What is a PoE Camera?

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Security cameras and CCTVs have somehow become the norm in many establishments and residential areas. With the growing concern for safety and security, this doesn’t come as a total surprise. One security camera technology gaining popularity are PoE cameras and many seem to ask the question, “What is a PoE camera?”.

PoE stands for Power over Ethernet. A PoE camera, unlike traditional security cameras, is an IP camera that uses one ethernet cable for both power and data. Installing a PoE camera around your property would mean you’re cutting down in half the number of wires and cables you need. This allows for easy installation and flexible camera placement.

PoE cameras, though a favored option, is only one of the ultimate security solutions for some. There are, of course, other options many choose to turn to instead.

Below, we’ll go over what a PoE camera is, everything you need to know about it, and the many benefits installing it on your property could offer.

What is a PoE Camera?

PoE stands for Power over Ethernet.

PoE is a technology that uses one and the same ethernet cable to transfer both data and power to the device connected to it.

PoE camera systems are IP cameras (Internet Protocol) that use this technology for security purposes. A PoE camera uses only a single ethernet cable to transfer data/network access and power.

Non-PoE cameras would need a set of two cables to power up and use one camera: one for power and another for data. This can be a hassle to install and manage, especially if you have a multiple-camera setup.

PoE IP cameras are an emerging technology that also simplifies installation.

A PoE security camera system cuts the number of wires and cabling jobs you need in half. Imagine, half the number of cables and wires to use but still get the job done!

When you’re choosing to install PoE cameras around your property, you only need to plug your ethernet cables into your router and the other end to the camera and you’re good to go. This is why PoE cameras are sometimes called plug-and-play cameras.

How Does a PoE Camera Work?

Unlike traditional security camera systems, PoE cameras won’t need multiple cabling systems in place. They simplify the entire process and use only one ethernet cable for both power and data transfer.

To set up your own PoE camera system, you would need a few things first: the PoE cameras; CAT5, CAT6, or higher-category ethernet cable; and a router that supports PoE.

If you have a router that supports PoE, then you simply need to plug one end of the cable into your router and the other end into the camera. With such a simple setup, you’re ready to monitor your property. And if you need more space for storing footage, simply add an NVR (network video recorder) to your router.

If your router doesn’t support PoE or you would like to set up multiple cameras from a single router, then you would need additional devices like a PoE injector or a PoE switch.

PoE injector

A PoE injector is a device that will allow you to use a non-PoE router network with a PoE camera. This device has PoE capabilities and will make your router transfer both power and data into and from your camera.

It’s important to note that a PoE injector supports only one camera. If you want to be able to support a multiple-camera setup with one router, PoE switches are the way to go instead.

PoE switch

Much like a PoE injector, a PoE switch has PoE capabilities and can transfer power and data from the router to the camera, even if your router does not support PoE cameras.

The only difference between a PoE injector and a PoE switch is the former supports only one PoE camera whereas the latter comes with multiple ports and can support a multi-camera setup.

If you want to be able to connect and manage multiple cameras with one router, a PoE switch is a much better option for you.

Benefits of PoE Security Cameras

PoE cameras are gaining more and more traction over the years and for very good reasons. If you still need some convincing, here are all the benefits you can expect from PoE cameras:

Flexible installation and camera placement

PoE offers a security camera solution for business and residential properties alike. One major reason why many turn to PoE cameras instead of other security camera options is that they offer far better flexibility in installation and camera placement.

Regular camera setups would usually need two cables to work and run: one for power and another for data transfer and network access.

With a PoE camera, you lessen the number of needed cables and wiring to run your security camera system. To operate a PoE camera, you would only need one ethernet cable to transfer both power and data.

This setup would also mean you won’t need to limit yourself in where you place your security cameras. With traditional security cameras, you would need to install them near an electrical outlet. With PoE cameras, you won’t even need to think about that. You have more flexibility in choosing which places to install your cameras in.

And when you need to move a camera or two, you won’t need to worry about whether there will be a nearby outlet or not. Simply move the ethernet cable and you can set them up wherever.

Low installation cost and reduced installation time

Because the number of wires and cables you need for installation is cut in half, this instantly lowers your installation cost.

And because PoE cameras are mostly a plug-and-play technology, they’ve very easy to install and wouldn’t require hiring a professional to do it. You can easily do everything yourself. Because you opted out of hiring a professional, there are even more savings on installation costs.

With only half the required number of wires and cables, PoE cameras are much simpler to install, also cutting down on installation time.

Reliable power and network

Having one central power source makes for very reliable power. This means you won’t have to rely on wall outlets that may run into issues down the road.

And if you really want uninterrupted power, you can run your PoE switch or injector to an uninterruptible power source (UPS).

Unlike Wi-Fi security cameras, which have also been gaining popularity over the years, PoE cameras rely on a hardwired internet connection. This means PoE cameras have a much more reliable network connection that’s less to degrade or be interrupted than Wi-Fi cameras.

High-resolution video quality

Like most IP security cameras, PoE security cameras boast a much better and higher-resolution video quality than traditional analog cameras.

They offer clear videos with higher quality. You can still expect a clear picture and video resolution even on zoomed-in settings.

How to Choose the Best PoE Cameras for Securing Your Property

Due to their increasing popularity, there is now a huge catalog of PoE camera options currently available in the market. If you want to ensure you’re getting the best one for your security needs, keep these in mind:

Picture and video resolution

When you’re looking to install security cameras, you want to have a clear view of what’s going on in and around your property.

As with any camera technology you’re considering buying, check on the resolution and picture quality. This will affect how clearly you can see your surroundings.

If you want good-quality pictures and videos, 1080p and 4k provide some of the highest-quality resolutions currently available.

Field of view

A camera’s field of view (FOV) will determine how much of its surroundings it can see and cover. Wide-angle cameras are able to monitor and cover larger areas. But if you have only specific areas of concern, you can opt for cameras with a narrower field of view.

Night vision

Some of the best and higher-quality security cameras have night vision. This feature allows you to clearly see your surroundings even in the dark of the night.

If you’re getting a PoE camera with night vision capabilities, make sure you check on the quality and resolution. Even at night and in the dark, you should be able to see clearly.

Remote access

Today’s security camera technology allows home and property owners to see everything that’s going around and respond quickly, even if they’re somewhere else entirely.

Remote access can be through a compatible device application or through the web. Regardless, this is a factor you want to check on before finalizing your purchase.


If you’re planning on installing your PoE camera outside, weatherproofing and weather resistance are major factors you should consider.

This will ensure the camera can withstand extreme weather conditions – whether that’s direct sunlight, cold and breezy air, rain, or snow.


As the concern for safety is growing, more and more technological advancements in security cameras and CCTVs are being made available. One technology that’s been gaining continuous traction is PoE cameras.

PoE stands for Power over Ethernet. PoE cameras are one of the favored IP security camera systems. It uses only one ethernet cable to transfer both power and data/network access. The single cable connects to the router on one end and to the camera on the other end. PoE cameras offer a simpler and more flexible installation.

And that has been our detailed answer to the question, “What is a PoE camera?”. If you have more queries you’d like us to answer, you can reach out to us below!