Today, there are thousands of applications for IoT and many standard IoT connectivity technologies. One of the most common considerations for those new to IoT is choosing IoT connectivity technology to fit the applications. Every connectivity technology has its pros & cons, and depending on the requirement, it has to be selected. Selecting the best connectivity option for your IoT device isn’t as hard as it seems. Two main factors which affect your decision are range and speed or power. While there is a whole range of possibilities, let’s look at some of the most common connectivity options available for your IoT-enabled devices.
Ethernet is a technology that connects wired local area networks (LANs) and allows devices to communicate with each other. It is easy to implement, cheap, and high bandwidth; it is excellent when you need an uninterrupted hard-line link to your device. It’s critically important to have the physical infrastructure to hook devices up; if not, you will be looking at other connectivity solutions.
It’s easy to implement and extends Ethernet points’ benefits and delivers the flexibility to install your device in the locations required without routing cables to a network switch. It’s ideal short-range and also provides very high speed for data transfer.
It’s similar to WiFi, but it consumes much less power than WiFi. Its speed is also relatively lower than WiFi. But for devices needing low energy for data transfer, it is preferred. Ease of setup and low signal interference capabilities in frequency-crowded environments makes Bluetooth an excellent choice for many intelligent indoor applications.
Here is a great connectivity option in terms of speed and distance. It uses existing large-scale infrastructure and puts a much greater level of control and management directly into the IoT system. 5G technology on the horizon will be grooming Cellular IoT to a greater extent.
In terms of distance and speed, no other technology can beat the satellites. This technology comes at huge costs as well, so generally used for defense and RnD purposes only. While business cases for satellite operators are getting more interesting, we are still waiting for the first successful deployments.
These are some of the standard connectivity technologies used today. There are a few more like NB-IoT, Zigbee, Thread, LTE Cat-M1, LoRa, Sigfox, etc. Since every technology is getting better and better with the ongoing development, there is an unpredictability to guess what the future holds for us regarding connectivity technology.