Best POE Switches to Improve your Network Speed

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Introduction

Power over Ethernet (POE) is a technology that allows network cables to carry electrical power.  POE allows Powered Devices (PDs), such as IP telephones, wireless LAN access points and network cameras to receive power, in addition to data.

A POE switch provides power supply and data connection to POE devices via a single network/Ethernet cable. The switch injects power to your network that is utilized by POE enabled devices on the network. This is one the most effective ways to use Power over Ethernet when you have more than a couple of POE enabled devices like security cameras or access points. The Best POE Switches will reduce the time and expense of having electrical power cabling installed.

There are different factors to consider while buying a POE switch. Factors include, power consumption of the POE device, maximum power supply of the POE switch, the power supply voltage of the switch and the port numbers on the switch.

We have come up with a guide to the Best POE Switches:

 

ModelSpeedPortsMax Power Consumption
TP-Link 16 Port Switch (TL-SG116)10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit1610W
 Netgear GS108pp10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit8130W
D-Link 24-Port Gigabit Switch (DGS-1024A)10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit2414.17W
Netgear Nighthawk S8000 (GS810EMX)TP-link 5 Port POE Switch10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit856W
TP-link 5 Port POE Switch10/100/1000 Mbps556W

1. TP-Link 16 Port Switch (TL-SG116)

TP-Link 16 Port SwitchClick Here for Price

The TP-Link 16 Port Switch (TL-SG116) is an affordable POE switch with 16 gigabit ports. Besides, the steel enclosure promises great durability. The unmanaged switch sports a fanless design and is equipped with auto-negotiation helping you to optimize the switch performance according to the link speed on the port. Besides, it features Auto-MDI/MDIX function to eliminate the need for crossover cables.

The Auto-MDI/MDIX function helps in a simple setup that makes it practical even for networking rookies. TP-LINK 16 Port Switch is supplied with DSCP QoS and IGMP Snooping feature, which smooths the latency and allows quality video and game streaming. Also, this switch has a power-saving function, which reduces the power on the ports when they are not in use.

This is the best affordable gigabit plug and play ready switch available in the market with no configuration required.

        Pros        Cons
Affordable
Easy setup
Lacks some of the advanced settings

2. Netgear GS108pp

Netgear GS108ppClick Here for Price

With GS108pp, Netgear is trying to combat the needs of more connected devices with less wiring. This Gigabit POE switch can connect to VoIP phones, IP security cameras, video-over-IP endpoints, sensors, LED lighting, secure access door locks, and other IoT devices. It can also support devices that require POE+ power.

The flexible mounting system with the POE switch gives you the flexibility to place them in a desktop environment, mount it on a wall, or even rack-mount it. It is not just flexible in terms of placement but also in terms of POE power. The switch has a built-in POE power selector switch that allows for interchangeable power adapters – which are sold separately – that can be used to increase/decrease the POE power available on the switch.

NETGEAR GS108pp is compliant to the energy efficient ethernet (IEEE 802.3az) standard, which reduces energy consumption when there is light traffic on an active port. It also reduces power consumption when there is no link or no activity detected. It can further save energy when a short cable is used.

        Pros        Cons
Delivers true Gigabit speed
Setup is simple as this is an unmanaged switch
The switch is quiet as it doesn’t have a fan
Can’t do over 500 Mbps
Difficult to upgrade the firmware as this switch employs Trivial File Transfer Protocol

3. D-Link 24-Port Gigabit Switch (DGS-1024A)

D-Link 24-Port Gigabit SwitchClick Here for Price

From a huge gamut of similar devices finding the one with additional features is hard to spot. The D-Link 24-Port Gigabit Switch is one such device.  D-Link 24-Port Gigabit Switch is quite popular because it offers a lifetime guarantee. It is unusual for today’s standards but sure says a lot about its reliability.

DGS-1024A is a switch that sports good performance. Its main features include 24-gigabit ports with an aggregated bandwidth of 48Gbp, auto-MDI/MDI-X function, flow control and 3.5Mbits of RAM for data buffering. Besides, the plug and play function makes it optimal for the use of a large base of consumers.

The only disadvantage is the build quality. The combination of a fanless design and a plastic enclosure questions its durability. However, this switch is an economical way for SOHO and small to medium businesses (SMB) to deploy an energy-efficient POE network.

        Pros        Cons
Simple setup
Lifetime warranty
No QoS
Not durable

4. Netgear Nighthawk S8000 (GS810EMX)

Netgear Nighthawk S8000Click Here for Price

Gaming switches aren’t that rare, however, the ones with both great performance and quality features are hard to find. The Netgear Nighthawk S8000 (GS810EMX) gaming switch is an excellent example of this kind of device. It has exceptional gaming and streaming capability and comes with multiple functions that promise great user experience.

Some of these features include IGMP snooping for optimizing multimedia traffic, storm control to control the traffic on the POE network, Auto DoS to prevent online attacks. Besides, the switch accompanies two Multi-gig/10G ports and eight-gigabit ones that allow link aggregation. This lets you link up to four connections into one increasing bandwidth up to 4Gbps.

Another important feature is the L2 switch networking for prioritizing video and voice streaming among others. Streaming performance is improved by its low-level latency which allows for a lag-free experience that is crucial for uninterrupted streaming.

