PoE IP cameras, namely Power over Ethernet cameras, refers to the ones that get power and transmit videos through a single Ethernet cable (Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, etc) with no extra power adapter needed, eliminating tangled cords and simplifying cabling around the house.
They are easy to set up and highly secured.
They can be directly connected to a PoE network video recorder (PoE NVR), which will then be connected to a router, then the secuiry camera will be up and running. (See Reolink PoE IP cameras and NVRs)
Usually, we use Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable to connect PoE cameras to NVRs and routers. But what's the difference between Cat 5 and Cat 6?
1. Category 5 cable, also known as Cat 5, is a type of Ethernet network cable used to transmit video signal and supply power to network IP cameras. Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 are Ethernet cables that supports different internet speed, bandwidth and transmitting distance. Despite the differences, all Ethernet cables can be plugged into the same network port.
2. Many PoE camera users agree that the Cat 5 Ethernet cable is sufficient enough to power most IP security cameras. Of course, Cat 6 Ethernet cable is the much more future-proof and would be more advanced than Cat 5 or Cat 5e in terms of stability and speed.
If you want your PoE cameras to work with non-PoE NVR and router, an extra power adapter will be needed.
If you do not want to use the extra adaptor, you may use a PoE switch or injector to connect your PoE IP camera to a non-PoE router/NVR for both power and network connection.
The difference between a switch and a injector is that a PoE injector has only one port and therefore can only support one PoE security camera.
If you have multiple cameras, you may use a PoE switch, which usually comes with 4 or 8 ports, to reduce cabling. For example, if you want to put several PoE IP cameras outside your house which are far away from the NVR, you may use a PoE switch to connect those cameras and then run a single switch cable back to the NVR.
Note: It's not recommended to use a PoE switch on Reolink NVR.