In this article, I talk about switch for CCTV.
Layer 2 switches can be used for projects that require reliability and performance. They have the technology to ensure speed and safety using the most modern features available.
Below is a description of the most important features for CCTV projects.
100Mbps ports: In a CCTV project the cameras require around 2.5 Mbps for full HD video streaming (1920 x 1080) at 15 FPS (the default setting for most cameras). If you use a 24 ports switch with 100 Mbps transmission per port, that means you will use only 2.5% of the capacity of each port per video stream.
Gigabit ports: In most cases the switches need to have ports with only 100 Mbps to connect the cameras, however, for the connection between two switches or with the server you can use the Gigabit port that allows to sum up the traffic of the 24 ports in a single port.
Bandwidth: Usually there are switches with 24 100 Mbps ports and 4 1000 Mbps ports with total bandwidth of 12.8 Gbps, this means that we could use the maximum capacity of all ports without problems, but we already know that we don't need that much for cameras.
Fiber Optic: Some switch models have fiber optic module inputs to allow connections over long distances.
Redundancy: If you need to use redundancy in your project, the switch has the ability to work with standard STP and RTSP protocols that guarantee high speed redundancy.
Virtual LAN (VLAN): In projects that need to isolate broadcast traffic and implement security, VLANs are very useful, most switches allow you to manage a minimum of 256 VLANs with the 802.1Q protocoal standard.
==> I recommend you to read the article How to setup VLANs for CCTV to learn more about VLANs (it's really important).
Multicast: When it is necessary to work with multicast streaming the switch must allow the use of specific protocoIs such as IGMP snooping v1, v2 or v3 or IGMP querier.
COS and QoS: In a network with different devices, sometimes it is necessary to prioritize some of them, in which case the use of COS (Cost of Service) and Quality of Service (QoS) technology must be available on the switch.
Security: To implement security it is recommended to have some features such as 802.1X, Radius and TACACs, so only the cameras and monitoring/recording servers can connect to the network. Make sure the switch has the necessary technology to allow this type of security
Monitoring: It is possible to monitor the use of the switch with the standard protocol SNMP v1, v2, v3 as long as the switch supports these protocols, it is also interesting to have the monitoring feature of the packets that traffic through the use of port mirroring.
PoE ports: It's also recommended to use a switch for CCTV with PoE (Power Over Ethernet Ports), so it can send power directly to the cameras without the need of an extra power supply.
Switches are not only boxes with ports available to connect cables, there are a multitude of features that can be used to improve your project. Be aware of this to make the best use of the equipment.
You don't need to spend extra money with an expensive switch for CCTV it's not necessary to use extra features such as routing,
Basic Netgear switches are good enough for most of the projects.
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 15+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.