What is PoE?

Guess #1: Privately owned estate?
Guess#2:  Prince of Egypt?
Guess #3: Edgar Allan’s last name?
Guess #4: Wasn’t she the one who sang “Trigger Happy Jack?

Actually, in the surveillance industry, PoE stands for Power over Ethernet. The concept is quite simple: You plug your Ethernet cable to your camera’s Ethernet port and plug the other end of the cable into a PoE switch, and you get power.   Simple enough right? Not quite. There are other factors you must consider when deploying PoE powered cameras, such as PoE switch types and classifications.

Here is a list of the four power classes:

  • Class 1 –  4.5 watts at PoE port; 3.84 watts at device
  • Class 2 –  7.5 watts at PoE port; 6.49 watts at device
  • Class 3 –  15.4 watts at PoE port; 12.95 watts at device
  • Class 0 –  15.4 watts at PoE port; .44 to 12.95 watts at device
  • Not all PoE powered cameras will work with your switch, so you must consider which class your switch and cameras fall under. Want more information on the classifications, check out this article from IPSecurityWatch.

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    One Response to What is PoE?

    1. Mike Fennell says:

      thats a good break down of the classes but its not limited to the world of surveillence. We use PoE to power phones, other switches, and once in a while a environmental sensor or two. Now days we also power a lot of our access control devices off of it.