PoE IP Cameras: Definition, Installation, Best Picks 2021 & More You Care About

PoE IP Cameras: Definition, Installation, Best Picks 2021 & More You Care About

Get overwhelmed by the hype of PoE IP cameras?

Today, let’s reveal the secrets of PoE security cameras and work out all the puzzles you may have for IP camera with PoE, including what a PoE IP camera is, what a PoE injector/switch is used for and how to install IP camera with PoE outdoors, in order to help you pick out a best PoE CCTV camera.

Whether you are new to the PoE IP camera or a pro, you will find what you want here:

Attention: The PoE IP camera world is changing fast especially in image quality. Not just locked in the 1080p PoE security camera systems with limited resolution, you can easily find a quality 3MP, 4MP, 5MP even 4K POE IP camera cheaply these days.

In this post, we’ll also discover the ”latest technology” out there in IP cameras with PoE.


What Is PoE Security Camera

PoE IP cameras, namely Power over Ethernet cameras, refers to the ones that get power and transmit videos through only one Ethernet cable (Cat5, 5e,6 cables, etc).

And PoE for IP camera means NO extra power cable is needed. So as long as you have a POE injected cable to run to the camera, you can just plug the other end into a router, and then the PoE IP camera will work. That’s why PoE CCTV cameras are also called plug and play cameras.

Using PoE for IP cameras, simple setup and good security could be achieved at the same time!

But oftentimes the PoE IP camera switch or injector will be brought up with the PoE IP camera, and you may get confused: What does a PoE injector do? What does PoE switch mean?

What Is a PoE Injector/Switch Used For

What’s a PoE switch port? What is a gigabit PoE injector? How does PoE IP camera switch/injector work?

Both PoE IP camera switch and injector, simply put, help you to connect your PoE CCTV camera with the non-PoE router for power and network connection. And their difference is that the PoE injector has only one port and can only support one PoE security camera.

See the PoE IP camera wiring diagram below.

Another good use of the PoE switch and injector is that they can make the PoE security camera system wiring even easier. For example, if you want to put several PoE IP cameras outside the sheds or huts and locate your NVR in your main house, then you can simply connect all PoE surveillance cameras with the PoE switch, which usually comes with 4 or 8 ports, and then run a single switch cable back to the NVR.

How to Set up PoE IP Cameras & Systems

There are 3 simple solutions for you to get your PoE IP camera work in whatever situations. To make things easy to understand, let’s take ZOSI easy PoE CCTV cameras for example.

Solution 1: IP camera with PoE – Router with PoE function

Technically, you only need to connect your PoE IP cameras with the router that carries PoE port. The IP camera with PoE will start to work – a plug and play solution even for beginners.

If you need larger storage with a PoE home security camera system, just add an NVR to your router.

Solution 2: IP camera with PoE – PoE injector/PoE switch – Router without PoE

Things will be a little more complicated when your router is not PoE featured, or the monitoring areas are out of the reach of existing camera wires. Either case, a PoE injector or PoE IP camera switch will help you get PoE for IP cameras.

So what should you do with the PoE IP camera then?

#1. With a PoE IP camera injector, you will need to plug the Ethernet cable of the PoE CCTV camera into the injector, connect the injector with your router, and then power the injector. The work is done.

Note: Mind that the PoE injector normally provides only one PoE port, as I mentioned. So if you have more IP cameras with PoE, add a network switch to the system (as shown in the wiring diagram), or just turn to a PoE switch instead.

#2. With a PoE IP camera switch, you only need to plug the Ethernet cable of all the cameras with PoE into the switch, connect the PoE switch to the router, and then power the system up.


Solution 3: IP Camera with PoE – NVR – Router

You may also add an NVR to the above 2 PoE IP camera solutions for video storage.

Actually, if you get a complete PoE IP camera system set, which means both PoE security cameras and NVR are from one manufacturer, then you can simply connect all cameras with the NVR directly via the 4, 8 or even 16 PoE ports on it. And add a router if you want remote viewing or push on your phone.

Here is an easy ZOSI PoE security camera system review showing you all details in installation:


So make a plan of your PoE IP camera security system first (including the installation location and maybe the PoE extenders), then decide which way to go and get the right PoE IP camera switch/injector, like the 8 port PoE switch for IP cameras to best suit your needs.

Have no idea what solution of PoE for IP cameras will work best to your specific situation? Leave a comment below, we’ll help you figure it out with the least cost and the easiest installation.

PoE IP Cameras & Systems: A Top-Selling Camera List

In the big world of security cameras with PoE, a quick way to target your best PoE CCTV camera is to focus on your demanding features, like the resolution, night vision, PTZ, audio, weatherproof, etc.

Actually some reputable brands have produced PoE IP cameras with all these good features, making it suitable for all security applications outdoors and indoors. And ZOSI # is one of them with excellent reviews from customers worldwide (4 out of 5 stars in Amazon), and professional PoE IP camera reviewer from top tier media like PCWorldTechHive, etc.

This PoE IP camera can detect motion accurately with 1440p videos, and can be accessed remotely via smartphone, PC and web with free PoE IP camera software ZOSI client. (Free download here.)

Read the chart below for a better understanding of this PoE IP camera.

