Best PoE Switch For IP Cameras (5 Reviews for 2021)

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Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When you’re setting up cameras in your home, wiring and plugging each camera into a power source can be a messy and inconvenient task. This is where Power over Ethernet comes in. Power over Ethernet or PoE is a way to provide power and data connection via the same cable. If your cameras are PoE enabled, only one cable goes into each camera.

In this guide, we review different PoE switches and their features. We also walk you through some of the things that you should consider while deciding which switch to buy.

Best Overall

NETGEAR 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged PoE Switch (GS116PP) - with 16 x...

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. NETGEAR 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged PoE Switch

The Netgear GS116PP is particularly easy to set up. After simply connecting its power cord to the power socket, you can start connecting your IP cameras and start using it. This is it. You do not have to install any software or do any configuration. The Netgear GS116PP has 16 ports. All of these ports support PoE+, which provides extra power from each port. All 16 of these are Gigabit ports and allow high-speed data transfer, so you don’t lose any video quality during data transfer. This switch provides a total power of 183W. This amounts to the ability to plug 16 11W cameras and still have some power left. The GS6116PP is smart in terms of design as well. It has a yellow strip right below the ports with port numbers printed on it. It is also quite portable in size, which makes it worth considering, at least for me. Along with being smart-sized, The Netgear GS6116PP can be placed on a flat surface, or it can be mounted to a wall. The size also allows it to be rack-mounted. All the equipment necessary for mounting is included. The Netgear GS6116PP also does not offer any added noise from an internal fan and uses fanless passive cooling technology to cool itself. This allows you to place it wherever you find it convenient without having to consider any noise. There was a report from one user who claimed that the switch didn’t allow any additional cameras after connecting ten cameras. But this might be due to particularly high-powered cameras that maxed out the power output of the switch in just nine cameras. This is not a problem for most cameras.
  • 16 ports
  • PoE+ supported
  • 183W power output
  • Passive cooling technology
  • Gigabit ports
  • Supports PoE+
  • Does not make any noise
  • Limited power budget

The Netgear GS116PP is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a medium-sized, high-performance, user-friendly switch.

It has high-grade features and is easy to set up which makes it perfect for most applications.

Best Budget

TP-Link TL-SG1005P V2 | 5 Port Gigabit PoE Switch | 4 PoE+ Ports @65W |...

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. TP-Link TL-SG1005P V2

The TP-Link TL-SG1005P is a perfect option for you if you do not have a lot of cameras to connect. This model is extremely budget-friendly while providing the same capabilities as some of the more costly options out there. The TP-Link TL-SG1005P has four ports that support PoE, which allows you to connect cameras without having to provide them power separately. It also has a fifth uplink port. This port does not support PoE, however. All five ports are Gigabit.

Unlike some of the other entries in this list, The TP-Link TL-SG1005P only supports PoE instead of PoE+. This means that The TP-Link TL-SG1005P may not be able to provide the same amount of power to cameras. This was not a problem for me, however. It might not be for you either. But to be safe, you must consider the power requirements of your cameras before you buy this.

The maximum power output the TP-Link TL-SG1005P can provide is 56W. This may be quite low for people who wish to install more than a few cameras.

Like other inexpensive cameras, this is unmanaged. This makes it really easy to set up, which is something people installing a few cameras would value anyway. However, it does lack some useful features that a managed camera provides.

One notable feature of the TP-Link TL-SG1005P is protection from power overload. If the power being consumed by all the cameras goes above 56W, the built-in power management system will limit the power being provided to a low-priority device making sure the high-priority device gets a stable supply of power.

There have also been reports of a drop in the speed of data transfer when more than two cameras are connected. People have also reported that when they connect a new device, everything disconnects for about a minute.

This is not good if you want to connect multiple cameras and need consistent surveillance.

Ethernet cables that run long also cause problems with the TP-Link TL-SG1005P. This might be an issue for you if you also wish to connect cameras outside the house.

  • 4 PoE ports
  • Gigabit ports
  • Power overload protection
  • Budget-friendly
  • Inexpensive
  • Built-in power management system
  • Limited power budget
  • Does not support PoE+
  • Only 4 ports

If you only need to connect a few cameras and are on a budget, the TP-Link TL-SG1005P would work for you. However, for more cameras, I would recommend you choose from some of the other entries here.

