CCTV systems efficiently monitor the activities taking place within a property. This enables the observation of both employee and visitor actions, providing you and your staff with comprehensive assurance and awareness of all activities within the property. Commonplace among individuals and industries, the use of CCTV PoE switches (Power over Ethernet) has become a more efficient means of ensuring safety and security. Typically, specific PoE network switches are utilized for different IP (Internet Protocol) camera systems. The following guide aims to provide you with an understanding of how to choose an appropriate PoE switch for your IP camera system.
What is PoE Switch?
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that combines power and data transmission over a single Ethernet cable, such as Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6, simplifying cabling for various applications.
PoE network switches are equipped with multiple ports to support more than two IP cameras, as well as other network-enabled equipment such as computers, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones, and PoE devices. They are frequently utilized in security camera systems, as PoE and IP technologies enable high-resolution cameras that provide superior video quality.
One reason for the increased use of CCTV PoE switches is the affordability and ease of installation of Ethernet cables, making them a practical option for various environments.
Why Use PoE Switch for IP Camera Systems?
A PoE switch for IP cameras serves as a connector and power source for the cameras through Ethernet cables. Its principal purpose in an IP camera system is to interlink the cameras to an NVR (Network Video Recorder) and transmit the video and audio data for recording.
A PoE network switch with higher power capacity can provide sufficient power to IP cameras that require it. Insufficient power supply to IP cameras is a common issue that can lead to video loss and poor camera performance. Utilizing a PoE switch for IP camera systems offers numerous advantages: extended installation distances, increased device connectivity, higher power output to support IP cameras, and easier management through activity lights on the switch for troubleshooting.
PoE Switch Port Numbers
When searching for a PoE switch to accommodate more than four installed IP cameras, it is important to consider the switch's port capacity, such as an 8-port, 16-port, 24-port, or even a 48-port PoE switch. The number of ports required will primarily depend on the number of devices that will be connected to your PoE network switch and the total power consumption of the IP cameras.
PoE Switch Power Budget
The power supply size of a PoE network switch determines its ability to power connected devices, ranging from just above 50W to well over 500W. This power budget has a direct impact on the amount of power per port that the switch can supply to connected devices.
If the maximum power supply of all your cameras exceeds the power cap of your PoE switch, it will not provide sufficient power for all of your IP cameras. For instance, a 24-port PoE switch with a 370W power supply can power 24 IP cameras with the IEEE802.3 at standard (15.4W per port), but it can only power 12 IP cameras with the IEEE802.3 at standard (30W per port).
PoE Switch Bandwidth Capacity
Apart from power input, IP cameras require a network connection that is provided by the PoE switch. It is essential to consider the bandwidth capacity of different types of PoE network switches available. For instance, fast-Ethernet PoE switches can offer a bandwidth capacity of 10 to 100 Mbps, while gigabit PoE switches allow for 1 Gbps. A gigabit PoE switch can ensure that the network connection with your IP cameras is not congested and that you receive high-quality, uninterrupted video and audio recordings from the cameras. Plus, high-capacity PoE switches enable the installation of better-quality cameras, such as 2K or 4K cameras, in your system.
Unmanaged or Managed PoE Switch
PoE switches can be either unmanaged or managed, and the two types have distinct characteristics. Unmanaged PoE switches are plug-and-play devices that require no setup and are easy to deploy. Managed PoE switches provide the ability to configure the network to your desired specifications. They offer enhanced monitoring and analysis of network traffic and provide remote control and adjustment by the network administrator.
While an unmanaged PoE network switch is affordable and meets the needs of most homeowners in terms of powering PoE IP cameras, a managed PoE network switch offers more flexible network solutions for large-scale surveillance projects such as those in factories or enterprises.
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