As you decide which switch to choose, it is important to understand the benefits of PoE switches:
- Reduced Costs. PoE eliminates the need to run additional power cables to devices, saving costs on power cables, power outlets, and infrastructure equipment required for electrical installation. Ethernet cables cost less and are often already installed in buildings. If not already installed, remote installation costs less than fiber because no electrician is required.
- Adaptability. PoE powered devices can be easily moved to locations without power outlets. This allows for devices to be placed in hard to reach locations or other places less proximal to a power source. One example of this is security cameras, as power outlets are rarely available above ceilings.
- Maximize Power Resources. A PoE switch can automatically detect power consumption by PoE powered devices and supply only the required amount of power. This ability to allocate power minimizes power waste and helps businesses save money.
- Future Proof. The IoT space is booming. Incorporating PoE switches into your network infrastructure ensures it is able to support the increasing number of devices optimized to leverage this technology.
Limitations of PoE Switches
There are, however, some scenarios where a regular network switch may be a better choice:
- The furthest distance a PoE switch can transmit data is 100 meters. This is problematic for large networks spanning enterprises, campuses, hotels, or retail operations. A PoE ethernet extender, however, can increase the transmission distance to 4000 feet.
- If a device is not PoE compliant, it will require either an injector or splitter to connect to the PoE switch.
- If devices have significant power demands, they may exceed the PoE budget for power. The power capability of PoE, however, has increased significantly in the last several years. As of 2017, PoE is able to power devices as powerful as computers and televisions.