The PoE or Power over Ethernet comes with a myriad of benefits over the standard power supply setup. One of these is that the ethernet cable can easily run to a certain location and kept plugged to an access point that gives the data and power it needs. It makes for quick and simple setup as it eliminates the needs for additional power lines.
To experience the promised advantages of PoE, you should have a great PoE access point. The market has a lot more to offer, but they are not created equal. Don’t worry. This review will give 10 best choices for PoE access points.
Your Best Picks for PoE Access Points
1. Most Top-Rated: Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac
Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5
- Top-Rated – this PoE wireless access point is the most popular of all the devices included in this list. It gained popularity for being equipped with extraordinary features, such as the auto-sensing PoE support.
- Perfect for Commercial Use – it is super powerful, so it could be too much for household use. Instead, it is highly recommended for various small businesses that require wireless setups like motels.
- Multi-functional – the device is full of features and functions to enjoy. It lets you create and configure custom accounts and reduce the bandwidth and use it for every account. Likewise, it will allow you to see the connected users, stop those who users with huge bandwidth, and so on. Its system can also set up passwords – no need for a single passcode.
- 2x more reliable than competitors
- Ideal for commercial use
- With more features to offer
- Too much for household use
2. Most Innovative: Cisco Aironet 3702i
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5
- Innovative – this device is the most innovative PoE access point of all the units featured in this list. It has internal antennas and the provision of extra antennas installation. The unit is suitable enough for all-general purposes, especially in the industrial mid-large-scale companies.
- Great to Use – it is equipped with remarkable features. One of these is the MIMO Technology.
- Decent Performance – compared to other PoE access points, this device is versatile and compatible with the latest and old wireless connections, making it so ideal to use for commercial purposes.
- Decent performance
- Good design
3. Most Efficient: TP-Link AC1200 EAP225
Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5
- Superb Efficiency – this product is the most efficient PoE access point for this list. The range is great as it features a 4dB Omni steering antenna that picks up the signal from various directions. It ensures a strong connection with the help of 2×2 MIMO technology.
- Easy to Run – TP-Link AC1200 is an extraordinary WiFi access point that can be used together with the regular power supply or Ethernet cable. If you choose to power it through an Ethernet connection, it requires 802.3af PoE that is 10.15 watts or a 1.5A/12VDC external power source.
- Highly Versatile – it uses the latest WiFi protocols since it’s a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz. It is compatible with most WiFi networks. You can use it with the previously released devices. It can even work with the wireless-G and wireless N.
- Fast connection
- Highly versatile
4. Most Affordable: HXF X9300
Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5
- Affordable – this is the most affordable PoE WiFi access point available. At a low price, you already get a device that can boost your WiFi signal to suit your needs for a fast internet connection.
- Wireless N – this device has been classified as wireless-N. However, it can transmit data with a maximum speed of 300Mbps. This is much faster and better compared to ordinary home internet speed limits.
- Good for Daily Use – though it lacks the hottest technology and faster speeds, it is still a nice PoE device that can suit your needs as an ordinary WiFi user.
- Good for average users
- Guarantees 300Mbps maximum speed
5. Best Valued: Linksys AC1200 POE WiFi Access Point
Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5
- More Features – Linksys AC1200 PoE access point is the best-valued device in this list. It’s a dual-band unit that goes with the browser-based UI for easy management.
- Made for Everyone – while this device is designed mainly for the business owners who want to manage their wireless access point when they have to regardless of their location, this PoE access point is still good for household use.
- Updated – the unit is equipped with the latest wireless protocols and is designed for high traffic WiFi settings.
- With many features to offer
- Suitable for both commercial and household use
6. Easiest to Use: ZyXEL 11AC Ceiling AP
Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5
- Ease of Use – of all these devices, this PoE wireless access from ZyXEL is the easiest to use. It does not require technical management.
- Reliable – go for this unit when your wireless LAN load is so light and used mainly for high-speed internet access. The product comes from a reputable brand. ZyXEL has been recognized for its premium networking services that the company provides since its inception.
- Highly Usable – this device is highly usable, especially for offices or homes with fewer users and are less dependent on WLAN.
- Best Value – it is also a perfect choice for buyers who are on a tight budget. Despite the price, it guarantees a decent speed limit.
- Good performance
- Slow speed than other brands
7. Best Feature-Packed: ZyXEL WAC6503D-S
Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5
- High-end – this is a high-end device designed for medium to high density fast wireless access. It is preloaded with six interior antennas and a 3 x 3 MIMO function.
- More Features – this unit is the most feature-packed because it supports a myriad of features designed for managing, security, configuration, accessibility and a lot more. Therefore, it has been categorized as an upper-midrange PoE access point.
- Supports More Users – don’t settle for a PoE access point that can support fewer users. Switch to this one as it can provide convenient support and access to a larger number of users through a big coverage area that has fewer access points.
- More features
- Good for bigger groups of users
8. Most Versatile: Linksys AC1750 Access Point
Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5
- Affordable – if you are looking for a budget and versatile PoE access point, you should consider this one. Linksys AC1750 features 3 x 3 MIMO technology along with ZyXEL WAC6503. It is a highly recommended budget-friendly PoE access point for small offices and houses.
- Easy to Use – this device may not be as easy to use as the older ZyXEL devices. It does not have over 2 interior antennas. However, its performance will be good enough for small businesses and homes.
- Stylish – this PoE access point is a must-buy. You will love its hexagonal shape that adds to the unit’s overall aesthetic appeal.
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to use
- Hard to configure
9. Easiest to Configure: Aruba Instant IAP-325
Star Rating: 3.6 out of 5
- Designed for Video Conference – this PoE access point was designed for video conference or VoIP.
