Difference Between PoE, PoE+ and PoE++ Switch

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Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches are network switches that provide power to connected devices over Ethernet cables, eliminating the need for separate power sources. There are several standards for PoE, including PoE, PoE+, and PoE++, each offering different levels of power delivery and compatibility. Let’s talk about them.

PoE (Power over Ethernet)

PoE, based on the IEEE 802.3af standard, was one of the earliest implementations of Power over Ethernet. It allows for the transmission of power and data over a single Ethernet cable. PoE switches deliver up to 15.4 watts of power per port, making it suitable for low-power devices such as IP phones, wireless access points, and IP cameras. PoE operates by using two pairs of wires (pins 4/5, 7/8) in an Ethernet cable for power delivery.

PoE switches are commonly used in environments where there is a need to power network devices without the use of separate power cables, simplifying installation and reducing costs. They provide an efficient and convenient solution for deploying network devices in areas where power outlets may be scarce or difficult to access.

PoE+ (Power over Ethernet Plus)

PoE+ builds upon the PoE standard and is defined by the IEEE 802.3at standard. It addresses the need for higher power delivery to support a wider range of devices with greater power requirements. PoE+ switches can deliver up to 30 watts of power per port, doubling the power capacity compared to PoE.

With the increased power budget, PoE+ switches can support higher-power devices such as PTZ cameras, access points with multiple radios, and video phones. PoE+ operates by using all four pairs of wires (pins 1/2, 3/6, 4/5, 7/8) in an Ethernet cable for power delivery, enabling more efficient power transmission.

PoE+ switches are commonly deployed in enterprise networks, surveillance systems, and industrial environments where there is a need for powering a diverse range of network devices with varying power requirements.

PoE++ (Power over Ethernet++)

PoE++, also known as 4PPoE (4-Pair Power over Ethernet), is the latest standard for Power over Ethernet, defined by the IEEE 802.3bt standard. PoE++ switches provide even higher power delivery capabilities, delivering up to 60 watts of power per port, or even higher in some cases.

PoE++ switches are designed to support high-power devices with demanding power requirements, such as pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras with heaters and blowers, high-performance access points, thin clients, and other power-hungry devices. PoE++ achieves this increased power delivery by utilizing all four pairs of wires (pins 1/2, 3/6, 4/5, 7/8) in an Ethernet cable for power transmission, maximizing power efficiency and reliability.

PoE++ switches are ideal for deployments in environments where there is a need for powering advanced network devices that require substantial power, such as outdoor surveillance systems, high-density Wi-Fi deployments, and IoT (Internet of Things) applications.

PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ Switch: Key Difference

BasisPoE SwitchPoE+ SwitchPoE++ Switch
Power StandardIEEE 802.3afIEEE 802.3atIEEE 802.3bt
Power CapacityUp to 15.4 watts per portUp to 30 watts per portUp to 60 watts per port
Maximum PortsDepends on power budget of the switchDepends on power budget of the switchDepends on power budget of the switch
Devices SupportedLow-power devices such as IP phones, wireless access points, and IP camerasHigher-power devices such as PTZ cameras, access points with multiple radios, and video phonesHigh-power devices such as pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras with heaters and blowers, high-performance access points, and thin clients
Power ClassificationClass 0-3Class 0-4Class 0-6
Cable SupportCat5e or higherCat5e or higherCat5e or higher
Power DeliveryUses two pairs (pins 4/5, 7/8)Uses four pairs (pins 1/2, 3/6, 4/5, 7/8)Uses all four pairs (pins 1/2, 3/6, 4/5, 7/8)
ApplicationsCommonly used for basic network devicesUsed for higher-power devices requiring more power, such as PTZ cameras and dual-radio access pointsDesigned for high-power devices with demanding power requirements, such as high-end PTZ cameras and advanced access points

PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ switches offer increasingly higher power delivery capabilities, catering to the diverse needs of modern network deployments. Each standard provides a cost-effective and efficient solution for powering network devices over Ethernet cables, simplifying installation, reducing clutter, and improving entire network flexibility and scalability.