Which IoT Protocol Should Your Product Use?

by | Jan 22, 2020

I’m sure you have scanned through the cornucopia of links on the web containing “which IoT communication protocol to use for your product”, trudged through the comparisons between each, and the pros and cons of each. I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the irony if you saw the numerous articles that we have on this topic on Ioterra and if they were summed up by me.

Regardless of this existential awkwardness, what I can appreciate about Breadware’s summary on 7 choices by simply providing suggestions on when to use them and what each choice offers. It’s not a long article, and I can understand it conceptually without getting bogged down in detail and geek-speak.
  1. BLE
    Breadware suggests that it’s best for consumer products, wearables, and smartphone-connected devices. It makes sense, especially given its convenience of not using as much power as other options.
  2. Wi-Fi
    It’s most likely to be used within the home, office, and smart cities. Why? It has a high band-width, it comes at a moderate cost, and has device interoperability.
  3. Cellular (4G)
    Breadware suggests it’s more likely to be used in asset tracking, transportation fleets, infrastructure, and within agriculture. Cellular is an expensive option to utilize; however, cellular has dependable range, reliability, and security.
  4. Zigbee
    If you imagine your device is being used to sense elements within a contained area such as within a home or building, this will most likely be your best option.
  5. LoRa
    As the name suggests, the benefit of using a (Lo)ng (Ra)nge radio is the ability to use less power and work in larger networks. This protocol is common for products used for smart cities, energy management, infrastructure, mining and supply chain management.
  6. Sigfox
    Does your product need to transfer small amounts of data (like less than 1 kbps) over a great distance? Sigfox is optimal for products like smart meters and environmental sensors.
  7. NFC (Near-Field Communication)
    NFC is more than just the technology used in Apple and Samsung Pay. If your product is trying to transfer data at a low-cost over a short distance such as local asset tracking, then this is an optimal protocol for you.

Obviously, you’re still going to need to consult with a professional to make sure you have weighed all of your options. Read the rest of Breadware’s article to get more details and history of each protocol.
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