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What is the Difference Between PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++

Author Moore

Date 01/17/2022

There are three common PoE switches in the market, PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++, do you know the differences between them? What are they used for? This article will tell you in detail what they are and what their differences are.

PoE means Power over Ethernet, can use the same Ethernet cable to power to the local area network (LAN) while transmitting data. With the development of IoT and connected devices, PoE switches have also developed rapidly in network development, and they can help data centers to save time and money. At present, there are three different PoE switches in the market: PoE switch, PoE+ switch, and PoE++ switch. Do you know what these three PoE switch types are, what are the differences between PoE vs PoE+, and What are the differences between PoE+ vs PoE++?


What is PoE Technology and PoE Switch?


PoE technology was released by the IEEE 802.3af standard in 2003. This standard makes PoE allow PD(powered devices) such as VoIP phones to receive PoE power and the PoE wattage is up to 12.95W. At the same time, the IEEE 802.3af makes a standard that PoE operates over standard Cat3 Ethernet cable(in 2003) by using two of the four twisted pairs of cables. 


Then what is a PoE switch? PoE switch is an application of PoE technology. PoE switch is a kind of PSE (power sourcing equipment), it can power powered devices through Ethernet cable to make a network connection.  IEEE 802.3af usually supports maximum power consumption up to 15.4W and the voltage range is 44V and 57V, while a PDs were connected to the PoE switch would be 37V to 57V. Sometimes people also call it Type 1 PoE.


PoE network switch

Figure 1: PoE Network Switch


What are PoE+ Technology and PoE+ Switch?


After several years of development, many new PDs need larger wattage and voltage to work normally. Therefore, PoE+ technology was standardized as IEEE802.3at standard, an enhanced version of PoE, PoE plus support a higher power consumption to meet network devices more wattages, like wireless access points. As for cables, engineers have begun to use the standardized CAT5 Ethernet to connect PoE+ switch and PDs.


PoE plus switches are also used in two pairs to supply power to PDs. It can provide up to 25.5w power for PD with a voltage range of 42.5v to 57V.  The maximum power provided by each port of the PoE+ switch is 30W, and the voltage range is 50V to 57V. We need to note that in PoE+ switches, not all switch ports are PoE+. PoE and PoE+ ports can be mixed in one PoE+ device. The PoE+ switch is also called type 2 PoE.


What are PoE++ Technology and PoE++ Switch?


At present, we can find that PoE switches have been widely used in the IT field. To meet the higher power requirements of the new generation of equipment, in 2018, the PoE(IEEE802.3bt) came, unlike the previous two generations, PoE++ technology includes type 3 and type 4, type 3 use two or four twisted pairs in a copper cable to power PDs up to 51w and the voltage range is 42.5-57V, and the type 4 use all of four twisted pairs in an Ethernet cable to deliver power at a PD up to 71w and the voltage range is 41.1-57V.


It can be said that there are great differences between type 3 and type 4. PoE++ switch can support 60W and 50-57V on each PoE port under type 3, and up to 100W and 52-57V under type 4.


What is the Difference Between PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++ Switch?


As for the series PoE switch, the parameter is only valuable in theory. When engineers install PoE series switches, they always oversubscribed the total PoE capacity of a switch with more ports on account of many devices that will use a power that is less than maximum power. Take a simple example, if you got a PoE++ switch, and it is all type 4 ports, it doesn't mean you have to use maximum load 24x7. So before you plan to connect all powered devices to the switch, please calculate the correct power requirements, and design a new patch cables system.


PoE vs. PoE+ Switch


We can distinguish them from different applications according to their different power consumption. 802.3af switch is usually used in low-power devices, such as VoIP, phones, sensors, meters, wireless access points with two antennas, and simple static surveillance cameras. PoE+ switch can be used for more complex applications, such as more complex dynamic cameras, wireless access points with six antennas, and video IP phones.  


PoE+ vs. PoE++ Switch


Compared with PoE+, PoE++ has two different models: type 3 and type 4. At the same time, they are more complex than PoE+ and can bear higher power consumption devices.

The PoE++ type3 switch is generally used in video conferencing systems components and building management devices. It can also support laptops or TVs.


Figure 2: Difference Between PoE vs. PoE+ vs. PoE++


As the development trend of industry, the development prospects of PoE switches cannot be ignored, so how should we choose an appropriate PoE switch? If you only need a low standard power switch, then a type 1 switch can do the job, but when you want to build a more powerful and high-performance network with multiple devices, or build an infrastructure with higher requirements or consider upgrading your system, then you will be 100% correct to choose PoE+ and PoE++ switch, and you don't have to worry about port restrictions.

We will list a detailed table to compare the differences between the three in the following to help you have a handy guide to choose the right switch for you






IEEE Standard

IEEE 802.3af

IEEE 802.3at

IEEE 802.3bt

PoE Type

Type 1

Type 2

Type 3

Type 4


Twisted Pairs Used



2-pair or 4-pair


Supported Cables

Cat3 or better

Cat5 or better

Cat5 or better

Cat5 or better

Switch Port Power

Maximum Power Per Port





Port Voltage Range





Powered Device Power

Maximum Power to Device





Voltage Range to Device








This post introduces what are the differences between PoE+ vs. PoE++ and the difference between PoE+ vs. PoE++. When considering whether a switch is suitable, we need to know its work power requirements and power consumption, if you are still confused about how to choose a suitable PoE device, please contact our customer service via sales@qsfptek.com. QSFPTEK provides accessories used with PoE switches, like fiber optic transceivers. 


Note: Part of the content is quoted from https://standards.ieee.org/


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