Do I need a power supply for a PoE camera?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology has revolutionized the world of surveillance cameras, making installation and maintenance more convenient than ever before. But many newcomers to the world of PoE cameras often wonder if they need an additional power supply. In this article, we will delve into the world of PoE cameras and answer some common questions, including what PoE cameras are, if they can be used alone, how to use them with a Network Video Recorder (NVR), and whether it’s better to opt for a PoE NVR or a traditional 12V IP NVR. Additionally, we will discuss the steps involved in installing a complete PoE camera system.

What is PoE camera?

PoE stands for Power over Ethernet, and a PoE camera is a surveillance camera that can receive both data and power over a single Ethernet cable. This technology eliminates the need for a separate power source, as the camera draws power from the network cable itself. PoE cameras are known for their simplicity and efficiency, making them a popular choice for both residential and commercial security systems.

Can i use PoE camera alone?

Yes, you can use a PoE camera as a standalone device. PoE cameras are designed to function independently, making them suitable for applications where only one or a few cameras are needed. To use a PoE camera alone, you will require a PoE-capable network switch or an injector to provide power and connect it to your network. This makes setup straightforward and cost-effective, especially for small-scale surveillance.

How do i use a PoE camera with NVR?

To create a more comprehensive surveillance system, you can integrate PoE cameras with a Network Video Recorder (NVR). This combination offers several advantages, such as centralized storage, remote access, and better scalability. To do this, connect your PoE cameras to a PoE switch or injector, and then connect the switch to your NVR. The NVR will provide a centralized hub for recording and managing the camera feeds, making it easier to monitor and review footage.

Is it better to use PoE NVR or 12V IP NVR?

The choice between a PoE NVR and a 12V IP NVR depends on your specific needs. PoE NVRs are a popular choice because they simplify installation by providing both power and data through a single cable. This reduces cable clutter and makes for a cleaner setup. On the other hand, 12V IP NVRs require separate power sources for each camera, which can be more complicated and costly to set up, especially for larger systems. However, 12V IP NVRs offer greater flexibility in camera selection, as they can be used with a wider range of cameras. Of course, you can also choose to purchase a PoE switch to complement your setup.

How can i install a whole PoE camera system?

Installing a complete PoE camera system involves several steps: 

  • Planning: Begin by assessing your surveillance needs and determining the number and locations of cameras required.
  • Camera Installation: Mount the PoE cameras in their designated positions, ensuring they have a clear view of the desired areas.
  • Network Setup: Connect the PoE cameras to a PoE-capable switch or injector. Ensure the network infrastructure is in place to support data transmission.
  • NVR Connection: If using an NVR, connect it to the same network and ensure it is compatible with your PoE cameras.
  • Power Up: Apply power to the PoE switch or injector to provide power to the cameras.
  • Configuration: Access the camera settings via a web interface and configure them according to your requirements.
  • Recording and Monitoring: Set up your NVR to record and monitor camera feeds. Configure remote access for convenience
  • Testing: Test the system thoroughly to ensure all cameras are functioning correctly and recording as expected.

Recommend Products

PoE cameras

[Techage 4K PoE Camera 605GP]

  • Unrivaled 4K Clarity:

Exceptional 4K UHD imaging with a 3.6mm lens providing an 85° viewing angle.

Versatile installation options for garages, front doors, stores, and more.

  • Effortless Setup & Self-Sufficiency:

Single Ethernet cable for video transmission and power supply, eliminating image quality issues caused by long coaxial cables.

Ensures safe, stable, and reliable transmission; not compatible with analog signals via BNC cable.

  • Advanced H.265+ Compression & Audio Recording:

Seamless video streaming and reduced bandwidth consumption thanks to cutting-edge H.265+ compression.

Built-in microphone with environmental noise filtering for crystal-clear audio recording, delivering vivid videos with sound during live streams and playback.

  • Rugged Outdoor IP66 Rating:

Built to endure extreme temperatures from -22°F to 140°F.

Offers superior weatherproofing beyond the IP66 standard.

  • Two-Way Audio Capabilities:

Supports two-way audio communication and audio monitoring, enhancing situational awareness.   

[Hikvision DS-2CD3T86FWDV3-LS ]

  • Ultra HD Resolution: 

This camera offers ultra-high-definition video for clear images in all lighting.