Best Features

Ubiquiti UniFi Switch - 24 Ports Managed (US-24-250W),White

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Ubiquiti UniFi Switch – 24 Ports Managed

Ubiquiti is well known for making quality and high featured networking equipment, and Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port lives up to Ubiquiti’s name. It’s not the most economical switch out there, but it is rich with useful features that make it a really good choice for providing power and data connection to your IP cameras.

The Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port has 24 ports, all of which are Gigabit. Twenty-four ports are enough for most applications. Most users are able to connect all the cameras they need to connect while still leaving room for other devices.

One of the most notable use features of The Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port is that each of the 24 ports can be configured to use either PoE or PoE+. This feature enables you to distribute power as per your wishes. The passive power PoE can provide maximally is 17W, but this can more than double to 34.2W using PoE+. This amount of power is more than adequate even for cameras with motor capabilities such as zoom, tilt, and pan.

The total power output of the Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port is 250W. If you connect a 10W camera to each of the ports, you will still be under the power budget. However, it’s not a good idea to be so close to the threshold.

One useful feature that the previous entries did not have is that the Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port is managed. This gives you a lot of features that you would not get with an unmanaged switch. These features are controlled through the Ubiquiti Controller software that you will have to install while setting up the switch.

Using the software, you can remotely configure PoE and PoE+ for each port. You can also remotely set up VLANs, port mirroring, spanning trees, and other amazing things. The software is quite thoroughly designed and allows you to do pretty much anything a switch can do.

Personally, I’m really fond of the Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port design, and for that matter, the design of all Ubiquiti products. It has a sleek silver design with the Ubiquiti logo on one side and all the ports on the other. For most people buying something as purely technical as a switch for IP cameras, appearance is not much of a factor, but Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port surely does stand out among others.

  • 24 Gigabit ports
  • PoE and PoE+ switchable ports
  • Managed ports
  • 250W power output
  • Managed ports
  • Good power budget
  • PoE+ enabled
  • Heats up during operation

If you want to install many cameras throughout the house and want complete control of your camera setup, it might be hard to find any better switch than UniFi 24 Port by Ubiquiti.

Best Value for Money

Ubiquiti Unifi switch 48 Managed gigabit switch with SFP+ (US-48)

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. NETGEAR 26-Port Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch

Netgear advertises its Netgear GS324TP as having 26 ports, but only 24 of these ports are Gigabit Ethernet ports. The other two are 1G SFP ports. These ports allow the Netgear GS324TP to connect to different kinds of Ethernet cables or fiber cables. This gives the user the ability to make the Netgear GS324TP part of a ring or star-shaped network, connecting different areas of the same building via fiber optic cables. This feature is not very useful for home applications, however.

All the 24 ports are PoE+ enabled, but the switch only has a power budget of 190W, which might be the limiting factor for this switch. This power budget is also less than other switches with 24 ports.

One feature specific to the Netgear GS324TP is smart switches. These ports are neither unmanaged nor completely managed but sit somewhere between the two in terms of configurable settings. This enables the Netgear GS324TP to provide you with a lot of good features that come with managed switches while costing much less than those switches.

The Netgear GS324TP can be placed on a flat surface or be mounted on a wall. All the equipment required to mount it is included in the box. You can also mount this in a mounting rack.

Some users have complained about the Netgear GS324TP being noisy, especially when it’s connected to multiple PoE devices. This factor might be important to consider if you wish to be able to place it somewhere close to the living space.

  • 24 Gigabit ports
  • 2 1G SFP ports
  • PoE+ ports
  • 190W power output
  • Smart switch
  • PoE+ enabled
  • Smart switches
  • Adequate power budget
  • Good value for the cost
  • Makes noise

Being cheaper than managed switches while providing a lot of the most useful features, the Netgear GS324TP is a good option to consider if you wish to place a good number of cameras around the house. However, the smaller power output compared to other 24 port switches is definitely something to consider before you buy this.

Best Heavy Duty

Ubiquiti Unifi switch 48 Managed gigabit switch with SFP+ (US-48)

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Ubiquiti Unifi Switch 48 Managed Gigabit Switch

The Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port has features almost the same as the Ubiquiti UniFi 24 Port we discussed above. The one additional thing the Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port offers is double the number of ports, and accordingly, double the power budget.

