The Complete Guide To Power Over Ethernet VoIP Phones

December 19, 2023 7 min read

Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson

power over ethernet poe voip phones

Everyone is familiar with the annoyance of cables cluttering up the office space. It looks messy and disorganized and can even be a trip hazard.

But what if you cut the number of power cables you’re using — even slashing it in half?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology lets you power office phone systems using a single network cable. Let’s talk about how they work, their advantages, and some recommended PoE-ready equipment. 

What Is PoE?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a standard that allows network cables to carry electrical power. A single Ethernet cord can provide both data connection and electrical power to devices instead of needing a cable for the internet and a cable for electricity. 

How PoE works

PoE uses existing Cat5e and higher cables to provide power to compatible devices. The electricity comes from power source equipment, such as a network switch or router. 

There are two types of PoE specs:

Comparison of PoE standards and applications
Comparison of PoE standards and applications (via FS)

What Is a PoE VoIP Phone? 

VoIP phones work by making calls via an internet connection instead of a landline or mobile network. This internet connection can be established in various ways, most commonly over a wired Ethernet connection. 

Almost all VoIP phones include a separate power supply that plugs into the user’s electrical outlet. However, these come with drawbacks: space and reliability.

A VoIP PoE phone lets team members make and receive business calls over a single Ethernet line that provides both electricity and an internet connection. 

How Does PoE Work With VoIP Phones?

Certain VoIP phone systems are PoE-compatible. In this situation, power is supplied through either a PoE switch or a PoE injector. 

An Ethernet cable will connect to the PoE switch or injector, which contains twisted wiring for both data and internet connections. The Ethernet cable transmits power to the device — in this case, the VoIP phone. 

This video from our friend Prince Rich explains how PoE phones work: 

Are All VoIP Phones PoE-Compatible?

No, not all VoIP phones are PoE-compatible. However, all phones that Nextiva sells are PoE-ready. 

VoIP phones come in a variety of models and specifications. PoE is a specific feature, and not all models possess it. 

1. PoE-compatible VoIP phone

PoE-compatible VoIP phones can receive power and data through a single Ethernet cable as long as it’s connected to a PoE switch or injector. We’ll discuss specific PoE-compatible VoIP business phone systems later in this post, including popular VoIP desk phones. 

2. Non-PoE VoIP phones

These phones require a separate power source and lack PoE compatibility. In many cases, they’ll require a traditional AC adapter plugged into an electrical outlet. This can cause cord clutter, which is one reason businesses may opt for PoE models instead.

3. Wi-Fi VoIP phones

Some VoIP phones may connect to the network wirelessly via Wi-Fi. These phones also typically require a separate power source, as Wi-Fi does not provide electricity. 

These phones also carry some risk. If there’s ever an interruption in the wireless network, the VoIP phone can lose connectivity or experience low call quality. 

Benefits of PoE VoIP Phones

Businesses that are choosing new communication systems often have a number of reasons for preferring VoIP phones that are compatible with PoE. The advantages of PoE-compatible phones are especially important when upgrading an office network.

Simplified wiring

Fewer cables are required since power and data are carried over a single Ethernet cable. This is easier to maintain and makes it much faster to install the VoIP system. The office will also look much more organized, with fewer wires cluttering the space. 


With fewer wires needed and a faster installation process, there’s a reduced need for electrical wiring and outlets. This can reduce installation costs. 


PoE VoIP phones typically include battery backup features, ensuring that phones remain operational during power outages. 

They’re also typically more reliable than Wi-Fi VoIP systems, which may be prone to connection issues and rely entirely on functioning routers. 


All businesses should consider scalability, and VoIP PoE systems are, by definition, scalable phone systems.

You can easily add new phones or relocate them. You only need to manage your network connections, so there’s no need to worry about separate power supplies. Your system can easily scale up and down with your business. 

Energy efficiency

The latest PoE technology often comes with energy-saving functionality that provides a phone with only the amount of power needed to operate it. This can result in long-term cost savings, especially at scale. 

