PoE Switch vs PoE Injector: Why Choose PoE Switch to Build Wireless Networks?

Updated on Dec 13, 2021

Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology has revolutionized the way we build wireless networks by allowing data and power to be transmitted over the same Ethernet cable. By utilizing existing twisted-pair Ethernet infrastructure, PoE allows power devices (PDs) such as IP cameras and wireless access points to receive power without requiring any additional modifications to the infrastructure. You can refer to resources such as the Demystifying PoE Network: Features, Standards, Types, and Common FAQs guide to get more detailed information. When it comes to implementing PoE technology, there are two main options: PoE switches and PoE injectors. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two options and explain why a PoE switch is often the better choice for building wireless networks.

What Is A PoE Switch?

A PoE switch is a network switch that has built-in PoE functionality, allowing it to provide power to connected devices directly through the Ethernet cable. This means that you can connect PoE-enabled devices such as IP cameras and wireless access points directly to the PoE switch using Ethernet cables, and the switch will automatically provide power to the devices without requiring any additional equipment.

PoE Switch application

What is A PoE Injector?

A PoE injector is a device that adds PoE functionality to non-PoE network switches or routers. You connect the injector between the non-PoE switch and the PoE-enabled device, and it injects power into the Ethernet cable to provide power to the device. This requires an additional step in the installation process, as you need to connect the injector to both the device and the non-PoE switch.


Build Wireless Networks: PoE Switch vs PoE Injector

While both PoE switches and PoE injectors can provide power over Ethernet cables, there are several reasons why a PoE switch is often the better choice for building wireless networks.

PoE Switches Are More Convenient and Easier to Install

PoE switches are more convenient and easier to install than PoE injectors. With a PoE switch, you do not need to use any additional equipment to provide power to your devices, which simplifies the installation process and reduces the number of cables needed. In contrast, a PoE injector requires an additional step in the installation process, which can be time-consuming and may require additional equipment.

PoE Switches Are More Cost-Effective

Considering the long-term perspective, PoE switches offer better cost-effectiveness. While the upfront cost of a PoE switch may be higher than that of a PoE injector. By eliminating the need for additional injectors, you save on the cost of purchasing and maintaining multiple devices. Simplified installation and centralized power management also contribute to cost savings in terms of time and effort.

PoE Switches Offer Greater Flexibility and Scalability

PoE switches offer greater flexibility and scalability than PoE injectors. With a PoE switch, you can connect multiple PoE-enabled devices to the same switch, which allows you to expand your network as needed. In contrast, a PoE injector can only provide power to a single device, which limits your ability to expand your network.

PoE Switches Are More Efficient for Building Wireless Networks

Building wireless networks via PoE switch is more efficient than PoE injectors. To build an enterprise PoE wireless network, the Power over Ethernet switch connects to a router that connects to the Internet. The network provides network connectivity among PoE wireless network devices and computers that have a wired connection to the switch. The PoE wireless access points connect to the PoE switch, providing them with power. Each wireless access point connects multiple wireless devices to the network.

Build Wireless Networks via PoE Switch

The picture below shows a wireless network in an office. The wireless AP is installed on the ceiling. Cat5e or Cat6 network cable delivers data and power from the nearest PoE switch. Compared with the PoE injector, using a PoE Ethernet switch to power the AP is more efficient for the wireless network because you don't need to worry about the power outlets. In addition, you don't have to specifically buy a Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable for power transmission.

Wireless Network in an Office

PoE Switches Offer Better Management and Control Features

PoE switches offer better management and control features than PoE injectors. PoE switches are available to suit all applications from low-cost unmanaged edge switches with a few ports, up to complex multi-port rack-mounted units with sophisticated management. With a PoE switch, you can easily monitor and control the power usage of connected devices, which can help you optimize your network's performance and reduce energy costs. In contrast, a PoE injector does not offer these management and control features.

PoE Gigabit switch certificated by IEEE 802.3af standard, sends power and data to PoE devices over a single cable, which requires no additional wiring, power sources, or adapters.

Endspan PoE Switch

How to Choose a PoE Switch for a Wireless Network?

When planning to choose a PoE switch, we recommend that you should take the following three aspects into consideration.

  • The number of ports of PoE switch, which can affect the number of powered devices that can be connected to a PoE switch.

  • The power budget and PoE Standard of a PoE switch are two important points that cannot be ignored, both have an impact on PoE switch's power consumption.

  • In terms of managed or unmanaged PoE switch, one thing is that when connecting with PoE devices like IP cameras, smart managed PoE switches can detect whether they are PoE-compatible and supply power automatically for the remote-powered devices.

For more detailed information about how to choose a PoE switch, you can click: PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ Switch: How to Choose? And the following video shows you how to connect the PoE switch.



In conclusion, while both PoE switches and PoE injectors can provide power over Ethernet cables, a PoE switch is often the better choice for building wireless networks. PoE switches are more convenient, easier to install, efficient, offer greater flexibility and scalability, and provide better management and control features than PoE injectors. By choosing a PoE switch, you can build a more efficient and effective wireless network that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals. PoE switch and wireless AP are available in FS, where you can find a wide selection of PoE switches. For detailed information and product availability, please visit our website at www.fs.com or contact us.

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