If you have cameras placed all around the house and need a powerful and feature-rich switch to easily manage them all, the Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port may be the switch you need.

All the 48 ports in the Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port are Gigabit and PoE+ enabled. The Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port is also equipped with auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af/at subject to the devices connected to it. This means that this switch is capable of sensing the power required by each device, and if some of the devices connected do not need PoE+, it will automatically reduce the power supplied to that device. This would prevent the waste of power.

Just like with its 24 ports version, the Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port has managed ports that allow you to manage its different ports remotely from a state-of-the-art software application that enables you almost all the feature switches can have.

The primary complaint that this product gets from users is that it gets really hot and even uncomfortable to touch. This raises concerns about the life of this device and considering that this is a premium quality product, this is a bit disappointing.

  • 48 PoE+ ports
  • Gigabit ports
  • Auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af/at
  • Managed switch
  • 500W power output
  • 48 PoE+ enabled ports
  • Managed switches
  • 500W power budget
  • Get too hot while operating

Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port is arguably the best switch out there for large security camera systems. If you want to place a 40 or so camera, its 500W of power budget with managed switches will make your life really easy.

Value Editorial and Buying Debates (Buying Guide)

PoE Switch

Why Should I Choose a Switch with PoE?

The one factor that everyone can appreciate regardless of their needs is PoE. PoE or Power over Ethernet is a way to provide power and data connectivity to cameras via the same cable. This saves a lot of time and keeps you from having to run multiple cables for cameras throughout the house. (1)

What Power Output Do I Need for a PoE Switch for IP Cameras?

Depending on the number of cameras you wish to place throughout the house, you may need a switch with more or fewer ports. While you’re at it, also consider the total power output of the switch compared to the total power requirements of all your cameras. It is a good idea to choose a switch capable of providing a bit more power than your requirements. This is important to avoid a power overload. You might also feel the need to install more cameras in the future; hence it’s a good idea to make yourself future proof by buying a switch capable of providing more power than you need.

Why Are Gigabit Ports Important for IP Cameras?

If the ports are not Gigabit, no matter how high-quality the footage your cameras capture, it will not be able to be transferred to the switch, and some quality will be lost on the way. If you wish to get the value out of the money you spent on the cameras, verify that the ports are Gigabit before buying a switch. (2)

What is the Difference Between Managed Ports and Unmanaged Ports?

Although unmanaged ports are much easier to install, managed ports allow you to manage all your devices remotely and provide a ton of useful features. Managed ports are particularly a good option to have when you have set up a good number of cameras. Managed ports and the features they provide would make it much easier to manage your devices.

Should I Choose a PoE Switch with a Fan or Without a Fan?

Some PoE switches use fans to cool them down. While trying to decide between a switch with a fan or without a fan, you need to consider the amount of noise produced by the fan. Some switches with fans produce too much noise and cannot be placed in a living space. Switches without fans, on the other hand, may get hot very hot and may have a shorter lifespan. (3)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between PoE and PoE+?

PoE provides a maximum power output of 17W, whereas PoE+ can provide power as high as 34.2W.

What do SFP ports do?

SFP ports allow switches to connect to each other to form a circle or star-shaped network. Switches with SFP ports can be connected to each other via fiber optic cables or different types of Ethernet cables. This allows data from one section of a building to be accessible to other sections.

Conclusion

PoE switches for IP cameras are preferred because of their ability to provide power and data connection via the same cable, which keeps cable networks from being more convoluted than they already are. There are different PoE switches in the market with a different number of available ports and different amounts of power they provide.

We took into consideration many products from all over the market and graded them for each category. The products presented here are selected based on their ability to best meet our requirements for each category. Depending on your needs, one of these products is the right one for you.

One of the things you should know before you buy a switch is your total power requirement. If you know how many cameras you need, you can get an estimate of the power those cameras would need to operate. Be sure to get a switch that provides a bit higher power than your estimate. Higher power output can only be a good thing, whereas a low power output might make you buy a second PoE switch anyway.

 

References

(1) Ethernet – https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-ethernet
(2) ports – https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/network-layer/what-is-a-computer-port/
(3) switch – https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/s/switch.htm