What Kinds of Businesses Use PoE VoIP Phones?

PoE VoIP phones are ideal for traditional office environments, call centers, and any in-person location where several phones are needed. They’re also invaluable for businesses that plan to grow rapidly and those that may need to either reorganize their office space or move to a new location in the foreseeable future. 

PoE is less common for people who work from home, but with a PoE switch or injector, home users can also use PoE. 

PoE-compatible VoIP phones can simplify infrastructure, are easy to manage, and can reduce clutter in your business location. 

Top 5 PoE VoIP Phones

PoE VoIP phone systems are only as strong as the VoIP service providers and the PoE devices themselves. 

So, it’s important to get started with the right device. Let’s discuss the top five PoE VoIP phones for 2024, all of which are available as Nextiva VoIP desk phones.

1. Yealink T33G IP phone

Yealink T33G IP phone

The Yealink T33G IP phone offers a dual-port Gigabit Ethernet with integrated PoE. 

It’s an entry-level IP phone with a color screen, high performance, and the ability to offer support for up to four lines. It supports a wireless headset and has an adjustable, multi-angle stand support. 

This is a high-quality, cost-effective solution, making it a popular choice for many Nextiva customers.

Price: $160

2. Nextiva X-835

Nextiva X-835

The Nextiva X-835 is an IP phone offering a color LCD display and the ability to support up to 12 lines.

It has a multipage approach that allows users to program additional keys for speed dialing as they see fit for greater ease of use. This phone is also cost-effective, yet it still consistently provides high audio performance. 

Price: $160

3. Yealink T46U IP phone

Yealink T46U IP phone

The Yealink T46U IP phone is a mid-range option that provides extraordinary audio quality and a large, full-color display. 

It has dedicated call-handling buttons, a hearing aid–compatible handset, and the ability to handle up to 16 lines. It supports multiple options for headset connection, including a wireless Bluetooth option. It also allows for Wi-Fi connectivity. 

Price: $200

4. Poly Edge E350

Poly Edge E350

The Poly Edge E350 has a sleek look that’s ideal for a modern office, but it’s still packed with features. It was designed for hybrid working, and it comes integrated with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality for strong performance. 

This phone supports up to eight lines and has a 3.5-inch color LCD display.

Price: $230

5. Poly CCX 500

Poly CCX 500

The CCX 500 is a relatively new addition to the Poly brand of phones and offers outstanding audio quality with strong functionality that makes it a great option for brands looking for a cloud communications platform. 

This phone has a five-inch color touch screen and can support up to 24 lines. 

Price: $420

Additional PoE Equipment You May Be Interested In

In addition to the PoE VoIP phones themselves, businesses should consider PoE switches and routers to integrate into their existing network infrastructure. 

PoE switches

PoE switches deliver both power and network connectivity to connected devices via Ethernet cables. They come with multiple ports, each one capable of delivering the power needed to run a device. 

PoE routers

Some routers have built-in PoE compatibility, allowing them to power devices directly. This is less common than in PoE switches, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re choosing a router with PoE functionality.

Choosing a PoE-Ready VoIP Phone System

Using a PoE VoIP phone system in your office allows for flexibility and scalability while still offering a superior level of reliability in call quality performance. 

Now that you have your list of PoE VoIP phones in hand, it’s time to find a VoIP service provider to help you get the most out of your devices.

Nextiva’s VoIP phone system is known for its consistent call quality and service uptime, and we offer the advanced call features a growing business needs, all with an intuitive interface. 

You can count on features such as the following:

Every Nextiva plan offers unlimited calling and exceptional customer support. As a result, combining Nextiva’s PoE-enabled phone devices with your VoIP phone service is an easy way to quickly improve your communications system.

Cameron Johnson


Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson was a market segment leader at Nextiva. Along with his well-researched contributions to the Nextiva Blog, Cameron has written for a variety of publications including Inc. and Cameron was recently recognized as Utah's Marketer of the Year.

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