Important things you need to know about PoE Switches

If you are setting up a home or office network, you probably need a Power Over Ethernet (PoE) switch along with ethernet cables. And chances are, you may need to know the important things you should look for before buying one. 

Therefore, in this article, we will explain what a PoE switch is and what you should look for before buying one? Let’s dive in.

What is Power Over Ethernet and a PoE switch?

Power Over Ethernet is transmitting electrical power on ethernet cables, and a PoE switch is a network switch that supports this feature. For instance, you might have seen CCTV cameras that run without a power wire. It’s because these cameras get their power via the network cable which is mostly an ethernet cable.

Moreover, Power over Ethernet networks are enabled by PoE switches, which we will discuss, henceforth.

Exhaust Air Direction

If you are installing multiple PoE switches, you will need to consider the airflow direction. Because when there are multiple PoE switches installed in one server room or a data center, the hot air exhaust from one switch can be taken in by another. And it can cause a fire hazard. Therefore, carefully choose the switches with due consideration to this detail. 

Although it is more of a concern in data centers where a large number of switches are installed, other networks, smaller or bigger, should take care of this safety precaution. 

Power Supply

PoE switches are available with two different types of power supplies. The first type has only one power supply and the second has two. The second type of power switch can last longer because when one power supply is damaged, the second will take the charge, literally. 

If you are getting a switch for a large network, you should definitely get the second type. But for almost all average business and home networks, you can perfectly get power to your devices with a single power supply PoE switch. 

Limited Transmission Distance 

There is a limit to the length at which a PoE switch can transmit enough power for the device. However, the limit is not dependent on the switch but on the ethernet cable. 

For instance, Cat5e cables can perform at a maximum capacity over a length of 100 meters. And you should not deploy your switch at a longer length than this. Otherwise, you will not get enough juice to run your device. 

But if you must install the switch at more than 100 meters, use a PoE repeater. It is a small device that extends the range of the switch’s base performance length. 

Switch Stacking

PoE switch stacking is connecting multiple PoE switches to make one large switch. You can utilize this technique to create and install a large switch in one server room. But note that not all switches can be connected. And if you are planning to make use of this technique, be sure to confirm that the switches you are getting support this technology. 

Pro Tip: If you are setting up a PoE network for home or office, you should buy just one switch with enough ports for your requirements. Because using the switch stacking technique can be costly and a hassle for such smaller networks. 

Noise from Fan

Before buying a PoE switch, you need to know how loud the noise from its fan can be. This is an unseeingly important factor. You might think, ‘how loud can it be?’ But when you hear a buzzing sound for a long time, even a feeble one, it can get pretty frustrating. 

And this is even more important when you are installing the switch in a home network. 

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