IoT Write for Us – The success or failure of an Internet of Things (IoT) project depends on many factors. Still, the project cannot even take off without reliable connections between devices, sensors, and IoT platforms. But connectivity is more than just choosing your preferred wireless technology. Equally important is understanding the application requirements and selecting the best network technology.
Below are four common types of IoT networks and some of the leading wireless IoT protocols within each category. Note that there are no “winners” here. The technologies below have strengths and weaknesses in cost, power, and battery size, three key characteristics that differentiate IoT networks. Regardless of your chosen technology, you will inevitably have to make tradeoffs somewhere. Negotiating the right balance of all three elements of your project will ensure you’re off to a good start.
4 Types Of IoT Networks
Cellular networks allow IoT devices to communicate using the same mobile networks as smartphones. These networks were originally designed for power-hungry devices like smartphones and were not always considered ideal for IoT devices. Ultimately, the mobile phone industry developed new technologies that are better suited to IoT use cases. Today, this type of wireless network is very popular and is considered a reliable and secure method of IoT connectivity. Cellular service is available almost everywhere in the United States, and this type of network covers a very large area.
However, cellular connectivity is often unavailable where surveillance sensors are most needed (utility he closets, elevator shafts, basements, etc.). (Another class of wireless IoT technology, LPWAN, may be better suited for these locations.) And while cellular connectivity is now cheaper and more energy efficient than traditional telecom standards, , cellular-connected IoT devices require much more power and energy than other types of wireless networks.
The two cellular IoT wireless protocols currently competing for dominance are LTE-M and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). LTE-M is an excellent option for IoT connectivity if you are willing to pay the price and your use case requires low power. LTE-M networks are already rolling out in the US, so you can start taking advantage of this option today. NB-IoT is slightly cheaper than LTE-M and consumes less battery power, but it still lacks sufficient coverage to deploy NB-IoT solutions reliably.
2. Local and Personal Area Networks (LAN/PAN)
Networks that cover relatively short distances are personal area networks (PAN) and local area networks (LAN). PAN and LAN networks are cost-effective, but data transfer can be unreliable.
Wireless personal and local area network technologies commonly incorporated into IoT connectivity solutions are WiFi and Bluetooth. WiFi can be used for applications running in local or distributed environments where multiple access points are integrated into a more extensive network. One of the downsides of WiFi is that it only works if you have a strong signal and are close to the access point. Also, WiFi usually consumes more power than people realize, but it can be made to work slightly more efficiently (e.g. devices regularly connect and send data). , then go back to sleep, etc.).
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a more energy-efficient wireless network protocol. A single BLE battery can last up to 5 years if you don’t receive data all the time. However, compared to WiFi, it has slower transmission speeds and limits the amount of data that can be transmitted.
Although both WiFi and Bluetooth are easy to connect in most cases, WiFi presents some complex security challenges to overcome.
3. Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN)
This type of wireless network was developed in response to the early challenges of cellular connectivity. Proponents of LPWAN position it as having greater range than WiFi or Bluetooth and less power than cellular networks. IoT devices running on LPWAN frequently transmit small packets of information over long distances. Sigfox built its first LPWAN network in France and is consider a driver of its growth (although Sigfox never really took off in the US).
Can. A well-known IoT network protocol widely used in this category is his LoRaWAN (Long Range Wireless Area Network), which operates over LoRa (Long Range) communication networks. The advantages of his LoRaWAN for IoT devices are that it requires less power (due to longer battery life) and the relatively low cost of the chipset. Also, under the right conditions, a single base station or gateway operating over a long-range network can serve extensive areas (several kilometres in dense urban areas and up to 15-30 kilometres in remote areas).
4. Mesh Networks
A mesh network is best describe by its connectivity setup (the way components communicate with each other). In a mesh network, all sensor nodes cooperate to distribute data to reach the gateway. (By contrast, a star topology is where all sensor nodes communicate with a central hub.)
Zigbee is an example of an IoT wireless network technology. Mesh networks are concise range and may require additional sensors inside the building or repeaters to get the coverage your application needs. Also, power consumption can be high due to how these networks communicate, especially when instant messaging is require, such as intelligent lighting applications. (IoT applications that require infrequent updates of information consume less power.) However, mesh networks are also very robust, finding the fastest, most reliable path to transmit data. Their ease of installation makes them a popular choice in buildings. Use.
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