  • Motorized Varifocal Lens:

 Easily adjust the viewing angle for flexible monitoring.

Smart IR Technology: Ensures even illumination in low light, reducing overexposure.

  • Wide Dynamic Range (WDR):

 Balances contrast and brightness in varying lighting conditions.

  • IP67 Weather Resistance:

 Designed for outdoor use, withstands harsh weather.

H.265+ Video Compression: Reduces bandwidth and storage needs while maintaining quality.

  • Audio Input/Output: 

Supports two-way communication and audio monitoring.

  • Built-in Micro SD Slot: 

Store video footage locally for added security.


[Techage 8CH POE NVR 6708KR]

  • Onvif Support: 

This NVR is Onvif-compatible, enhancing its compatibility with a wide range of cameras and devices.

  • Versatile Camera Compatibility: 

This NVR supports a wide range of camera resolutions, including 720p, 1080p, 3MP, 4MP, 5MP, and even 8MP cameras. Whether you need high-definition clarity or greater detail, this NVR has you covered.

  • Expandable to 16 Channels: 

Need to expand your surveillance network? No problem. The Techage 8CH PoE NVR supports expansion to up to 16 channels, ensuring scalability as your security requirements grow.

  • Smart Playback: 

With intelligent playback capabilities, you can quickly pinpoint critical moments in your recorded footage. This feature streamlines your video review process, saving you time and effort.

  • Efficient Hard Drive Management: 

Worried about running out of storage space? The NVR’s advanced technology helps you save hard drive space without compromising video quality. It optimizes storage allocation, ensuring you can record more without constantly upgrading your storage.

  • Plug & Play Setup: 

Setting up your surveillance system has never been easier. The Plug & Play functionality simplifies installation, making it accessible even for those new to security systems.

  • HDD Recording Support: 

This NVR provides the flexibility to install an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for local recording. With support for up to a massive 14TB of storage, you can ensure extended recording periods and store critical footage securely.

  • Continuous Recording: 

The NVR offers the option for continuous recording, ensuring round-the-clock surveillance. With 7/27-day recording capabilities, you won’t miss a moment of crucial footage.

Includes extras such as a USB mouse, power adapter, and quick start guide for your convenience

[Amcrest 4K 8CH POE NVR ]

  • Supports up to 10TB HDDs.
  • Records and live views in up to 8MP/4K resolution at real-time 30fps.
  • Playback options: 8-Channel @1080p(30fps), 4-Channel @4MP(30fps), 2-Channel @4K(30fps).
  • Compatible with Amcrest WiFi, Wired IP cameras, and select third-party IP cameras.
  • Advanced H.265 compression technology for efficient storage utilization.
  • Enhanced ease of use with intelligent search, playback, and backup functions, including motion detection events and precise one-second searches.
  • Supports AI features from compatible AI IP cameras (up to 2CH AI Cameras at 4K@30fps).
  • Directly connects and manages POE IP cameras through Ethernet cables.
  • Max 80Mbps Incoming Bandwidth.
  • Records 8 cameras @ 4K using H.264 or 8 cameras @ 4K with optimized settings (H.265, bit rate adjusted to 1792).
  • Includes extras such as a USB mouse, network cable, and quick start guide for your convenience.


In summary, PoE cameras are a convenient and efficient solution for surveillance needs, as they eliminate the need for a separate power supply. You can use PoE cameras alone or integrate them with an NVR, depending on your requirements. When choosing between a PoE NVR and a 12V IP NVR, consider factors like scalability and flexibility. Lastly, installing a complete PoE camera system involves careful planning, camera installation, network setup, and configuration to create a reliable and effective security solution.


Q:Can i plug nvr into router, external poe switch into router, and 8 cameras into that separate poe switch? what switch would you recommend?

A:Yes, you could add the cameras to the NVR in LAN. you could power the cameras up by an IEEE 802.3af PoE switch or injector.

Q:If I don’t use the Poe connect for camera power what are the power requirements for the camera?

A:Hi. The camera could be powered up via 5.5*2.1mm DC 12V adapter or POE power via POE injector/switch supports IEEE802.3af compliant (48V) and active mode.

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