Can I use a PoE switch as a regular switch? (Answered)

A POE switch gives power to devices that support the protocol, like cameras and access points. A regular switch, on the other hand, merely supplies the internet signal. PoE switch and regular switch vary in terms of PoE accessibility.

A regular Ethernet switch does not provide PoE for supplying power to end users through Ethernet. In order to connect power outlets, the user needs one additional cable. A PoE switch may it be used as a regular switch? Let us see in this article.

Can I use a PoE switch as a regular switch

Can I use a PoE switch as a regular switch?

Yes, you can use a PoE switch as a regular switch. It is mainly because a PoE switch has all the characteristics of a regular switch. Be it installing surveillance cameras or adding router to your network, the PoE switch, or a normal switch always comes in handy. You can use it as a regular switch for transmitting data over a network.

But, the thing with the PoE switch is that it can be used for transferring power to the device connected. So, if you want to use a PoE switch as a regular switch, you may need to switch off its power button. Once the power button is off, the PoE switch shall start functioning as a normal switch.

Also, once you start using the PoE switch as a regular switch, then it shall only be able to transmit power to the devices that are compatible to work with it. If your device doesn’t support PoE, it won’t function as a regular switch.

How does the PoE switch work?

To connect a device to a network, you may need two inputs:

  • Network cable
  • Power cord

The PoE allows the ethernet cable to carry the power and supports data transmission to other network devices.

So, if you want to connect different devices to your network using a PoE, you may need a PoE switch, a regular switch, and an additional compatible device.

These compatible devices may include VOIP phones, cameras, and other access points.

A PoE switch comes with different Ethernet ports that help link different network segments while providing power and data transmission simultaneously.

Read: Is a Managed Network Switch Necessary for My Home?

Difference between PoE switch and Regular Switch

Though the PoE switch may work as a regular switch, the two have many differences. To help you differentiate between PoE and a standard switch, here is a list of differences between them.


The first and significant difference between a regular switch and a PoE switch is its accessibility options. A PoE switch is already enabled to provide seamless PoE support. Whereas a regular switch doesn’t come enabled with PoE, it won’t be able to provide power to different devices over an Ethernet cable.


Since the PoE switch already comes enabled with different accessories and provides and transmits power and data to the end users via Ethernet connectivity. But, on the other hand, a regular switch lacks in this capacity. You may need to invest in an additional cable with a power supply.

You can even turn a regular switch to PoE using the midspan injector. This mid span injector acts as a middle point with the PDs and control. It enables a regular switch to work as PoE by giving electrical power to a regular switch.

This is handy, especially during data transmission enabling a regular switch to provide power and data. But, to do so, you first need to make sure if your device has PoE support or non-PoE support.

Mixing Devices

The best thing about PoE is that it can provide data and power to both PoE and non-PoE devices. Due to this, you can use different PoE and non-PoE devices on the same network. But, since you don’t need to power up non-PoE devices, you can opt to convert it to a regular switch switching off its PoE function.

Access Method

You may need to upgrade to a PoE network if you want to access a PoE switch. You can do this by replacing a regular or non-PoE switch with PoE. Whereas, for accessing regular switches you may only need to invest in a PoE injector.

Emergency Reaction

If there is a problem with the PoE switch, it shall impact the whole system. But, when it comes to a regular switch, any issue relating to it will affect a single device only.

Read: 4 Network Switching Factors to Reduce Bandwidth

What are the Benefits of PoE Switches?

Are you still confused about figuring out which switch to choose from? Worry not, as here are some benefits of using PoE switches.

Cost Reduction

Using a PoE switch instead of a regular switch helps you cut costs as you may not need to add additional cables or power outlets to different power devices. You also save a bit on the overall electrical outlet infrastructure equipment.


The best thing about PoE switches is that you can use them anywhere, even in those places that do not have an electrical outlet. It is the reason why PoE switches are usually placed in areas that are not very accessible or where there is no power source. Like installing security cameras, you do not find any power source on top of a ceiling.

Power Efficiency

Another great thing about the PoE switch is that it automatically detects the power draw settings of the connected device and adjusts accordingly, providing the necessary power to the device. This efficient power allocation is handy and helps save power and overall costs.


Due to the rapid technological advancements, adding a PoE switch to the network helps support several devices.

Read: 3 Effective Lightning Protection Methods for Network Switches

Final thoughts

Both a regular switch and a PoE switch give an exceptional performance. But, when it comes to choosing between the two, the PoE switch is a much better option.

You can save additional costs by adding cables by installing a PoE switch. Besides, you can also install devices easily in hard-to-reach areas offering an efficient power consumption.

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