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What is an Outdoor PoE Switch?

PoE switch is a powerful network device that utilizes the PoE technology to deliver power and data via a single Ethernet cable to the powered device, such as IP cameras, LCDs and POS terminals, within a maximum distance of 100 meters/328ft. It offers a great number of benefits to facilitate network deployments in hard-to-reach areas without installing new network infrastructures. Installing a new power outlet will cost you at least $185 to hire a professional electrician to walk you through all necessary steps to retrofit the existing cabling layouts, while by using the PoE switch, you can save a lot on labor costs.

Challenges of Installing PoE Switches Outdoors

Dust, water, lightning strikes, these weather conditions all require additional protection when installing network devices outdoors, but not all PoE switches are equally developed with surge or water protection. Most PoE switches are only designed for indoor applications like within an office building or between two workstations. And they can only work under a quite limited operating temperature range from 0°C~40°C. Normally, when a switch exceeds its operating temperature range, it simply stops functioning and may possibly power off or fail. For example, high temperatures could increase the failure rate and reduce the lifetime of a network device. Most hardware will turn itself off when the internal temperature gets too high. And this can cause service delays, interruptions or downtime, which is devastating for mission-critical applications like surveillance camera systems.

PoE switches installed outdoors or in harsh environments often face numerous environmental hazards (water penetration, UV radiation, ingress from dust, debris or other airborne particles, etc.) which will threaten the failure of the device. When deploying PoE switches in wash-down areas or high-humidity places, one of the common reasons for network failure is water ingress. If water infiltrates, irreversible consequences may occur. It will cause some problems like disconnection, short-circuit, etc., and even cause some safety hazards like fire. And you should always take some precautions to protect your device from lightning strikes, especially in long-range applications. If large enough, a power surge can cause permanent damage to both PSE and PDs. Given that most network switches are only designed for use in relatively controlled environments like an office, they’re at a great disadvantage when dealing with high/cold temperatures, water/dust ingress, EMI, shocks and vibration, etc.

Use an Outdoor PoE Switch for Harsh Environments

The outdoor PoE switch is a network switch that is specially designed for use in outdoor or harsh environments. It’s an all-in-one outdoor solution to transmit both power and data to the PDs installed outdoors to eliminate the need for installing new AC outlets in remote places. It’s manufactured and tested to meet the industrial standards for operation even in applications that require the highest level of reliability like surveillance camera systems. With a rugged design, the outdoor PoE switch provides a safe and stable network connection and an uninterruptible power source to ensure the continuous operation of PoE devices.

Benefits of Using Outdoor PoE Switches

Flexibility: The outdoor PoE switch comes with a rugged, waterproof enclosure and is available in Din-Rail, wall and pole-mounting options to simplify the installation in nearly any environment. Like any other PoE solution, the outdoor PoE switch is hot-swappable and comes with a plug-and-play simple design, to allow you to connect and disconnect the device with ease. So you can easily take the device offline and relocate it wherever you want.

Reliability: The outdoor PoE switch guarantees a reliable network in harsh conditions. Most outdoor PoE switches are equipped with a hardened enclosure of IP65 or a higher level of protection rating to survive extreme weather conditions, shocks and vibration, corrosive elements, etc. Each PoE ported is armed with 6kV surge protection to protect the device from damages caused by lightning strikes, unstable power input and electrical surges, which makes it safer and more reliable in outdoor applications. And since it’s an active PoE switch, it will initiate a power detection procedure called the ‘power handshake’ to verify if the connected devices are PoE-compatible to ensure the safe operation of the PDs.

Cost-effectiveness: Normally, installing a new power outlet will cost you at least $185. But with the outdoor PoE switch, there is no need for users to purchase and deploy additional electrical wires and outlets. The outdoor PoE switch gives you a quick and easy way to deploy multiple IP devices over long distances while keeping your installation costs at an appropriate range. It gives you an all-in-one outdoor solution for both power and data delivery to make it easier for network management and maintenance.

Fastcabling has launched a variety of outdoor PoE switches to satisfy the specific requirement of every project. Today, we will introduce two types of outdoor PoE switches: the Outdoor Waterproof PoE Pass Through Switch and the Outdoor PoE Switch (built with an internal power supply).

Outdoor Waterproof PoE Pass Through Switch

The outdoor PoE passthrough switch can operate as both a powered device (PD) and a power sourcing equipment (PSE), which means that the switch itself can be powered by a PSE while simultaneously providing power to other PDs such as wireless access points and VoIP phones. Since the PoE passthrough switch has the passthrough features built-in it, it can be installed in any place with no additional power cabling. Fastcabling’s outdoor PoE passthrough switch (IP67-rated) is compliant with the IEEE802.3at standard, backward compatible with legacy Type 1 and Type 2. It features a single PoE input and 7 PoE outputs with a total power budget of 95W (30W max. at each PoE port). This PoE passthrough switch supports a wide operating temperature (-25°C~60 °C) and 6kV surge protection to perform safely and reliably outdoors. It’s also built with a fanless cooling design for deployments in harsh environments.

Outdoor PoE Switch

This outdoor PoE switch is built with an internal power bank and is able to work with various kinds of external power supplies like AC 100-240V (the voltage range at 802.3at mode is DC 53V), solar power, etc., to guarantee the continued operation of the outdoor PoE switch and connected devices at greater distances. Housed in an IP67-rated metal enclosure, this outdoor PoE switch has 7*10/100/1000 Mbps PoE ports and a 1Gbps RJ45 Ethernet uplink port to support a maximum power output of 32W on a per-port basis (120W in total). It features 6kv surge protection and a wide operating temperature of -25°C~60°C. And It’s ideal for installing IP devices in places in lack of existing network facilities, cutting off the money and time building new network infrastructures. This outdoor PoE switch can also work with our 95W PoE injector to provide a fast network and sufficient power for multiple network devices with an easy and quick installation.

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