What is a Power over Ethernet (POE), well for beginners who are just new to this technology， you are in for a treat because in the following we are going to introduce some basics knowledge about the POE switch, it’s a common tool to set up a networking system for supplying power and data for network devices in office or home.
POE switch is a technology that allows other network devices to make connections, it has an injection built in and once the other network devices are connecting, it detects whether the devices are POE compatible or not, then it enables the connection. Like any other technology the POE switches fall into three different categories which are: unmanaged switch, smart and managed switch. Now they might be all POE switches, but some of their technical features do not contain the same methods.
As for the unmanaged switch, it does not have a lot of features, as a matter of fact, it has a much lesser features than both previous switches, it does not have configuration capabilities and can’t be managed, why? Because both the settings and the function are already fixed and cannot be changed, as you can tell by now, it’s an easy plug in and use device in which case it’s easy use. Now you might think that compared to the previous switches, the unmanage switch seems brainless or even worthless, but not all users think this way , because it costs less and it can be used in homes or a small size business.
Managed switches have rich features such as VLAN,CLI,GUI,IP routing and QoS ,etc. Now because of its rich features, it usually can deliver the most complicated functions for a network, and it’s commonly used in big enterprises for their core layer network, because most big enterprises have large and complex networks. Also for the manage switch, it has a technical feature that is called a CLI (command line interface), that makes it easier for managing multiple switches, because it allows the network administrators to do both the scripts and programming. So in general, the fully managed switch has a lot of capabilities in which case it is beyond the needs of a basic IP surveillance network, that’s why its costly and is affordable for most big enterprises.
Unlike the managed switch, the smart switch does not contain as many features, but its reasonable because some of the users out there do not require a full configuration capabilities, they might just need the basic features that functions and that’s it. Now the smart switch is easy to use and is VLAN supported and manageable, it also has a browser based user interface and a straightforward communication, and Like the mange switch, the smart switch also has GUI，and another features that is unique about the smart switch is that it has a LCD display. The smart switch may have less capabilities than the managed switch but it’s not a complex device to use, that’s why it’s such a good choice for those who have no advanced knowledge in network training, the expense falls right between the managed and unmanaged switch.
After having a basic knowledge of these three types of PoE switch, it is important for you to make sure what requirement are you intend to find in the PoE switch, otherwise you are easily to get one that fails to serve your demand or buy one that with too much functions that are too complicated for you to handle or completely useless for your networking system.
Generally if you have higher demands on the control on the port of the switch to get exactly maximum on the suitable application, or to obtain greater security of your network system, you’d better cost more to purchase the fully managed switch. If you have little knowledge of PoE systems and just need power and network to supply you network devices, an unmanaged switch can give you most simplicity with its no configuration and plug and play feature. While if you want to control some ports network speed for some specific network devices that require higher bandwidth, or you may want to have an intrusion to you monitor the switch work status, a smart managed switch is a good choice.