparison dimensions of PoE, PoE+ and PoE++ include IEEE standards, power of switches port, supported cables, etc. This table below has compared main differences between these three PoE standards.

/ PoE PoE+ PoE++ UPoE
PoE Type Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4
IEEE Standard IEEE 802.3af IEEE 802.3at IEEE 802.3bt IEEE 802.3bt
Switch Port Power: Max. Power Per Port 15.4W 30W 60W 100W
Switch Port Power: Port Voltage Range 44-57V 50-57V 50-57V 52-57V
Max. Power to Device 12.95W 25.5W 51W 71W
Voltage Range to Device 37-57V 42.5-57V 42.5-57V 41.1-57V
Twisted Cable Pairs Used 2-Pair 2-Pair 4-Pair 4-Pair
Supported Cables Cat3 or better Cat5 or better Cat5 or better Cat5 or better
Table 2. Comparison of Operating Conditions of PoE Parameters

Each PoE parameter has its own operating conditions. To work properly, it requires stable power currency, voltage, right power management, modes and comfortable temperatures, as Table 2 shows:

Property Type 1 “PoE” (802.3af) Type 2 “PoE+” (802.3at) Type 3 “PoE++” (802.3bt) Type 4 “UPoE” (802.3bt)
Max. Current Imax 350mA 600mA 600mA per pair 960mA per pair
Max. cable resistance per pairset 20Ω (Category 3) 12.5Ω (Category 5) 12.5Ω 12.5Ω
Power management Three power class levels (1-3) negotiated by signature Four power class levels (1-4) negotiated by signature or 0.1 W steps negotiated by LLDP Six power class levels (1-6) negotiated by signature or 0.1 W steps negotiated by LLDP Eight power class levels (1-8) negotiated by signature or 0.1 W steps negotiated by LLDP
Derating of max. cable ambient operating temperature None 5℃ (9℉) with one mode (two pairs) active 10℃ (20℉) with more than half of bundled cables pairs 10℃ (20℉) with temperature planning required
Supported modes Mode A (endspan), Mode B (midspan) Mode A, Mode B Mode A, Mode B, 4-pair mode 4-pair mode
Table 3. Devices Supported By the Various PoE Standards

Different PoE standards match and have their own supported devices. Choosing the right device is the first step to apply for PoE standards. The table below shows you the devices supported by different PoE standards.

Type 1 “PoE” (802.3af) Type 2 “PoE+” (802.3at) Type 3 “PoE++” (802.3bt) Type 4 “UPoE” (802.3bt)
-VoIP phones
-Sensors /Meters
-Stationary cameras
-Pan /Tilt/Zoom cameras
– Video IP phones
– Alarm systems
-Video-conferencing system components
-Building management devices

Choosing the Right Standard:

Now that you understand the capabilities of each standard, it’s time to pick the one that suits your needs:

  • Consider Your Devices: Analyze the power requirements of your devices to determine the minimum standard needed.
  • Future-Proofing: Opt for a higher standard if you anticipate upgrading your devices or adding more power-hungry ones in the future.
  • Budget: Higher standards often come at a premium, so factor in your budget when making your decision.

By understanding the differences between PoE standards and aligning them with your needs, you can power up your network with confidence and efficiency.

Choosing the Right PoE Switch:

Selecting the optimal PoE switch requires careful consideration of several factors:

  • Device Power Requirements: Determine the power consumption of your connected devices to ensure the PoE switch can adequately supply their needs.
  • Number of Ports: Choose a switch with enough ports to accommodate your current and future device needs.
  • Data Rate: Consider the data transmission requirements of your devices and select a switch that supports the appropriate data rate (10/100 Mbps, 1 Gigabit Ethernet, or multi-gigabit).
  • Additional Features: Look for advanced features like PoE management capabilities, Quality of Service (QoS) for prioritizing traffic, and security features like VLANs.

This guide aimed to shed light on the often-confusing world of PoE switches. Remember, choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and devices. So, keep these handy tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to PoE mastery!

PoE Switch FAQs:

Q: Non-POE Device on a PoE Switch?

A: No need to panic! The switch will simply treat it as a regular device, providing data but no power. It acts like a “dumb” switch for non-POE connections. Remember, active PoE switches (802.3af/at/bt) negotiate power delivery, not blast every port full of juice. Double-check your switch type and PoE standard before mixing.

Q: RJ45 vs. SFP Ports? It’s All About Cables.

A: Think of RJ45 as the classic Ethernet jack, your trusty friend for both PoE and non-POE devices. SFP ports, on the other hand, team up with fiber optic cables to extend your network reach, but they won’t directly power PoE devices unless their SFP module supports it.

Q: PoE++ Got You Confused? Backward Compatibility to the Rescue!

A: Relax, PoE++ (4PPoE) switches play nice with older PoE+ (802.3at) devices. They’ll happily power them up, but not the other way around. Think of it as a one-way power street.

Q: PoE++ Watts? It’s a Big Boost!

A: Get ready for some serious juice! PoE++ (802.3bt) pumps up to 60 watts per port (Type 3) and a whopping 100 watts (Type 4). That’s a major leap from PoE (15.4 watts) and PoE+ (30 watts), opening doors for powering hungry devices like building management systems and small computers.

Understanding these PoE standards empowers you to choose the perfect switch for your needs. No need to rush to PoE++ if your current PoE switch hums along happily and your devices don’t need a power surge. But if you’re eyeing high-performance gear, PoE++ might be your network bestie.