What is the difference between a PoE switch and a normal switch?

Time : May. 24, 2023    View : 8

In modern networking devices, switches are one of the most common devices used to connect different devices and transmit data between them. However, when it comes to Power over Ethernet (PoE), we need to know the differences between PoE switches and normal switches. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two switches and when you should choose a PoE switch.


A normal switch is a networking device used to connect data packets from different devices together. When a data packet arrives at the switch, it looks at the destination MAC address and then sends the data packet to the port associated with that address. This switch does not provide power, so it cannot provide power to the devices connected to it.


In contrast, PoE switches can provide power to the devices connected to them. This feature is very useful, especially in devices such as wireless access points, network cameras, and IP phones that require additional power lines to operate. This makes PoE switches a very convenient solution as they can provide power to these devices through the network cable, reducing the number and complexity of cables.


In addition to providing power, PoE switches are very similar in functionality to normal switches. They can connect multiple devices and transmit data between them. However, when we consider the need for power, the rated power of the PoE switch is very important. Different PoE switches have different rated powers, so it is important to ensure that the power requirements of the required devices do not exceed the rated power of the switch.


Another factor to consider is cost. Compared to normal switches, PoE switches are more expensive because they need to provide additional power functionality. Therefore, when choosing a switch, you need to balance the power requirements of the required devices and your budget.


For example, the Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series PoE switches provide up to 370W of the total PoE budget, which means that it can provide power to multiple devices with different power requirements. On the other hand, the Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series normal switches do not provide power, but they offer high-performance switching with 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.


To summarize, the main difference between PoE switches and normal switches is that PoE switches can provide power to the devices connected to them. This makes them a convenient solution for connecting devices that require additional power lines. However, it is important to consider the rated power and cost of PoE switches when choosing the right switch for your network. If you need to provide power to your devices, then a PoE switch is a good choice. If not, a normal switch can meet your needs.