What’s your ideal PoE IP camera What the PoE CCTV camera # can bring
PoE IP camera with HD images 1440p super HD resolution
PoE surveillance camera for home outdoors IP66 waterproof rated to stand extreme weather
Great night vision in low light conditions Up to 100 feet long-range IR night vision
PoE security camera with audio Built-in microphone to collect sound
Compatible with PoE IP camera system Compatible with ZOSI NVR (Shop 8ch PoE system)
IP camera with PoE and easy setup Plug and play installation
Affordable $59.99 with free shipping worldwide

Here is also a video review for this PoE IP security camera system from Talk Tech Now, an authoritative tech reviewer, explaining how to make it work in easy steps and its day/night time video performance.


For more insights about how to pick out the best PoE IP camera with 1080p/5MP resolution, PTZ function, etc, and avoid being cheated, read on to find more pro insights.

#1. 4MP/5MP PoE IP Cameras & Systems

One worth mentioning is that today IP cameras with PoE have got much higher resolution. You can see tons of affordable 5MP HD PoE CCTV cameras, providing twice more details than the 1080p PoE IP cameras day and night.

Perhaps you could save some money by getting some 1080p PoE security camera systems, but if you want to identify the license plate and people clearly, you will need 1440p PoE IP camera for identifiable information.

So the better choice is 4MP PoE security cameras, even 5MP ones. Under 1440p and higher resolution, you will see the plate number and the facial features of people very clearly, and it allows you to digitally zoom in to find out more detailed information.

#2. Outdoor PoE IP Cameras

With outdoor PoE security camera installation issues settled, the top concern left for PoE IP cameras outdoor is the weather.

A quality outdoor PoE IP camera, like ZOSI #, is designed with compact metal aluminum case, reaching IP66 waterproof level (Learn what is IP66 here), so they can be placed at all corners of the house, front and rear doors and withstand the possible ice, snow, rain, winds and hot heat.

#3. Outdoor PTZ PoE IP Cameras

Need an IP camera with PoE that can change its monitoring area regularly? Or you just want to cover a wider range of view? Either way, a PTZ outdoor PoE IP camera leaves you no dead spot.

In the search of a PoE IP camera with PTZ, pay special attention to whether it is digital zoom or optical zoom. Never count on the PoE CCTV camera with digital zoom. When you digitally zoom in, the image will get blurry which loses the whole point of zooming function.

By contract, the outdoor PTZ IP camera with PoE allows you to see any detail clearly without compromising in a degraded image quality. Some ZOSI users posted their PoE CCTV camera captures in the website. See below:


#4. Mini PoE Security Camera for Home

Some of you, as cautious home owners, will not want to have the massive security equipment to catch the eye of some professional burglars, and then destroyed by them.

To make it inconspicuous, you need to choose a mini PoE IP camera that could easily hide under the eave or other decorations, or could easily blend in your home furniture and decorations.

#5. PoE IP Cameras with Audio

If you want to collect audio alongside, a microphone is a highlight you should not miss in the PoE security camera specification sheet.

Note that the microphone of IP camera with PoE, whether it is built-in or external, only enables you to hear what’s going on out there. If you need to talk back, the two-way audio function with both microphone and speaker is what you want.

#6. PoE IP Security Camera System

You can either buy a whole kit like the popular 8 channel PoE security camera system and 16 channel ones, or get a NVR and add cameras to the PoE home security camera system as you like, but it’s advised to buy from one manufacturer to avoid compatibility issues.

A NVR greatly expand the storage space for the standalone PoE IP camera with SD card, like the 410WS model. Generally you can save months’ recordings, and even longer if you set the PoE IP camera to motion detection mode only.

Notice: If you want an 8 camera PoE security system coming with 8 cameras, usually you have to purchase the 16 channel PoE security camera system instead of the 8 channel one.

Other PoE Surveillance Cameras for Your Choice

There are many other features that are useful to protect your home, and thus provide more PoE surveillance camera choices for you. For example:

? 3rd Party Compatible PoE IP cameras.

If you want to manipulate your security camera with PoE in third-party software like Blue Iris, Synology, remember to check whether it is 3rd-party compliant like ZOSI cameras.

Actually it’s recommended to use the manufacturer customized software, which can full play the cameras’ function without compatibility issues, like the free ZOSI App and Client.

? H.264 PoE Surveillance cameras.

The H.264 PoE IP camera adopts advanced video coding technology and helps can save the bandwidth and storage greatly. (Click to learn more about H.264 technology and find the best H.264 PoE IP camera.)

Hot PoE CCTV Camera Q&As (Add Yours Here!)

Besides the PoE IP camera installation, there are some other questions that we’ve been frequently asked about as listed below:

#1. What’s the max distance the PoE IP camera could handle to transmit power and network?

It’s suggested to use the PoE IP camera under 300 feet (100 meters) to avoid unstable signal issues or possible power attenuation problems. However you may extend the distance with the help of a PoE switch or PoE injector.

If you are not sure about the max distance your PoE IP camera can go, check that with the camera provider to ensure your plan works well to your requirements.

#2. How to select a PoE switch for my IP cameras?

Generally, there are 6 factors you should consider for a PoE IP camera switch, including the PoE security camera power consumption, the PoE switch power supply, voltage, port number. Learn how to select, choose and buy the PoE IP camera switch/injector in this post.