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

Andy Chen

Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology has transformed the way we construct wireless networks by enabling the simultaneous transmission of data and power over a single Ethernet cable. This innovative approach eliminates the need for additional modifications to the existing Ethernet infrastructure, allowing power devices (PDs) like IP cameras and wireless access points to receive power seamlessly. To gain a comprehensive understanding of PoE networks, you can consult resources such as the Demystifying PoE Network: Features, Standards, Types, and Common FAQs guide. When implementing PoE technology, you have two primary options: PoE switches and PoE injectors. In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between these two alternatives and elucidate why a PoE switch is often the superior choice for constructing wireless networks.

What Is A PoE Switch?

A PoE switch is an Ethernet switch equipped with integrated PoE capabilities, enabling it to deliver power directly to connected devices through the Ethernet cable. This eliminates the need for additional equipment, as you can directly connect PoE-enabled devices like IP cameras and wireless access points to the PoE switch using Ethernet cables. The switch seamlessly provides power to the devices, simplifying the setup process and reducing the complexity of the network infrastructure.


What is A PoE Injector?

A PoE injector is a device designed to enable PoE functionality in non-PoE network switches or routers. It acts as an intermediary between the non-PoE switch and the PoE-enabled device. By connecting the injector between these two components, it injects power into the Ethernet cable, delivering power to the device. However, it's important to note that utilizing a PoE injector adds an extra step to the installation process. You need to connect the injector to both the PoE-enabled device and the non-PoE switch, ensuring that power is properly supplied to the device.

Build Wireless Networks: PoE Switch vs PoE Injector

While both PoE switches and PoE injectors have the capability to deliver power over Ethernet cables, there are compelling reasons why a PoE switch is frequently considered the superior option when it comes to constructing wireless networks.

PoE Switches Are More Convenient and Easier to Install

PoE switches offer greater convenience and simplicity compared to PoE injectors when it comes to installation. Unlike PoE injectors, PoE switches eliminate the need for additional equipment, streamlining the installation process and reducing cable clutter. With a PoE switch, powering your devices becomes effortless since the switch itself provides power, eliminating the need for a separate injector. On the other hand, utilizing a PoE injector necessitates an additional installation step, potentially consuming more time and requiring extra equipment.

PoE Switches Are More Cost-Effective

When taking a long-term perspective into account, PoE switches provide superior cost-effectiveness. Although the initial investment in a PoE switch may be higher compared to a PoE injector, the overall cost savings over time are significant. By eliminating the need for additional injectors, you avoid the expense of purchasing and maintaining multiple devices. Moreover, the streamlined installation process and centralized power management offered by PoE switches result in time and effort savings, further contributing to cost efficiency.

PoE Switches Offer Greater Flexibility and Scalability

PoE switches provide enhanced flexibility and scalability compared to PoE injectors. With a PoE switch, you have the capability to connect multiple PoE-enabled devices to a single switch, offering the flexibility to expand your network as required. This allows for efficient network management and reduces the need for additional infrastructure. In contrast, a PoE injector can only provide power to a single device, limiting the scalability of your network and potentially requiring the installation of multiple injectors for additional devices. The ability of PoE switches to accommodate multiple devices makes them a more versatile solution for network expansion.

PoE Switches Are More Efficient for Building Wireless Networks

Deploying a wireless network using PoE switches is a more efficient approach compared to PoE injectors. When constructing an enterprise PoE wireless network, the Power over Ethernet switch serves as a connection point between the router and the Internet. This network configuration establishes seamless network connectivity between PoE wireless network devices and computers that are wired to the switch. The PoE wireless access points are directly connected to the PoE switch, receiving both power and network connectivity. These access points facilitate the connection of multiple wireless devices to the network, effectively extending its coverage and capabilities.

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 provide superior management and control capabilities compared to PoE injectors. They come in a wide range of options, catering to various applications, from simple unmanaged edge switches with a few ports to advanced rack-mounted units with extensive management features. With a PoE switch, you gain the ability to easily monitor and control the power usage of connected devices. This allows you to optimize the performance of your network and reduce energy costs by efficiently managing power allocation.

In contrast, PoE injectors lack these management and control features. They simply deliver power to PoE devices without offering the same level of monitoring and control functionality. Furthermore, PoE switches adhering to the IEEE 802.3af standard provide Gigabit speeds, ensuring both power and data transmission over a single cable. This eliminates the need for additional wiring, power sources, or adapters, streamlining the network setup process.

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? 


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 is available in Linovision, where you can find a wide selection of PoE switches. For detailed information and product availability, please visit our website at www.linovision.com or contact us.