The Best PoE Switches for Your Network

two PoE switches, one gray and one pale blue-green

Installing technology that requires both power and a network connection, like IP cameras and VoIP phones, can be rather problematic; wiring your devices with multiple cords can be a hassle. A PoE switch allows you to kill two birds with one stone, as this switch can supply both power and an ethernet connection with one cable.

A PoE switch’s ability to use one cable for both power and network cleans up a potentially messy entanglement of cables behind the scenes. Usually used for IP cameras, you can conveniently power up your surveillance system with just one cable. For your office, using a PoE switch for VoIP phones and WAPs make the workplace cleaner and more collaborative.

Here’s what we recommend for your network.

What to Look for in a PoE Switch

Consider these aspects when looking for a PoE switch:

  • Type of Switch: There are two main types of PoE switches: unmanaged and managed.
    • Unmanaged: These switches are setup-free, but they don’t have as many features as a managed switch would.
    • Managed: These switches come with greater configurations but are generally more expensive and require skill to fully make use of them.
    • Smart Switches: They combine both aspects of an unmanaged switch and a managed switch. They provide functionality while costing less than a managed switch.
  • Number of Ports: Make sure you have enough ports to connect all your devices to your switch.
  • Power Budget: The total power budget of your switch is the maximum power output it can provide for all of its ports.

Easiest to Use: Netgear GS116PP Unmanaged PoE Switch

long, short gray PoE switch with a yellow stripe base

This unmanaged switch requires no setup, making it convenient to use and hassle-free. On top of its simplicity, this switch is a great unmanaged pick, boasting a total power budget of 183 W and 16 10/100/1G ports. This switch is suitable for quiet areas, as it operates silently. Additionally, you can mount this device almost anywhere. You can also keep it mounted on a desk or wall for convenient placement.

Budget Option: TP-Link TL-SF1005P Unmanaged PoE Switch

compact gray PoE switch with five ports

This is a low-cost, unmanaged switch that’ll support your smaller network. It has four 10/100 Mbps shielded ports with a total power budget of 58 W. Additionally, this switch will prioritize its high-priority ports when its watt limit is overloaded. If you’re working with only a couple of devices, this budget switch is the most effective for you.

High-End Option: Ubiquiti UniFi Managed Switch US-24-250W

long, narrow pale blue-green PoE switch

For any serious network needing a powerful PoE connection, this switch from Ubiquiti will get the job done. This switch comes with 24 Gigabit ports and a generous power budget of 250 W. As a managed switch, it comes with a number of useful functions and configurations to best fit your needs; by default, each port delivers 24 V. Additionally, this switch offers two 1-Gbps SFP ports for fiber and uplink connectivity.

High-End Option

Ubiquiti UniFi Switch - 24 Ports Managed (US-24-250W),White

For networks requiring a robust, powerful switch, this managed switch allows full control over your network.

Best Smart Switch: NETGEAR Smart Managed Plus Switch

dark blue PoE switchBest for your home or small office space, this smart switch comes with the useful functionality you need at a cost-effective price. With 8 Gigabit ports and 53 W of total power, you’ll have ample space and power for your devices. With this smart switch, you’ll get enhanced configuration over your network like a managed switch, but for a smaller price.

Best Smart Switch

NETGEAR 8-Port PoE Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch (GS108PEv3) - Managed, with 4 x PoE @ 53W, Desktop or Wall Mount, and Limited Lifetime Protection

If you're looking for better control over your network, this smart switch offers just that---without breaking the bank.

Jonah Chin Jonah Chin
Jonah Chin is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy where he's able to openly share his thorough product considerations, critiques, and recommendations for you to benefit from. When he's away from the keyboard, he enjoys competing in sports like wrestling and playing instruments like the guitar. Read Full Bio »

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