Active PoE vs. Passive PoE: Which Should You Use?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a solution that provides data transmission and electric power to devices using one cable. That means that end-users can power PoE capable devices without separate power supplies or electrical outlets near the powered device.

There are different types of PoE technology. Some PoE just provides active PoE and others provide passive. If you want to know more about the difference between active PoE and passive PoE, you can read this article.

What Is Active PoE?

Active PoE works according to a set standard specification: IEEE802.3af, IEEE802.3at, IEEE802.3bt. These are highly compatible standards. The compliant devices will complete a “power handshaking” with the PoE power supply at low power. If the power handshaking is successful, the device will negotiate the power needed and power up fully. If the handshake fails, the power supply will not deliver any power and the device will not turn on. 

What Is an Active PoE Switch?

The standard/active POE switch is a PoE control chip that is built-in. It will send power to a powered device, then wait for stable transmission. If the device is disconnected, the POE switch will stop supplying power and try to detect it again.
Another similar product is the standard/active PoE injector. The PoE injector doesn't provide switching function. It simply injects the power to the Ethernet cable and sends it together with data to the edge device. It is a handy tool to turn non-PoE switch or routers into PoE compatible equipment.

It is safe for standard PoE switch to work with non-PoE devices such as PC computers because of the power handshaking. The POE switch will only send the data without power when the non-PoE device is attached to the standard PoE switch.

What Is Passive PoE?

Passive Power Over Ethernet, or passive POE, is a type of power input to Ethernet cable that does not require power handshaking. It’s very important to understand the specifications of your device and make sure it requires the same type of POE as the input you are going to provide. For example, many CCTV cameras are passive POE but they need a 12v power supply using either a DC power balun or passive POE injector. However, there are more expensive POE cameras that have an active POE handshake and will negotiate with the switch for the correct input. The same can be said for PoE access points, which require a passive 24v power supply.
What Is Passive PoE Switch?

Non-standard/ Passive POE switches come with safety hazards. They don’t come with a POE control chip, so they can’t tell the difference between PoE cameras and other devices. This can result in transient voltages and may burn out any device connected to it. The price of non-standard PoE switches is cheaper, but you risk sending too much voltage to your devices. Please be aware that passive non-standard PoE switches deliver power without negotiation. If you aren’t sure how to install one of these, we recommend considering a standard PoE switch with active PoE control to prevent the potential hazards. All of the recommendations below are based on a standard PoE switch.

Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch: The Key Differences

Passive PoE switches deliver power over Ethernet cables, but they don’t comply with any IEEE standard. Active PoE switches, on the other hand, are compliant with IEEE standards, and there is a difference in the power supply pins of these two types of PoE switches. If safety is your top priority, you should use an active PoE switch; if you have a limited budget and cost is your main concern, a passive one might be a better choice.

Security camera systems: Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch

Active PoE: In this case, IP cameras will not turn on unless it completes a handshake between the PoE power supply and the device. If the handshake isn't approved, then the camera won't turn on.
Passive PoE: When using passive PoE, the camera will turn on regardless of its power parameters. Since there's no power handshaking, you may risk burning out the camera if it's receiving a higher voltage than it can handle.

Cost: Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch

The cost of an active PoE switch differs from the passive PoE switch mainly because the active PoE switch has a built-in power controller, which the passive one does not. This means that the passive PoE switch relies on information from outside sources to detect and classify the PD (power demand) system. As a result, it’s not surprising that the active PoE switch costs more than the passive PoE switch.

Active PoE Switch vs Passive PoE Switch: Which is the Better Choice for Your Network?

One way to keep your network safe is by using a PoE switch. We suggest active PoE switches because they can detect power wiring issues and help prevent accidents. We may also use passive PoE switches if cost is a concern, but be aware that they do not have any power detection function. It is important to make sure the passive PoE switch you buy matches the power specifications exactly to the device you are powering on, otherwise you can easily damage your device. Finally, it’s never okay to connect computers and other non-PoE devices to the passive PoE switch. Read Everything you need to know about Power over Ethernet to dive into the PoE technology. 

Use unusual security camera to get solid evidence in burglary scenes.

Burglary also names as home invasion. The unlawful enters with the intent to commit the theft. The owner return home and find the door was open, property were missing. Usually they call the police officer. Without witness or useful evidence, the case may take weeks even months with no luck.

Install security camera is the common practices to collect evidence in case burglary may happen. However, the burglary can easily make out your camera. Then find the way to bypass your security system. The visible camera is also signaled of 'valuables inside' for burglars.

What can we have rather than visible security camera. The below video demonstrates how to deploy the hidden camera inside PIR sensor. Without knowing the camera, it can get solid and hard evidence in burglary senses. The camera can even work with external invisible infrared to light up the sense at night.

