PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ Switch: How to Choose?

Updated on May 30, 2024 by

PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ Switch

PoE, or Power over Ethernet, is a proven time-saving and money-saving technology that delivers data and power safely over the same Ethernet cable for the local area networks (LANs). In the current market, if you notice Power over Ethernet switch types, you will find that there are PoE switches, PoE+ switches, and PoE++ switches. But how much do you know about these three PoE switch types? This article sheds light on the differences between PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ switches as well as their applications. Hope this post will give you some inspiration on choosing a suitable PoE network switch.

Differences Between PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++

Defined in 2003, Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, under the IEEE 802.3af standard, initially allowed powered devices (PDs) such as VoIP phones to receive up to 12.95W of power using only two of the four twisted pairs in Ethernet cabling. By 2009, as devices began requiring more power, the IEEE 802.3at standard evolved into PoE+ technology, serving the increased wattage demands of gadgets like wireless access points that needed over 12.95W to function effectively.

To further accommodate the expanding needs of power consumption for a wider range of device applications, the IEEE 802.3 standard underwent another upgrade in 2018 to PoE++ (IEEE 802.3bt standard), introducing two types: Type 3, which delivers up to 51W of power using two or all four twisted pairs in a copper cable, and Type 4, which offers up to 71W over four twisted pairs in an Ethernet cable, marking a significant advancement in powering devices over Ethernet infrastructure.

PoE Switch

What Is PoE Switch?

PoE switch refers to an application of PoE technology. Functioning as a kind of PSE (power sourcing equipment), a PoE switch can supply power to PDs via Ethernet cables to realize network connectivity. Generally, an 802.3af switch supports max power consumption of up to 15.4W per PoE port with a voltage range between 44V and 57V. And the voltage range of PDs, connected with the PoE switch, is from 37V to 57V.

What Is PoE+ Switch?

Similar to a PoE network switch, the PoE plus switch also supplies power over two pairs, but it adds an additional power class that is able to deliver power up to 25.5W for a PD with a voltage range from 42.5V to 57V. The max power delivered by each port of a PoE+ switch is 30W, along with a voltage range from 50V to 57V.

What Is PoE++ Switch?

PoE++ network switch is the next generation of PoE+ technology. PoE++ switch supports up to 60 watts of power to each port under Type 3 and offers the highest level of power for Power over Ethernet switches--up to 100W on each PoE port under Type 4.

PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++ Switch: Which to Choose?

When selecting a PoE switch, it's crucial to base your choice on varying needs. This section provides information to help you make the best selection among four types of PoE switches, considering both specifications and applications.

Specifications of PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++ Switch

Based on the above-mentioned introduction, a reference chart that summarizes detailed specifications among PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ switches is presented below.

  PoE PoE+ PoE++
IEEE Standard IEEE 802.3af IEEE 802.3at IEEE 802.3bt
PoE Type Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4
Max. Power Per Port 15.4W 30W 60W 100W
Port Voltage Range 44–57V 50-57V 50-57V 52-57V
Max. Power to Device 12.95W 25.5W 51W 71W
Voltage Range to Device 37-57V 42.5-57V 42.5-57V 41.1-57V
Twisted Pairs Used 2-pair 2-pair 4-pair 4-pair
Supported Cables Cat3 or better Cat5 or better Cat5 or better Cat5 or better

Note: the presented figures are just valuable in theory, while the total power capacity of PoE series switches in the application will be oversubscribed with more ports for many devices using less than maximum power. For instance, if you have a switch with all PoE++ Type 4 ports, it does not mean you will use all of them at maximum load 24×7. Consequently, you need to calculate the power requirements for all the powered devices that you plan to connect to the switch and select corresponding patch cables for your PoE design.

Applications of PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++ Switch

Evidently, the major differences among PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++ switches lie in their working mode and power supply, which are reflected in their applications.

  PoE Switch PoE+ Switch PoE++ Switch
Type Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4

1. Basic VoIP phones operating across the public internet

2. Two-antenna wireless access points for small networks

3. Stationary security cameras without pan, tilt, and zoom

4. Sensors, meters, etc

1. IP telephones that offer fax, text messaging, and voice calls

2. Wireless access points with six antennas

3. Remote-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) surveillance cameras

4. Biometric sensors that collect biological characteristics

1. Two-way video phone calls in a conferencing system

2. Building management devices such as gate or door controllers

3. Thin clients connected remotely to a server-based computing environment

4. Remote patient monitoring devices

1. Laptops and TVs

PoE switch is a good choice if low-standard power levels are enough for your data center. Otherwise, PoE+ or PoE++ switch is better when a more robust and high-performance network with multiple varied devices is required, without concerning port limitations. They are also wise choices for building infrastructures of higher requirements and upgrade planning. Certainly, you can retain the existing PoE network design if it is adequate and fits your demands.

PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++ Switch

Choose the Suitable FS PoE Switch

The main features of the three FS PoE switches are shown below.

24-Port Gigabit Ethernet L2+ PoE+ Switch
48-Port Gigabit Ethernet L2+ PoE+ Switch
24-Port Ethernet L3 PoE++ Switch
PoE Standard
IEEE 802.3af/at
IEEE 802.3af/at
IEEE 802.3af/at/bt
24x 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ45 | 4x 1G RJ45/SFP Combo
48x 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ45, 2x 1G RJ45/SFP Combo | 2x 1G/10G SFP+
24x 10/100/1000M/2.5G/5G/10GBASE-T | 2x 100G QSFP28
Switching Capacity 56 Gbps 176 Gbps 880 Gbps
Power Budget 370W 470W 2200W


In conclusion, if you intend to supply power to devices that demand greater power or foresee the expansion of your network in the future, opting for a higher PoE standard (like PoE+ or PoE++) could prove advantageous. Nonetheless, it is crucial to confirm compatibility, evaluate the capabilities of your current infrastructure, and take into account your specific requirements before reaching a decision. You can connect an FS consultant and harness the full potential of your network with our PoE solutions.

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