What does it mean for an IP camera to work via PoE?

IP cameras are one of the most interesting devices to monitor our home when we are away from it, today there are a large number of brands and models with different characteristics to satisfy our home video surveillance needs. It is possible that you have ever come across the characteristic that an IP camera is «PoE« , today in this article we are going to explain what this characteristic is, and if you are really interested in having this functionality.

Do I need PoE on an IP camera?

IP camera to work via PoE

Home IP cameras usually have WiFi connectivity so they don’t need any network cables nearby, so they can connect via Wi-Fi to the 2.4GHz band to access the local network and the Internet, however, the higher-end models high are also usually compatible with the 5GHz band, so we will have a greater bandwidth and less interference with neighboring networks.

The higher-end domestic models, and also the professional models, have a Fast-Ethernet port to connect the camera via Ethernet network cable to the network, so we will not need to connect via Wi-Fi to the network, but it’s all wired. In fact, for security reasons, it is always recommended that IP cameras be connected via network cable, in order to avoid possible attacks on the wireless network. If someone wants to disable the cameras that are connected by WiFi, they could launch a deauthentication attack on the wireless clients, so they won’t be able to access the local network or the Internet.

Through the Ethernet network cable, not only can the camera communicate with the switch, but it could also be powered through this cable. “PoE” or also known Power over Ethernet, allows us to power different devices through the Ethernet network cable, so it will be much easier to power, since we will not need to connect a power cable with its corresponding current transformer, because everything will go through the Ethernet network cable.

Do I need a camera with PoE at home?

To be able to power the camera through PoE, you need a PoE injector or a PoE switch, so if you only have an IP camera with PoE capability, it is probably not worth the additional cost of buying a PoE injector or the PoE switch. However, if you have several cameras, you may be interested in buying a PoE switch to power several simultaneously.

If you are going to connect the camera via WiFi because you don’t have a network outlet near where you are going to put it, then it won’t matter if it has PoE or not, because in this case it is best to connect it via WiFi and then power it with a current transformer in the nearest outlet. We must bear in mind that in houses there will always be a plug relatively close, something that does not happen with Ethernet network sockets.

As you have seen, the PoE feature is very interesting as long as you are going to use it, that is, if you are going to connect the camera via an Ethernet network cable. In the case of connecting the camera via WiFi at home, it is probably not worth it.