What Camera to Choose for Home Security? Visible Camera or Hidden Camera

Most of the burglars prefer break in at noon or after lunch, because most of the owner should be gone or the kids still stay at school by then. Secure the lock strike plate, close the windows are the first steps to improve your home security. However the burglars may still find the way to break in anyway. Install a security camera is the second defense line for burglary. Choose an unusual IP based hidden camera rather than regular CCTV camera.

The burglars could easily make out the visible CCTV camera. Avoiding the shooting direction or keep their head down, they will beat your camera. Visible cameras are also signaled ‘there were valuables inside’ in burglar’s mind. After breaking in, they will relax their vigilance and start looking for value stuff. That is the big chance for hidden camera to record the proof of burglary unexpectedly.

Take a look at the infographic and learn what IP based hidden camera is capable today. Choose a suitable hidden camera to improve your home security.

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Connect your Hidden Camera with Phone App.

Can we watch our hidden camera on smart phone or iPad?

This video takes PIR sensor hidden camera as example and shows you how to connect the hidden camera to your home network. After that, you can watch the live and view the footage when you are on vacation or lying in the bed at mid-night.

The hidden camera is powerful tools to improve your home security. Choose the IP-based hidden camera rather than low resolution spy camera if you want to monitor your home online.

So spend a few minutes to learn the general process.

Choose IP Based Hidden Camera to Improve Your Home Security

Do you know your CCTV system may not be working as you expect when the burglars break in? CCTV surveillance system has reached HD level in these few years. Most of the cameras are able to capture high definition image. However, the burglars also can bypass your cameras easily starting from avoiding the shooting direction. Simple keep the head down, the camera could miss the facial detail. In the home break-in case, the burglars will even find your recorder and take away all the footage. Burglars usually have plenty of times after break-in.

Deploying a hidden camera can improve your home security dramatically. The hidden camera is hidden somewhere in your house without drawing attention. It creates response time for owner to make proactive action plan after the burglars break in. Even you have installed the CCTV surveillance system, it still has significant value to add some hidden cameras. Keeping the hidden camera separately from your main system is necessarily in case the burglars may locate the recorder eventually. The hidden camera is your second insurance policy after the main system is compromised. How to choose hidden camera today? Here some tips to know after IP technology adds on. 

1. Maintain Covert - Hidden cameras always hide inside some objects at your home, like the radio clock, Flower, PIR sensor. You will need to select the product which is easy to blend into your environment. The shooting direction is the next thing to be concerned. Most of the hidden camera doesn't allow adjusting the shooting direction. If you install the camera on too high or too low position, it will only capture the head or foot instead of the facial detail, like radio clock. The PIR sensor hidden camera is a good solution for home security. PIR sensor is always installed behind the door, similar as CCTV camera. More important, when the burglars see the PIR sensor, they will think it has alarm system in this house and withdraw. Without knowing camera hidden inside, camera hidden inside PIR sensor has high possibility to catch burglar's facial detail. 

2. Your hidden camera should be able to be working 24/7 just like the regular CCTV camera if you want to improve your home security instead of spying the nanny. Install the hardwire power if possible. It has wire free hidden camera with battery in the market. These cameras will wake up when the built-in sensor detect the people moving around, otherwise the camera just keeps 'sleeping'. This design is used to save the battery power. However, if this camera is deployed in your living room, you are walking around everyday. The camera could lose battery pretty soon, because the camera needs to keep starting up/off. Later you need to deal with the 'no power' issue. Moreover checking this camera remotely with app maybe not possible some times. The camera could be sleeping when you want to see it unless you wake it up.

3. Select the hidden camera with email notification. When the camera detects the object, it will send the owner an email with snapshot. The owner can login the camera and watch the live and footage immediately. Like the regular CCTV camera, the hidden camera will pre-record several seconds footage before it detects the object, what you see is the useful footage, not the video after burglar left. That is why the camera needs to be always awake, not sleeping.

4. Get the Night vision for your hidden camera. You may want to check live thru your smart phone or iPad in your bedroom when you hear the noise at night. The night vision is required and it has to be invisible. However, the power of invisible Infrared is weak, only around 50-60% power of visible Infrared. Built the small Infrared LEDs around the camera will not generate the fair image. One of the solutions is using external high power invisible illuminator to light up the whole area. Separating the invisible LEDs also protects the hidden camera from being detected. The invisible Infrared still can be easily discovered by a phone's camera.

5. Where to record. Both NVR and PC computer can record the footage, but the on-board TF memory recording is the simplest option. It doesn't rely on the external system. The camera (model:2643-51) is self-recording. You will be able to check the footage anytime anywhere once the camera connects to your home network thru Wifi. Most of the hidden camera also allows recycling recording, so you don't need to worry about when the memory card is full, it will start from the beginning. 

Hidden camera is powerful tools to improve your home security. Just make sure the camera is working when you need it, not after. Checking the system occasional using the app on you smart phone. To improve the night vision, we have another article How to improve night vision of your covert camera

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How to Extend the WIFI Signal Range of Your Wireless Security Camera?

