If you are looking for a POE camera, you need to research the camera before you actually purchase it. There are many IP surveillance network designers that have turned to POE technology. Using POE cameras and switches is going to eliminate the need for separate power and data cables. This is going to enable integrators to use more cameras, making sure there is a more comprehensive solution for customers.
POE cameras can be powered using the same LAN cable. A POE switch is a traditional Ethernet switch with the additional capability of injecting POE power. A POE switch commonly has 4, 8, 16, 24 or 48 ports which are going to provide power and data to the IP camera on each port. POE switches fall into three categories:
Unmanaged switches are going to provide basic connectivity between networked devices at a low cost. They are easy to use but only for simple connectivity.
Smart switches have graphical user interface with easy-to-understand controls. They are managed via a web browser. They are ideal for people who have no advanced network training.
Managed switches have a GUI and a more technical command line interface. Fully managed switches have a full suite of capabilities that are often beyond the needs of a basic IP surveillance network.
Many network designers use unmanaged POE switches because they are simple and the low cost that is involved. A POE switch can net a big value. The cost increase is minimal.
Smart POE switches are easy to use, have a browser-based user interface and have straightforward communication.
Remote Reboots and Power Control
Smart switches allow you to remotely turn on and off the POE to each camera via the GUI. The POE camera can be manually controlled from anywhere. Some smart POE switches allow you to set a time window that determines when each camera is powered on and off.
Real-Time Power Statistics and Saving Features
A smart POE switch can provide power consumption statistics in real time:
- Power use per port
- Overall system power
Smart POE switches support power-saving features that are not found in unmanaged PoE switches. When reducing signal power consumption, less heat is going to be produced, resulting in extended product life and lower operating costs.
As networks grow and additional cameras are added, a POE switch will be asked to supply more power. A smart POE switch allows you to manage increased power demands in a much more controlled manner.
Better Cable Diagnostics
With the use of smart POE switches, you are able to examine the quality of the copper cables connected to each switch port.
Automatic Loop Detection
Smart POE switches also feature a loop detection function. If a loop is detected, the switch automatically shuts down the port and will alert you. Without such protection, undetected loops can wreak major havoc and cause serious traffic flow disruptions.
The Bottom Line
Unmanaged POE switches are low-cost, easy-to-use and good for simple connectivity. There are quit a few benefits gained by upgrading to smart or managed POE switches.
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