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3 Things to Know About Using a Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) IP Security Camera

November 27, 2018

Power-over-ethernet is quite simple to define – the name says it all. It’s a platform that uses wired ethernet to carry electricity to power a device, and in this context, security cameras. The ethernet cable can send both data and power safely over Cat 5 (or better) cabling and can work wonders to simplify the amount of infrastructure an organization has to manage.

Some IP/Cloud systems have PoE as an option and should be used for those wanting to streamline their video security system as much as possible. By leveraging a PoE setup, you can reduce the amount of hardware needed to manage and maintain, which can prevent problems from happening later down the line.

If you’re thinking about using a PoE setup, this blog post will help outline a few things you should know before fully transitioning.

Is PoE reliable?

PoE may be a term you have known about for years, or it may be entirely new. Regardless, PoE has gone through extensive development over the years and is considered to be mature technology. With any piece of technology, the quality of components is vital for success and PoE is no different. Since PoE uses a series of cabling and switches, ensuring that you are using quality components is key for reliability.

Some products claim to have full PoE functionality but can quickly run into issues as an organization tries to scale. It’s up to you to look at your video security system as a whole and determine whether the product you are looking at can fulfill your needs. Read on and we’ll provide a few ways to convert your existing system to PoE, and if you have any questions about reliability – we’re always happy to help!

Advantages of POE


Utilizing a proper PoE system has numerous benefits for businesses and organizations everywhere. From simplifying cabling to making your system easier to manage, here are just of advantages of using PoE:

Lower Installation Cost

Since PoE systems require only one cable to supply power and internet and can installed by anyone, installation is much lower than traditional options. With a more traditional system, you are required to hire a certified electrician to install separate power cables which can burden an organization wanting to move quickly.


By reducing the amount of cabling and hardware, maintenance is much less than a traditional system and can be managed through a Simple Network Management Protocol. With cloud systems, the only thing you need to maintain are the cameras, cabling and PoE switches.


By not being tied to an electrical outlet, cameras can be installed in more places where an outlet is not easily accessible. If cameras need to be taken down or moved to a new location, all you have to do is move the ethernet cable.


When using PoE, you have one cohesive and central power source instead of different wall adapters. You also have the ability to create an uninterruptible power source for your PoE switch to ensure the cameras continue to run even when the power goes out.


If you’re using quality components, PoE is designed to deliver power safely and efficiently. PoE devices ensure proper power throughout the life of the product to prevent overloading or under-powering. More advanced PoE products also have protection systems to prevent short-circuiting, or excessive current, making it much safer than a traditional system powered by an outlet.


If you need to add more security cameras, you can do so easily by adding more network connections. Some options even allow you to setup cameras across many locations, and if you’re using a PoE setup throughout your entire company, you will no longer have to worry about difficult installations when you want to install more cameras.

How to upgrade to PoE

Upgrading to PoE is straightforward. There are two options – a PoE switch or PoE injector.

A PoE switch acts as a network switch that has power over ethernet injection built-in. You can connect devices to the switch and it will detect if its PoE compatible and supply power as needed.

A PoE injector, or otherwise known as a midspan, is used to add compatibility to non-PoE network links. This can be used to upgrade existing LAN installations to PoE and provide an easy solution where fewer PoE ports are required.

With IP/cloud cameras you can also use a PoE splitter which patches into the camera’s network connection to provide lower voltage to optimally power the camera via ethernet.


We hope you found this article helpful. PoE is incredibly simple to use and implement throughout an organization. To effectively use PoE, it all boils down to mapping out your system and knowing what to look for when purchasing equipment. While doing this planning may feel like a burden, the time investment will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

As always, if you have any questions about PoE, security cameras, or anything else – feel free to reach out and we’ll be more than happy to assist!