WIFI IP camera is an easy-to-use device, especially for the installation without construction between the camera and the recorder. The WIFI cameras eliminate the cabling over sky or underground. However, WIFI signal has limited range of distance. Understanding what can strengthen and weaken a WIFI signal will help you get a good quality of surveillance video. The following solutions can tell how to get the better WIFI signal.

Barriers Affect Wireless Signal

WIFI can spread in a certain range in the open area, up to 180 meters, but if the signal need to goes through a wall before arriving at the router, the WIFI signal will drop 40-50%. Pass two walls make the signal even worse.

Quick Tips for Extending WIFI Signal

Fortunately, here we have a couple of advices may help.

1. PoE Solution

Choose the wire connection, such as PoE solution in CCTV surveillance project instead of WIFI unless the cabling is difficult.

2. Get rid of the obstacles

WIFI need an open area. Avoid the strong obstacles between the camera and WIFI router is the golden rule. As we known, WIFI signal will drop down seriously after it passes through the obstacles. Get rid of the obstacles must be considered no matter for indoor or outdoor installation. WIFI can provide reliable connection in the open area, but not over obstacles.

3. Use WIFI Bridge
WIFI Bridge may be a good choice if the distance is too far from the WIFI router. The bridge can extend the signal up to 20 KM. Normally the WIFI bridge work in pair. The receiver needs to face to the transmitter. Wireless bridge is used for outdoor, mainly connecting two networks, but we can replace one side to our IP camera and reach long wireless distance.

4. Set up WIFI repeater

If the large obstacle is unavoidable, we will need a WIFI repeater. It is used to extend the WIFI network coverage. The repeater receives the signal from the router and transmits it further. In the CCTV installation, the WIFI repeater can make the signal pass around the obstacles and reach the router.

5. Dedicated WIFI Camera NVR

If the above tips can’t deliver the satisfied result, we can consider the dedicated WIFI camera NVR. The dedicated camera and NVR has better signal range than WIFI camera and router solution. More important, we can place the WIFI NVR to the best position to receive the signal from all WIFI cameras. In the open area like the factory or farm, dedicated WIFI camera NVR can take care of the problem of dealing with the sky cabling.

6. WIFI Receiver

The WIFI receiver device can be installed outdoor, receives video from different WIFI IP cameras and bring the video back to a router or NVR via cable connection. The wall penetration is done with the cable connection instead of WIFI.

Don't try to challenge the signal penetration with WIFI. Find the way to pass thru the obstacles, the connection will be good. Know more about What are the Pros and Cons of IP WIFI camera NVR? And for more tips to learn How to boost WIFI signal for your wireless IP camera?

What are the Pros and Cons of IP WIFI camera NVR?

If you ask me whether we should choose WIFI system over PoE solution in CCTV surveillance project, I would say don't consider the WIFI unless wire is not the good option. "The wireless is not stable", people always say to WIFI. Technically, it is not about the 'stable'. The WIFI signal will drop down 30-50 % once it penetrates a wall. If the signal needs to go through several walls in the scene, the WIFI cameras could face serious signal dropping. Another thing is the WIFI camera still requires power, it is not really wireless.

What is the value of WIFI camera NVR? Firstly let's take a look at the picture below. The red spot is the place we would like to install CCTV camera. The blue area is the empty without facility. With PoE solution, we would have to be cabling over the sky in the blue area. Those make the installation difficult and ugly. In the open area like the farm or factory, we always could see the similar sense. The cables have to either go over the sky or underground. The WIFI camera NVR could provide better solution in this sense.

The WIFI camera doesn't need to be cabling back to the NVR, so no need to deal with the sky cabling here. The transmission distance is not the problem. The WIFI can reach 120 meters distance in open area. The challenge is the wall. If we place the WIFI NVR inside the building, the signal needs to penetrate at least one, even two walls before arriving at the NVR. The signal could be dropping sharply. We can use the WIFI receiver to settle this issue. The WIFI receiver is the device which can install outside, receive the video from different WIFI IP cameras and return back to an NVR with cable connection. After we deploy the WIFI receiver, the wall penetration takes a cable connection instead of wireless signal. The power is not the issue in this sense, each building has available power.

The key to deploy the WIFI camera NVR is trying everything possible to avoid the WIFI penetration over the wall. In the above case, we use a receiver. Can we simply move the WIFI NVR outsider to receive the signal? It is properly not a good idea. The hard driver will turn into issue once we move the recorder outdoor. The limited operation temperature of hard driver is around 55 degree. Data could be losing, even shorten use life when the temperature rise up to the limit. That is why we can see it always has cooling system in the data center to control temperature for hard drive. With sunshine, the temperature will arrive at 55 degree very quickly inside the NVR.

In the practical application, we can even integrate both WIFI and PoE with a receiver. The NVR will connect all the cameras in the network, both from wire or PoE. WIFI camera NVR can eliminate the cabling deployment in the open area, just try to avoid wall penetrate. The solution will be working fine.