Best PoE Camera

You know what? Old fashioned security systems used to be a right mess, they were very obvious and indiscreet, with cables going every which way.

You’d have to have cables secured to the walls and ceilings so they won’t become a tripping hazard.

But thankfully, we now have PoE cameras - cameras that transmit both data as well as power through a single cable. It’s the perfect solution.

And if you’re currently in the market for one, you’ve certainly come to the right place.

We’ve been checking out the best ones around, and after much deliberation we were able to handpick our top 5 favorites to review for you here today.

But, if you’ve never really looked into it before, you may not be entirely sure what you should be looking out for.

Which is why we’ve also put together a brief buying guide that will walk you through all the key points you want to consider before you buy.

Then we’re going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

And without further ado, let’s get straight to it.

OUR TOP PICK

PTZ POE Camera Outdoor SV3C POE Camera 5MP with 10 LED HD Night Vision, 5X Zoom, Two Way Audio, IP66 Metal Shell, Motion Detection, IP Security Surveillance Dome Camera Supports SD Card, RTSP

Now, this is a camera with some really great features.

In addition to being a PoE camera, it’s also a PTZ camera, which means you can remotely operate the camera to pan, tilt and zoom wherever you like in the area.

Not only does this create a far wider field of view, thanks to the 355 degrees pan and 120 degree tilt, but it also allows you to zoom up on people’s faces so you can easily identify the visitor, thanks to the 5 times optical zoom capability.

And that’s not all. This camera also boasts two-way audio.

That way if someone brings a package to your door, you can be made aware, and you can leave a verbal instruction as to what to do with said package. 

It is a 5 Megapixel camera, with a super High Definition resolution, coming in at 2560 x 1920 pixels, so your footage will always be very crisp and clear.

The night vision offered is almost just as impressive, thanks to the 10 pcs of infrared LEDs, and will allow you to see up to a whopping 200 feet into the distance. 

We also love the smart motion detection, since this ensures that you only get notified when by human or animal motions, so you don’t get a false alarm every time a leaf gets blown into the vicinity.

It has a decent water resistance rating too, coming in at IP66.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular camera, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Moreover, clicking on “Check Price” will also give you more specs, and a quick FAQ section.

Pros

  • You can pan and tilt the camera for a wider view
  • You can really zoom in on objects and people
  • It has a super crisp High Definition resolution
  • There’s two way audio for messaging in real time
  • There’s smart motion detection with no false alarms
  • Impressive night vision - see 200 feet into the distance

Cons

  • You will need to download the CamHi app to connect up with your smartphone 

EDITORS CHOICE

REOLINK Home Security Outdoor Indoor Cameras , 5MP IP PoE Surveillance Cameras, 100ft IR Night Vision, Motion Detection, Work with Smart Home, Up to 128GB SD Card, RLC-410-5MP (Pack of 2)

Now, this is a truly excellent pack of PoE cameras, easily one of the best we’ve seen. There was no doubt that this beauty would make it onto our shortlist.

It has earned the title of Amazon’s Choice in the category of PoE cameras. Such a title is only given to products that are both of excellent quality and are available at a good and reasonable price.

It’s star feature is how it can work with Google Assistant to provide you with surveillance footage by a simple voice command.

And we also love how it can alert you when the motion sensors pick up movement nearby.

But it’s also a really great camera besides all that.

The 5 Megapixel camera provides a super High Definition resolution coming in at 2560 x 1920 pixels, which is almost 2.4 times more crisp and clear than Full High Definition.

And it can provide 30 frames per second, so you don’t miss a thing.

In the night, your footage is almost as clear as it is during the day, and the night vision lets you see up to a whopping 100 feet into the distance. 

You can access all your surveillance data on the Reolink app, which is not only free to download, but also does not require a subscription fee.

This app is available across all the major operating systems including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, so you can get your data sent directly to your smartphone.

The app is very intuitive and easy to use. 

If you wish, you can save your footage onto a 128 GB microSD card. 

You can set it up either indoors or outdoors, thanks to its water resistance rating of IP66.

