Can I use 802.3at PoE clients in a 802.3af PoE switch?


The client specs call for PoE+ / at for a reason - it needs to pull more than the 15.4W that an af switch is supposed to provide. If things go wrong you could be looking at damaged equipment. Even if it comes up you're pushing your switch past specified tolerances, which pretty much means a postponed failure.

If you want to run PoE+ on a PoE switch then get a PoE+ injector.


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Updated on September 18, 2022


  • Johan
    Johan 3 months

    I am about to buy and install a 802.3af PoE switch (probably a NETGEAR ProSafe FS728TP) that will power some Arduinos with PoE ethernet shields that is also 802.3af.

    How future safe is this?

    Let's say that I in the future would like to install some surveillance cameras (PoE powered) on this network do they need to be 802.3af or will newer clients with PoE versions like 802.3at also work?

    • MDMarra
      MDMarra over 10 years
      Someone will probably be able to answer this more authoritatively than me, but I believe that PoE backwards compatibility is up to the device manufacturer to support and is on a device-by-device basis.