Many users of security cameras are confused about the definition of PoE NVR and PoE Switch. As an security cameras seller, we sometimes receive questions like these from our fans or clients: “I want to install lots of IP cameras at home, but my PoE NVR doesn’t have enough ports to support my plan.” “Do I need a PoE switch with an NVR”? “PoE NVR and PoE switch. What’s the difference between them?” In this article, we’ll discuss these in length and provide suggestive instructions for you to choose a right PoE Switch for your IP camera system.

What is A PoE Switch for IP Camera?

For an IP camera system, A PoE switch serves to extend the network based on the routers, allowing more network devices to connect as a whole system under the same LAN. Unlike an ordinary network switch, a PoE switch are empowered with Power over Ethernet technology to transmit power and data to devices on a single cable. Featured by the quantity of PoE ports, 4/8/12/16/24/32/48 ports are common categories among PoE switches for IP cameras.

Whats the Difference between PoE NVR and PoE Switch?

More commonly known, PoE NVR is a type of network video recorder serving as the core component of the PoE camera system. It connects the elements of a security camera systems – security camera and NVR to the same LAN. (If you want to learn more about what a PoE camera is, please refer to our previous article –PoE vs WiFi Camera: How to Choose?) . PoE NVRs can perform efficiently in transferring data since they can minimize potential network “traffic jams”. They are typically quite expensive though. Therefore, it’s significant to hire the appropriate type of PoE NVR for organizations or businesses. However, if more enormous and complex IP camera system needs to be constructed, a single NVR might be insufficient.

The difference between PoE NVR and PoE switch for IP camera is that a PoE NVR functions both in data transmission and storage. While a PoE switch only acts as an intermediate device to assign more LAN IP addresses to security cameras. When you integrate a PoE switch and PoE NVR, you can expand your security camera systems conveniently with much more simplified installation and cabling procedures.


Why Do I Need a PoE Switch for the IP Camera System?

1. Support More Cameras

Some enterprises implement PoE camera systems with as many as 128 security cameras to guarantee complex property management. But how did they achieve such a huge security camera networks? – They entail PoE switches for IP cameras to extend the network and provide enough ports for camera connections.

We can easily realize that even 32-channel or 48-channel NVRs cannot directly support so many IP cameras connected under the same system. Therefore, they call for external PoE switches. By hiring a PoE Switch for IP Cameras, you can construct a extremely large camera network in a laborsaving method.

2. Less Installation and Cabling

The technological advantage of PoE Switch for IP camera avoids the needs for additional power cables, sockets, or extension network cables. You can combine many more cameras under the same LAN through the ports of a PoE Switch. Hence, a PoE Switch for IP Camera can significantly save cabling deployment costs and labor. Meanwhile, it simplifies the process for maintenance of the IP Camera System.

3. Guarantee More Stable Network

PoE Switches for IP camera support high backplane bandwidth. ( What is backplane bandwidth? – Simply put, backplane bandwidth refers to the highest network transmission speed it support). Consequently, they powerfully process more data per unit of time efficiently and give the green light for smooth video live feeds and playbacks.=

4. Improve the Safety of Power Use

PoE technology reduces risks by reducing the need for a separate power supply. Overloaded power of outlets leads to potential hazards of power outage or even fire.


What to Consider when Picking A PoE NVR ?

1. Quantity of PoE Switch Ports

The quantity of PoE switch ports depends on the target quantity of cameras you want to deploy. PoE network switches have common 8/12/16/24/32/48 or even more ports. Generally, PoE switches of 4 and 8 ports are widely used for general household purposes. Comparatively, 24, 32 or even 48-port switches are more suitable in large businesses or database centers that feature complex property management and networks.

2. Power Consumption

Importantly addressed, be aware that the power supply protocol of the PoE switch is consistent with the protocol of your powered terminals (your cameras). Typical wattage standards of POE switches range between 15W and 30W. It’s crucial to choose the PoE switch with appropriate power according to the power of your cameras. For example, if the power of your cameras is below 15W, then a PoE switch that supports the 802.3af standard will work. If the power exceeds 15W, you should choose a high-power PoE switch that supports the 802.3at standard.

But be aware: even though PoE switches can provide power, their essence still lies in functioning as a switch for data transmission and exchange. If a PoE switch has higher power but weaker data transmission performance, it also cannot serve not a qualified PoE switch. A suitable PoE switch for IP cameras needs to perform both the power supply and data transmission in a balanced way. When picking a Poe Switch, do not solely consider the power.

IEEE standards for PoE:


3. Bandwidth and Network Speed

Most PoE switches for IP cameras in the market now are built with standard Gigabit Ethernet ports that support speeds of 10/100/1000Mbps. The 8-port Gigabit PoE switch is very popular among individual users who generally use small security camera systems. While, 24-port, 32-port PoE switches and 48-port managed switches are more popular among large businesses or organizations who have complex networks.

High-quality network is vital for smooth video signals from IP cameras. Regular PoE switch ports today offer speeds of at least 100 Mbps, but higher bandwidths are required for high resolution and larger camera systems.

If you need to deploy a PoE switch on a large 4K resolution security system, a 100Mbps-port-bandwidth one is inadequate – You may experience video latency or even video loss now and then.

In this case, 1000Mbps appears to be the appropriate choice. Luckily, most of PoE switches of 16-or-more ports are built with standard Gigabit Ethernet ports. Thus, you don’t need to worry much about bandwidth issues when you buy a PoE switch with 16 or more ports.


4. Unmanaged or Managed PoE Switches

Unmanaged and managed PoE switch are two types of PoE switches categorized by their functions.

Typically, unmanaged switches for IP cameras are more simple in their appearance – They are designed only with basic ports and power interfaces without management interfaces. An unmanaged switch only transmits data without directly processing them. They don’t have advanced functions, hence they are commonly said to be “fool-style” PoE switches. Generally speaking, unmanaged PoE switches are more cheap in their prices and cost-effective under tight budgets. Moreover, they are applicable to wide range of common users since they’re more user-friendly to install and configure.

Managed PoE switches, in contrast, have control panels, LED screens and multiple management ports.

  • First, they can filter the data address, port, protocol type, and service. Managed PoE switches typically offer features like VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks), QoS (Quality of Service), and port mirroring, allowing for customization based on differentiated network requirements.
  • Second, they have faster data transfer speed and minimize  the possibility of video latency.
  • They can provide comprehensive and intelligent management mechanisms to guarantee their security and troubleshooting availability. They facilitate users to control medium-sized or large networks.
  • A managed switch is more flexible to meet growing demands for newly added
  • You can configure settings remotely without operating beside each device with a managed PoE switch for IP cameras. On the contrary, you can only configure and manage an unmanaged switch through its local control panel.

Managed switches suit better in complex network environments, such as large enterprises and data centers in organizations. However, they have relatively higher prices.

It depends primarily on your cost budget and the complexity of your security camera systems to choose between unmanaged and managed PoE switches for IP camera systems.

5. Brand

There are a good many brands to choose from in the market. When choosing a POE switch for IP cameras, prioritize those with good reputation in the industry, positive buyers’ feedback, and guaranteed after-sales service.



Hikvision DS-3E0510P-E/M Smart Managed PoE Switch:

Ports 8 x Port Gigabit, 1 × Gigabit RJ45 port, 1 × Gigabit SFP fiber optical port
Power Supply Standard IEEE 802.3AF/AT
Backplane Bandwidth  20Gbps
Max. Port Power 30W
PoE Power Budget 58W


If you need more assistance in making the right choices for security cameras, please feel free to reach us:

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