We were also very pleased to learn that not only is this camera backed by a lengthy 2-year warranty, but you also get treated to lifetime technical support.

No wonder it's a bestseller with the leading online retailers!

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular camera, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now. 

Pros

  • It has an amazing Super HD resolution
  • It features motion detection and alerts
  • It features night vision up to 100 feet away
  • Access all your footage on your smartphone
  • There’s no subscription fee for Reolink app
  • Has a 2-year warranty & lifetime tech support

Cons

  • Some customers have reported quirks with the app

BEST VALUE

Amcrest UltraHD 4K (8MP) Outdoor Bullet POE IP Camera, 3840x2160, 98ft NightVision, 2.8mm Lens, IP67 Weatherproof, MicroSD Recording, White (IP8M-2496EW-V2)

Now, this is a really great camera.

First off, it has an amazing UltraHD 4K resolution, coming in at a whopping 3840 x 2160 pixels. Your video footage can’t get much more crisp and clear than that!

And this 8 Megapixel camera covers a particularly wide field of view, thanks to the 105 degree viewing angle, it can cover quite a lot of ground. It features motion detection too.

The images are even clear to see in the dark of night too, thanks to the built-in infrared LEDs which provide perfect low light and night vision for distances up to 98 feet. 

And you can either view your footage on a web browser on your PC, or for even better convenience, on the Amcrest Cloud smartphone app, available for both Apple and Android devices.

You can then either store this footage through an entirely optional subscription to Amcrest Cloud, or you can also store your footage onto SD cards, thanks to the SD card slot.

And you definitely don’t have to worry about the camera getting damaged by a little rain, because it has a water resistance rating of IP67.

We were also very pleased to learn that not only is this camera backed by a full 1-year warranty, but you also get treated to lifetime technical support.

You can choose between a black or a white one. Black is more discreet, and white is more noticable, which could make it a more effective deterrent.

Pros

  • It has an amazing UltraHD 4K resolution
  • It has a wide 105 degree viewing angle
  • It features night vision up to 98 feet away
  • Store your footage in the cloud or on SDcards
  • Access all your footage on your smartphone

Cons

  • A PoE injector or switch is required, which is sold separately

RUNNER UP

Amcrest UltraHD 4K (8MP) Outdoor Security IP Turret PoE Camera, 3840x2160, 98ft NightVision, 2.8mm Lens, IP67 Weatherproof, MicroSD Recording (256GB), White

Now, this is an impressive camera.

It comes from one of our favorite brands in PoE cameras, Amcrest.

And it features an amazing Ultra High Definition 4K resolution, coming in at a very impressive 3840 x 2160 pixels. Your footage simply can’t get more crisp and clear than that.

It features built-in infrared LEDs to provide excellent night vision too, allowing you to see up to 98 feet into the distance.

And it has a super wide 105 degree viewing angle for an impressive field of view. 

You can either view your footage on a web browser on your PC, or for even better convenience, on the Amcrest Cloud smartphone app, available for both Apple and Android devices.

You can then either store this footage through an entirely optional subscription to Amcrest Cloud, or you can also store your footage onto SD cards, thanks to the SD card slot.

And you definitely don’t have to worry about the camera getting damaged by a little rain, because it has a water resistance rating of IP67.

We’re also suckers for just how cool it looks, with a ball in a socket.

We were also very pleased to learn that not only is this camera backed by a full 1-year warranty, but you also get treated to lifetime technical support.

Pros

  • Amazing Ultra High Definition 4K resolution
  • Built-in LEDs to provide excellent night vision
  • It has a super wide 105 degree viewing angle
  • Store your footage in the cloud or on SDcards
  • Access all your footage on your smartphone

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price
  • A PoE injector or switch is required, which is sold separately

RUNNER UP

REOLINK 4MP PoE IP Camera, Add-on Outdoor Video Surveillance Cam to Home Security System, ONLY Work with Reolink POE Camera System and NVR, Third Party Incompatible, D400

Now, this is what we call good value for money. It’s easily one of the more affordable PoE cameras on our shortlist.