        Pros        Cons
Silent performance
Two 10G ports
Expensive

 5. TP-link 5 Port POE Switch

TP-link 5 Port POE SwitchClick Here for Price

If speed isn’t what you are looking for but the electricity necessary to power up your devices, then the TP-Link 5 Port PoE Switch (TL-SF1005P) will be a handy solution for you. It is a compact device that comes at a cheap price and is efficient in its PoE department.

There are five ports in the device which supports up to 15.4W on each port. Sadly, there are no gigabit speeds, just the 100Mbps ones, on each of its five ports. However, there are some essential features, especially for the PoE users, such as overload arrangement and port priority function. As their name suggests, these features prevent overloads and allow for easy port prioritization, which can be very important in AP and IP camera installments.

TP-Link 5 Port PoE Switch also comes with auto-sensing (negotiation) and auto MDI/MDI-X feature, as well as a plug-and-play function. The auto-sensing function helps the network to automatically recognize the current local network’s speed and adjust its own setting accordingly.

If your primary goal is to find a cheap device with a PoE feature that will also provide decent networking, TP-Link 5 Port PoE Switch is the best choice.

        Pros        Cons
Cheap
Auto sensing
No gigabit ports

Buyer’s guide

  • Type of POE switches

      There are three types of POE switches; unmanaged, managed and smart PoE switch. The managed switches are the most used in actual applications.

An unmanaged switch is the most basic form of a network switch. This switch only allows your devices to connect to each other. It is best suited for home and small office uses. If you have a business that handles sensitive information such as an accounting firm or a bank, such a switch is not recommended for your workplace.

A managed POE switch offers security features and full management capabilities. It can be configured to give a more tailored experience. It can help you monitor and control the overall traffic of the network. Such switches are usually used in company networks and data centers.

A smart PoE switch or a hybrid PoE switch is a switch that has functions of a managed as well as an unmanaged switch. It allows you to configure ports and set up virtual networks. However, it doesn’t allow network monitoring, troubleshooting, or remote accessing. It is generally used in business applications such as VoIP and smaller networks.

  • Port Numbers: Network switches have different port numbers such as an 8-port POE switch, 24-port POE switch, etc. The larger the network, the more the number of ports you’ll need. It is always advisable to pick a switch that has more interfaces than you actually need.
  • Maximum Power Supply: The maximum power supply of your PoE switch also holds importance. If it is less than the overall power required from your powered devices then the PoE switch won’t provide enough power for all your PoE IP cameras. This leads to the insufficient power supply which may cause poor device performance including video buffering.
  • Maximum Power Consumption: You can estimate the power consumption of all your powered devices (PDs) in advance to see if your POE switch can support all these devices. Normally, there are two types of PoE standards, namely IEEE802.3af and IEEE802.3at. The former supplies up to 12.95W of DC power on each PD while IEEE802.3at can provide up to 25.5W. PDs are only suitable for IEEE 802.3at PoE standard if their power consumption is between 12.95-25.5W.

 FAQs

1. What Is The Difference Between A Poe Switch And An Injector?

PoE switch is an all-in-one device with no additional appliances. The ports on the device can be used to manage both power and network. On the other hand, a PoE injector can be added to existing cabling with no need to change the switch. It adds power to an ethernet cable for the PoE equipment. It is also easy to mount it anywhere.

Another main difference between these is, if PoE switch breaks, all PoE powered devices will be switched off. However, if a PoE injector stops working, it will only affect one or two devices. This adds resilience to your network.

As the cost of POE injector is lower than that of the switch, the former is a good choice only if you have a few things to power.

 2. What is PD detection in POE powered switches?

The first step for POE equipment is to ascertain whether a device connected to a port is a valid Powered Device (PD). PDs will require power as well as network communication through the attached LAN cable.

 There are different types of energy-efficient ethernet standard [IEEE] that the POE switches are supposed to follow. The system detection protocol IEEE 802.3af-2003 involves applying a DC voltage between the transmit and receive wire pairs to calculate the current received.  

A POE will demand roughly 25K Ohm resistance and 150nF capacitance between the pairs for the device to be considered a valid PD. The POE will check for the presence of PDs on connected ports at regular intervals, so power is removed when a PD is no longer connected.

3. How does a POE switch work?

PoE requires little configuration or management. The POE automatically identifies whether the device connected to a port is a PD or not; it can also determine the power class of the device. The POE can supply up to 15.4 watts of power to the device, while at the same time providing standard Ethernet network functionality.

It is easy to set up a PoE switch.

  • Connect the router to the LAN port on the switch using Ethernet cables.
  • Connect the power cable to the PoE switch and a surge protector to the power source.
  • Connect IP cameras to any of the port on the PoE switch using Ethernet extension cables.
  • Add the cameras to the Network Video Record of your computer for viewing the video feed and to begin recording.

Conclusion

If you want a POE switch that is affordable which is power-saving and has gigabit ports, we recommend you choose Netgear GS108pp. This is a great POE switch that comes in many different configurations for advanced users. It is also a smart switch so a beginner would have no problems in using this device. However, before purchasing this device calculate how much power you would require to operate the PoE devices you will be connecting to this.

 

There is a hike in the number of PoE devices becoming available in the market. The common uses for PoE are for supplying power and network for communication devices such as VoIP phones and wireless LAN access points. However, there are different devices that are now taking advantage of PoE technology namely, ethernet hubs, digital clocks, intercoms, and even a network electric guitar.

Last update on 2019-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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