Standard PoE Switches and Non-standard PoE Switches

NADDOD Neo Switch Specialist Jan 13, 2023

PoE switches mainly provide data and power transmission for powered end devices (PDs) via network cables. With the increasing demand for the deployment of PD devices (such as IP phones, IP cameras, wireless access point APs and other IoT devices), PoE switches are widely used in networks such as enterprises, campuses and shopping malls with the advantages of simplified deployment and lower cost. At present, there are two common types of PoE switches on the market, standard and non-standard, what is the difference between these two types? How to choose between the two?

What is Standard PoE Power Supply? What is a Standard PoE Switch?

Standard PoE power supply has handshake protocol (2.7~10.1V voltage) and conforms to IEEE802.3af or IEEE802.3at or IEEE802.3bt standard, it is boosted after the power supply end equipment (PSE) shakes hands with the powered end equipment (PD), where the PoE control chip is responsible for detecting whether the powered end equipment conforms to the standard.

Standard PoE switch is a kind of network switch that conforms to the standard PoE power supply, which can be divided into PoE switch (IEEE802.3af), PoE+ switch (IEEE802.3at) and PoE++ switch (IEEE802.3bt) according to different standards, no matter which standard PoE switch is used, it will be tested before power supply (mainly detects the powered end devices supporting IEEE802.3af or IEEE802.3at or IEEE802.3bt standards) in order to ensure the power compatibility between the switch and the powered end devices for power supply. If a powered end device that supports the Power over Ethernet standard is not detected, the standard PoE switch will not supply power to the connected device, thus effectively preventing damage to the non-standard powered end device and providing protection.

EDR transceivers

What is Non-standard PoE Power Supply? What is a Non-standard PoE Switch?

Non-standard PoE power supply does not have handshake protocol, no PoE control chip, no detection process, and it provides 48V or other voltage values to the connected end devices regardless of whether the end devices support PoE or not.

Non-standard PoE switch (i.e. non-standard PoE switch) does not comply with IEEE standard, when non-standard PoE switch is connected to the network terminal equipment, it will instantly turn on the power supply mode, which means that whether the terminal equipment supports PoE or not, it will power it through the network cable, if the terminal equipment does not support PoE, using non-standard PoE switch may burn the terminal equipment.

What is the Difference Between a Standard PoE Switch and a Non-standard PoE Switch?

As you can see above, the difference between standard PoE switches and non-standard PoE switches is mainly reflected in the internal structure (with or without PoE control chip) and working mode.

The difference between standard PoE switch and non-standard PoE switch is the difference of power supply method

PoE switches have three power supply modes: Mode A (End-Span end-span method), Mode B (Mid-Span middle-span method) and 4-pair. In 4-pair mode, the PoE switch is powered through all pins (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). Standard PoE switches can support these three modes for power supply, but non-standard PoE switches can only support mode B for power supply.

EDR transceivers

The difference between standard PoE switches and non-standard PoE switches for Ethernet applications

Standard PoE switches can generally support 10/100/1000Mbps transmission rate, and can be connected with Cat5/5e/6 network patch cable, and the maximum transmission distance can reach 100 meters, therefore, standard PoE switches can be used for traditional 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and 1000BASE-T Ethernet; while non-standard PoE switches can only be used for 10/100BASE-T Ethernet.

The difference between standard PoE switches and non-standard PoE switches in terms of cost

Standard PoE switches are equipped with PoE control chip, which can detect and classify the Powered Device (PD); while non-standard PoE switches do not have this configuration and no detection and classification function, therefore, generally speaking, the price of standard PoE switches is higher than the price of non-standard PoE switches.

In summary, the differences between standard PoE switches and non-standard PoE switches are mainly reflected in the following aspects.

Type Standard PoE switch Non-Standard PoE Switches
Standard IEEE 802.3af/at/bt None
Power supply After detection Immediately
Power supply mode Mode A/Mode B/4-pair Mode B
Ethernet Applications 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
Maximum Transmission Distance 100m 100m
Security High Low
Cost Medium Low

How to Choose Between a Standard PoE Switch and a Non-standard PoE Switch?

In summary, for security reasons, standard PoE switches are the preferred power supply for IP-based end devices such as IP phones, IP cameras, wireless access points (APs), etc. However, if you have a limited budget, you can consider non-standard PoE switches, but when purchasing a non-standard PoE switch, be sure to choose a non-standard PoE switch with power specifications that are consistent with the power specifications of the device to which it is connected. Otherwise, you will burn up your powered devices. In addition, do not connect computers and other non-PoE devices to non-standard PoE switches.