I have three APs, one UAP-AC-IW and two UAP-AC-LITE. I have a Netgear Smart Managed Plus Switch, mainly for VLANs with plenty of open ports. I need to either add an unmanaged POE switch or a POE injector for the APs. Is there any benefit to having each AP plugged into the managed switch through the POE injector over each AP plugged into the unmanaged switch? Are there any downsides? I'm leaning toward the POE injector as that gives more flexibility. I'm assuming the injector route would also maximize bandwidth speed per AP?

The APs broadcast 4 different SSIDs, all on different VLANs. AP administration is handled on a physical connection (not over wireless).

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    Can the WAPs use VLAN for different SSIDs and WAP management? If so, an unmanaged switch cannot use VLANs.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 16:27
  • @RonMaupin Updated question. Four different SSIDs are broadcast over the WAPs, each SSID is on a separate VLAN. Management is done on a physical connection.
    – alex
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 19:07
  • If the power comes on the management port (doubtful), then you can use an unmanaged switch. but if power comes on the data port, then you need the managed switch and injectors.
    – Ron Trunk
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


If you use an unmanaged switch to a WAP that uses VLANs, you have no idea what will happen until you do. There is no standard for what an unmanaged switch will do with a VLAN tagged frame. Some unmanaged switches will drop the frame as damaged, some will strip off the VLAN tag and forward the frame, and some will simply pass the frame as is. Two out of the three options are bad, and you will not know until you try it.

A PoE injector will not look at the frames, and it will simply pass on all the layer-1 signals it receives.

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