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

Andy Chen

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a well-established technology that allows both data and power to be transmitted over the same Ethernet cable, providing significant time and cost savings for local area networks (LANs). In today's market, you will come across different types of PoE switches, including PoE switches, PoE+ switches, and PoE++ switches. But do you understand the differences between these three types? And how do you make the right choice among them?

What Is PoE and PoE Switch?

What is PoE? Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology defined by the IEEE 802.3af standard in 2003. It enables powered devices (PDs) such as VoIP phones to receive power, up to 12.95W, through Ethernet cabling using two of the available twisted pairs.

Then what is a PoE switch? A PoE switch, on the other hand, is a type of power sourcing equipment (PSE) that incorporates PoE technology. It provides power to PDs via Ethernet cables, facilitating network connectivity. Typically, an 802.3af PoE switch supports a maximum power consumption of 15.4W per PoE port, with a voltage range between 44V and 57V. The PDs connected to the PoE switch operate within a voltage range of 37V to 57V.


What Is PoE+ and PoE+ Switch?

PoE+ technology, defined by the IEEE 802.3at standard in 2009, is an advancement of PoE technology. With increasing power requirements of devices like wireless access points, PoE+ was introduced to support higher power consumption.

Similar to PoE switches, PoE+ switches also deliver power over two pairs of Ethernet cables. However, PoE+ adds an additional power class that can provide up to 25.5W of power to a powered device (PD) within a voltage range of 42.5V to 57V. Each port of a PoE+ switch can deliver a maximum power of 30W within a voltage range of 50V to 57V.

What Is PoE++ and PoE++ Switch?

In the pursuit of providing even more power for a wider range of devices, the IEEE 802.3 standard further upgraded PoE+ technology to PoE++ (IEEE 802.3bt standard) in 2018. PoE++ is divided into two types: Type 3 and Type 4. Type 3 enables power delivery of up to 51W to a PD using either two or all four twisted pairs in a copper cable. Type 4 allows power delivery of up to 71W to a PD using all four twisted pairs in an Ethernet cable.

PoE++ switches are the next generation of PoE+ technology. They support up to 60 watts of power per port under Type 3 and provide the highest power level for Power over Ethernet switches, delivering up to 100W per PoE port under Type 4.

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

The choice of a PoE switch depends on specific requirements. To help make an optimal selection, consider the following aspects: specifications and applications.

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

Based on the information provided, the following reference chart summarizes detailed specifications of PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ switches:



PoE PoE+ PoE++
IEEE Standard IEEE 802.3af IEEE 802.3at IEEE 802.3bt
PoE Type Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4
Switch Port Power
Max. Power Per Port 15.4W 30W 60W 100W
Port Voltage Range 44–57V 50-57V 50-57V 52-57V
Powered Device Power
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 provided figures are theoretical and the total power capacity of PoE series switches in real-world applications may be oversubscribed when multiple devices use less than the maximum power. For example, having a switch with all PoE++ Type 4 ports doesn't mean all ports will be utilized at maximum load 24/7. Therefore, it is important to calculate the power requirements of all connected powered devices and choose appropriate patch cables for your PoE design.

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

The key differences between PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ switches lie in their operational modes and power delivery, which determine their applications.

PoE switch

An 802.3af switch, also known as a PoE Type 1 switch, is typically used to support devices that require power delivery of less than 15.4W. Examples include:

  • Basic VoIP phones used over the internet

  • Wireless access points with two antennas for small networksStationary security cameras without pan, tilt, and zoom

  • Sensors, meters, etc.

  • Stationary security cameras without pan, tilt, and zoom functionality

PoE+ switch

PoE+ switch with 30W output can power Type 2 devices, such as:

  • IP telephones that offer fax, text messaging, and voice calls

  • Wireless access points with six antennas

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

  • Biometric sensors that collect biological characteristics

PoE++ switch

A PoE+ switch with 30W output is capable of powering Type 2 devices, such as:

  • Two-way video phone calls in a conferencing system

  • Building management devices such as gate or door controllers

  • Thin clients connected remotely to a server-based computing environment

  • Remote patient monitoring devices

And the PoE++ Type 4 switch can support devices such as laptops and TVs.

If your data center or network has relatively low power requirements, a PoE switch would be suitable. However, if you need a more powerful and versatile network that can accommodate a diverse range of devices, a PoE+ or PoE++ switch would be a better choice. These switches offer increased power capacity and performance, allowing for more devices to be connected without being limited by port restrictions. They are particularly beneficial when building infrastructures with higher demands or when planning for future upgrades.

Of course, if your existing PoE network design meets your current demands and is adequate for your requirements, there is no need to change it. It is always wise to assess your specific needs and choose the appropriate switch that aligns with your power and performance requirements.

Linovision PoE++ Switch

The main features of three Linovision PoE++ switches are shown below.

Description 8-Port Full Gigabit PoE++ Switch 8-Port Full Gigabit L2
PoE++ Switch
4-Port L2 Managed Solar PoE++ Switch
Ports ·8*10/100/1000BASE-T RJ45 auto-MDI/MDI-X ports
·2*1000Mbps SFP Slots
·4*10/100/1000Base-T PoE++ RJ-45 auto-MDI/MDI-X ports
·4*10/100/1000Base-T PoE+ RJ-45 auto-MDI/MDI-X ports
·2*1G/2.5GBase-X SFP
·4*10/100/1000Mbps RJ45 Ports
·2*1000Mbps SFP Slots
Power Budget 120W 360W 120W
Application Harsh Environment Security, Industry, Business, Office Intelligent Transportation,
Harsh Environment Security, Industry
Solar Power PoE System; UPS Power PoE System



As power requirements continue to increase, the evolution of PoE technology has led to the development of PoE+, and subsequently PoE++. Similarly, PoE-based switches have advanced to PoE+ switches, and now to PoE++ switches. This article has provided insights into the distinctions between PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ switches, as well as their respective applications. We hope this information has inspired you to select a suitable PoE network switch for your needs.