Understanding Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Standards: What Do You Need To Know?

With the digitalization of many devices and applications, the need for reliable and powerful power sources has grown. Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards have emerged as a popular solution to this challenge. But what exactly is PoE? How does it help manage a network’s power needs? In this blog post, we will explore the basics of PoE and its various standards to help you determine which type is best suited for your business’ needs. With this knowledge in hand, you can ensure your network remains powered up and connected without any hiccups or disruptions.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Standards

Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards are used to deliver power and data over Ethernet cabling. The most common PoE standard is IEEE 802.3af, which was released in 2003. This standard provides up to 15.4 watts of power per port and can be used with any Ethernet cable type.

There are two other PoE standards that provide more power than 802.3af. IEEE 802.3at, released in 2009, provides up to 30 watts of power per port. The newest standard, IEEE 802.3bt, was released in 2018 and provides up to 90 watts of power per port.

When choosing a PoE standard for your application, it is important to consider the amount of power required by the devices you will be powering. If you are unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution and choose a higher-powered PoE standard.

IEEE 802.3af and at

IEEE 802.3af and at are the two most common Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards. Both of these standards provide a way to supply power to devices over Ethernet cables.

IEEE 802.3af is the older of the two standards, and it can provide up to 15 watts of power to devices. This is enough power for most devices that need PoE, such as IP phones and wireless access points.

IEEE 802.3at is the newer standard, and it can provide up to 30 watts of power. This is enough power for more demanding devices, such as video cameras and high-powered wireless access points.

If you’re not sure which PoE standard you need, IEEE 802.3at is probably the best choice. It’s compatible with all devices that support IEEE 802.3af, and it can provide more power for devices that need it.

Other PoE Standards

There are other PoE standards in addition to the IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at standards discussed in the blog article. These standards include:

-IEEE 802.3bt – this standard was ratified in 2018 and defines PoE for up to 90W of power delivery over 4 pairs of wires. This is enough power to service devices such as LED lighting, digital signage, and Wi-Fi access points.

-PoE+ (IEEE 802.3at Type 2) – this is an extension of the IEEE 802.3at standard that allows for up to 25.5W of power delivery over 2 pairs of wires. This is enough power to service devices such as IP phones, wireless LAN access points, and some security cameras.

-Ultra PoE (IEEE 802.3bt Type 4) – this is an extension of the IEEE 802.3bt standard that allows for up to 100W of power delivery over all 4 pairs of wires. This is enough power to service devices such as panel PCs, Thin Clients, and some industrial Ethernet equipment.

What Do You Need to Know?

As the world of technology advances, so do the types of devices and applications that require power. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is one type of powering method that has seen recent growth in deployment due to its many benefits. This article will provide an overview of PoE standards and what you need to know about them.

PoE Standards

There are currently two main PoE standards: 802.3af and 802.3at. The 802.3af standard was ratified in 2003 and can provide up to 15W of power per port. The more recent 802.3at standard, also known as PoE+ or High Power over Ethernet, was ratified in 2009 and can provide up to 30W of power per port. Both standards use the same basic cabling infrastructure, but the higher power levels of 802.3at require category 5 or above cabling for full compatibility.

When choosing a PoE solution, it is important to consider which devices will be powered and what their power requirements are. Many newer devices, such as VoIP phones and wireless access points, support both standards. In these cases, it is often best to deploy a solution that supports both standards to future-proof your investment. There are also a number of older devices that only support the 802.3af standard; in this case, deploying an 802.3af solution will suffice.


To summarize, Power over Ethernet (PoE) is an incredibly useful technology that makes it possible to provide power and data over a single cable. By understanding the different PoE standards available and their respective features, you can make sure that you choose the best one for your particular application. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be ready to take advantage of all the benefits that PoE has to offer!

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