- High-end QoS Features – these features are great additions to this product. They give priority handling and individual or group policies for desktop or mobile devices.
- Easy to Configure – this device is also easy to configure. With this, it can provide either dedicated or regular spectrum analysis designed for eliminating intrusion, interference, and VPN tunnels. Therefore, it helps enhance the overall experience.
- Easy to use
- With great features
- Easy to configure
- Poor range
10. Best Mid-Range Access Point: NETGEAR ProSAFE WAC730
Star Rating: 3.5 out of 5
- Good Support – this is the best mid-range PoE access point. It supports 3 x 3 MIMO and attaching exterior antennas. The ensemble management and WDS support as much as 10 Amps in just one group who need just one device for everyone.
- Good for Household Use – this unit can be ideal for households and small businesses that require dependable WLAN speed. It can effectively handle higher roaming settings with smart switching between the nearby access points and comes with a remarkable signal power radius of about 70 to 90 meters.
- With Extra Features – this device from NETGEAR goes with other features that you might not enjoy in other PoE access points in the market. It comes with an upgradeable port designed for external attention and an intuitive GUI that makes the unit itself more promising.
- Guarantees good support
- Intuitive GUI
- Upgradeable port
Why Should You Use PoE?
- It saves you time and money as it reduces the expenses and time you need to spend on installing electrical power cables.
- PoE allows you to be more flexible.
- It is much safer to use because the Power of Ethernet is smart and intelligent.
- Its power originates from the central and universal source.
- PoE makes network connection installation or distribution simple and efficient.
Advantages of Power Over Ethernet
The main benefit of PoE is the convenient power and data delivery over Cat5 and Cat6 ethernet cables. Generally, remote installation is much affordable compared to the optical fiber. It doesn’t require a qualified technician, so it allows you to save more on labor costs and time.
Likewise, the ethernet wire used in Power over Ethernet is already installed within most residential and commercial facilities. It works well for CCTV camera placements, wireless access points, and digital signage on sides or tops of skyscrapers.
PoE is also very ideal for network installation and cables for smaller networks and IP devices. It can effectively boost the signal for distances more than 100 meters or 300 feet for one device by using PoE injectors.
Improved Data Speed
One reason why PoE technology has become more popular is that the data speeds are boosting at rapid rates. It can deliver data at around 1Gbps with the use of either Cat6 or Cat5 cables. The latest IEEE 802.3bz standard offers speeds of between 2.5 to 5 Gbps across a range of 100 meters with the immediate view reaching 10 Gbps.
Much high-def streaming needs up to 400 Mbps that allows the network to handle streaming videos and do other work functions like checking email.
The Power of Ethernet comes with ample data speed for supporting devices within the local computer networks and related devices sharing one wireless link or communications line.
Huge Cost Savings
With PoE, you don’t need to tether electrical outlets and devices like security IP cameras. Also, it enables you to find the wireless access points and put them where they should be. It will also let users add devices in remote or awkward locations.
In most cases, the power of ethernet could be a safer and better alternative since it’s intended to protect the network tool against underpowering, electrical overload, and incorrect installation.
One more benefit of Power over Ethernet comes from the central, compatible source instead of the cluster of designated wall adapters. You can use an uninterruptible source of power for backup. You can also control it with ease to easily disable and reset devices that make installing and distributing network connections quick and hassle-free.
What to Look for in a Power of Ethernet Access Point?
Access points are no longer expensive. In the past, they cost twice the price of a router despite it’s not more than the cut-down router. If you like something, you may plugin and configure through filling out 3 to 4 things, you may be okay with such compromises.
If you only have just one room with a dead spot, then you do not really need to spend $200 and get your problem solved. By getting a device that costs $15, you can already get your problem solved provided that you can manage a bit slower network speed there. 54 MB will be enough instead of zero.
Sometimes, your device is only taking a certain level of its speed, not the full one. If you are not using the internet for streaming videos or other content through a home server, this shouldn’t be a huge deal. However, if you want to try an access point, your home network will eventually work better for your needs.
When your access point has only 100-megabit uplink, you don’t need to pay for 802.11ac or 802.11n speed since your access point would be a bottleneck. Anything around 150-megabit 802.11n has been overkill. Even the 150-meg 802.11n has been theoretically overkill, but not as much as you might think because of overhead. It is still twice as quick as 802.11g.
The range is the most important, so you might want to consider the alternative to remove antenna then swap them with larger ones. Do not anticipate this choice on the $15 access point. However, if you want a higher cost, it’s something you might want.
When the access point is supporting both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, the compatible units will jump on a 5 GHz band and operate with reduced interference.
It could be great to have some cabled ethernet ports, but they often want, not needs. However, this will allow you to sub in the access point for regular switches or have it do dual-duty. You will pay a few more for the gigabit.
It will be great to have one to two USB ports that you could string the hard drive or printer off of. Again, this is not actually a must-have.
With the PoE, when you have to reach the dead zones inside your property without a nearby outlet, you may obtain power from an ethernet cable. Therefore, you just have to run just one wire instead of two. You don’t need to wire up the outlet.
If you have dead zones after you setup 2 access points, your greatest bet will be to begin adding repeaters. These devices give up 50% of the bandwidth repeating. However, they are better compared to dead zones. A few routers out there have repeater modes and access points, so the greatest way of getting nice access points is buying a router.
Before you buy, buying a router that you have been checking out has this function and can work with DD-WRT. This way, you could add this capability.
For this round-up, the one that shines is the Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac. It is the winner because it has all the features that a good PoE access point can offer. Also, it guarantees good performance, so it can truly give the best value for your hard-earned money. It may cost you more, but the price is worth it as you will be getting a very satisfying performance, premium quality, and more features that can make life easier for you.