PoE vs PoE+: Which Is Better for You?

PoE technology is nothing new to network managers as most of them have already integrated PoE or PoE+ switches into their systems. advancements continue to be made that allow for greater flexibility and expanded device support. By combining data and power on a single Ethernet cable, it enables new opportunities to improve energy efficiency while simplifies network deployment and management. Cabling professionals sometimes are confused when choosing PoE vs PoE+: What is PoE switch or PoE+ switch? Is there any difference between PoE vs PoE+? This post will provide some indications on that.

What Is PoE and Where to Use PoE Switch?

PoE (power over Ethernet) is defined by IEEE 802.3af standard, which can deliver 15.4w/port at maximum and was originally developed to push power to phones and WAPs (wireless access points). Capable of providing sufficient power for most WAPs, surveillance cameras, and IP phones, PoE is usually applied in places that have no access to AC power supply. Besides this great convenience it brings to network infrastructure, PoE also significantly reduces human labor and the cost involved in managing these devices. PoE switch is well fitted for home network and small business.

What Is PoE+ and Where to Use PoE+ Switch?

PoE+ is defined by IEEE 802.3at standard, serving as a more current standard than PoE. As the name indicated, it is an upgraded version of PoE. Compared to the legacy PoE, this option is more powerful to accommodate increased business requirements. PoE+ enables more power to be carried over a standard Ethernet cable — a maximum wattage of 25.5, thus opening the door to a broader range of devices that can be more integrated into your network. With advancements in client device technology and the amount of power they consume, PoE+ switch is fast becoming the go-to option for PoE deployments.

PoE vs PoE+: Who Is the Winner?

We’ve already got the point that the main difference between PoE vs PoE+ is the max amount of power provided. PoE is the simple, basic way to power networking devices, which can be used in most home networking setups and small business. While PoE+ is more efficient and useful in complex business networking scenarios.

PoE+ will help squeeze even more usefulness out of Cat5e and above cabling infrastructure while expanding PoE’s benefits to a much broader range of applications and powered devices (PDs). If you are considering incorporate PoE+ switch, you need to first figure out what types of devices your network would have, and what kind of power draw these types of devices may create. Choosing PoE+ allows you to adjust with the times: Though PoE+ costs more, it will save you a lot of headaches when devices that require higher power levels do come onto your network. For maximum flexibility and long-term planning, it makes sense to consider the use of PoE+ for your next PoE deployment.

PoE vs PoE+: Mix and Match

All other 802.3af features are carried over to the new 802.3at standard. This means existing Ethernet wiring can be used, 802.3af devices are still supported. So how about mixing and matching POE and PoE+ technology? As you can see from the table below, it works reasonably well.

A PoE+ Ethernet switch can support all the older PoE phones and devices, so it has maximum compatibility but is usually more expensive — all of that extra power capability can’t be for free.


Whether to choose PoE vs PoE+? It is clear that these systems are sure to make your space more efficient and easier to use. If you already have an existing PoE network and it is adequate for your need, PoE switch is a fairly good choice. But if you’re starting to build new network infrastructure, there’s simply one smart choice: take PoE+ switch on your list.

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