Plus, we’re suckers for the dome shaped cameras and their easy on the eye, unobtrusive, superior appearance. It’s a shame it’s not available in other colors.

Anyway enough about that, let’s get to the specs.

This 4 Megapixel camera offers a better resolution than Full High Definition, coming in at 2560 x 1440 pixels, so all your footage will be incredibly crisp and clear.

It has great night vision, too, thanks to the 18 Pcs of Infrared LEDs. It’s almost just as good as daylight and you can see perfectly clearly for up to 100 feet.

It records footage 24/7 and even has a built-in microphone. And we were also impressed to learn that this budget PoE camera even has motion sensors.

You can link the camera to your smartphone, and bring up live footage directly to your phone via the Reolink app. It’s a very intuitive app, very easy to use, and is free to download.

And you can set up notifications too, so you become informed immediately when motion is detected at your front or back door.

This app is available across all the major operating systems including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. And there’s no subscription fee to worry about.

It can be used either indoors or outdoors, thanks to both the waterproof housing and the waterproof cable, with their IP66 water resistance rating. 

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular camera, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

But we would argue that it's still great value for money even if you end up paying the full listing price.

Pros

  • It’s excellent value for money
  • Crisp 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution
  • It can record both video and audio
  • It features motion detection sensors
  • The app is free to download and use

Cons

  • It’s ceiling mounted rather than wall mounted
  • It will only work with the Reolink network video recorder system, and is not 3rd party compatible

Best PoE Camera Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. Here we’re going to walk you through all the key points to consider before you buy.

Best PoE Camera

Camera Resolution

The higher the resolution of your chosen PoE camera, the more crisp and clear your video surveillance footage will be.  And to that end, we would also recommend looking for a camera with a high rate of frames per second.

1080 pixels would be a good resolution for your camera - it matches that of your HD TV.

Field of View

You may need your camera to cover a wide field of view. To that end you may want to look out for a camera that can pan around, or tilt, or even zoom in.

Night Vision

Burglars are more likely to attempt an attack at night. And this is why we argue that a camera with night vision is a very worthy investment. 

In order to achieve some level of night vision, your PoE camera is likely to need some LED lighting.

Weather Resistance

All outdoor cameras require at least some level of water resistance in order to withstand the rain. Wherever possible we have tried to include the water resistance rating in our product reviews.

We recommend that you look for a PoE camera with an IP water resistance rating of at least IP65 or higher.

Convenient Monitoring

Rather than having to log onto a PC every time you want to check up on the security of your home, it’s much easier to simply have it on hand on your smartphone.

To that end you should look for cameras that feature a compatible smartphone app that will work on your particular device. That way you can set up and receive notifications wherever you happen to be.

Storage

You need to decide whether you want to store your surveillance footage at all (recommended).

And if so, you will need to decide whether you want to store it in the cloud or locally on SD cards. Make sure your camera has the facilities you want.

Other Features

You may also be interested in a camera that features motion detection sensors, or one that allows audio footage to be transmitted as well as video footage.

Brand

There’s certainly a lot to be said for buying from a brand that you know and trust. Our favorite brands for PoE cameras are Amcrest and Reolink, and that’s reflected in the products we chose for our shortlist. 

Value For Money

PoE cameras (alone, not as part of an entire system) typically vary in price between $30 and $160. So the budget conscious among you would do well to check the prices of the cameras you look at as you go along.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are PoE Cameras Better Than WIFI?

We are pleased to report that PoE cameras have several advantages over their wireless WiFi counterparts.

They are more reliable, they provide wider coverage, and they offer better security.

They provide better image quality than other cameras because ethernet supports higher bandwidth than a regular WiFi camera.

And this can come in particularly handy should you ever want to zoom in on important details such as a car number plate or distinguishing facial features.

The only downside would be that they are more difficult to install, however can cameras that transmit both data as well as power through a single cable, making them far easier to install than the security cameras of old.

Does A PoE Camera Slow Down The Internet?

While it's true that using a PoE camera does slow down your internet, the impact is minimal.