PoE Switch Port Numbers
If you are looking for a PoE switch for places that need to have more than 4 IP cameras installed, you will have to check the port numbers of a PoE switch, such as 8-port PoE switch, 16-port PoE switch, 24-port PoE switch, or even 48-port PoE switch. The port numbers of a PoE switch largely depends on how many devices will be connected to your PoE switch and the overall power consumption of your IP cameras.
PoE Switch Power Budget
Another important factor to consider is the maximum power supplies of a PoE switch. The ability of a PoE switch to power-connected devices is largely determined by the size of its power supply, which ranges from just above 50W to well over 500W. This power budget directly affects how much power per port the switch can deliver to connected devices. If the maximum power supply of all your cameras exceeds your PoE switch power cap, then the PoE switch won’t provide enough power for all your IP cameras. For example, a 24-port PoE switch with 370W power supply can power 24 IP cameras with IEEE802.3at standard (15.4W per port) while it can only power 12 IP cameras with IEEE802.3at standard (30W per port).
To determine how much power is available per port, you can use the below formula:
Maximum per Port Power Average = (Switch Maximum Power Consumption – Switch System Power)/Number of PoE Ports
PoE Switch Bandwidth Capacity
IP cameras also require a network connection that is provided by the PoE switch apart from the power input. There are different types of PoE switches available in terms of bandwidth capacity. For example, fast-Ethernet PoE switches can offer you bandwidth capacity between 10 to 100 Mbps, while gigabit PoE switches would allow for 1 Gbps. With a gigabit PoE switch, the network connection with your IP cameras will not be bottlenecked; it will also ensure you to receive intact video as well as audio recordings from the cameras. Other than that, high capacity PoE switches allow you to install better quality cameras in your systems such as 2K or 4K cameras.
Unmanaged or Managed PoE Switch
The difference between unmanaged and managed PoE switch is that unmanaged PoE switch is a plug-and-play device with no setup required, which is very easy for deployment; while a managed PoE switch allows you to configure the network to your specification, offers better monitoring and analysis of network traffic, and also provides remote control and adjustment by network administrator, which gives you greater insight into the status of the network, the connected clients, and its power status.
For most homeowners, an unmanaged PoE switch fits the budget and works to meet the needs for powering PoE IP cameras. But for large surveillance projects such as factories or enterprises, a managed PoE switch will provide more flexible network solutions.