IoT, the Internet of Things, connects smart home devices such as doorbells, lights, locks, and thermostats has made it easy for everyone to install and use these gadgets in their home. When it comes to controlling and interaction between the devices, you will need a smart hub.
Home Automation Protocols
There are various wired and wireless protocols in use today. Different protocols means different method of communication used to control your devices.
X10, one of the oldest protocols, has been around since the mid-1970s. It send signals to each devices by existing home electrical wiring. X10 is mostly used to control connected lighting system and motion detectors.
The UPB protocol works in the same principle as X10 but offers faster transmission rates and is generally considered more reliable. Though UPB is developed based on X10, they are not compatible. To make them work together, you need a controller that support both protocols.
The Z-Wave protocol is one of the more widely used options in today’s home automation and home security markets due to its superior range. Z-Wave is completely wireless and operates at a low radio frequency, which means it will not interfere with Wi-Fi signals.
Like Z-Wave, Zigbee is a wireless protocol that create a mesh network where devices can transmit signals to each other. It operates at a higher frequency and as such is typically faster than Z-Wave and can support thousands of devices on a single network.
Many smart devices come with a build in Wi-Fi radios that allow them to connect to your home network. They are controlled using a mobile app either through a platform like HomeKit. But they draw more power than Z-Wave and Zigbee devices and are known to drain batteries quickly. Beside, installing too many Wi-Fi devices can impede network performance.
Zigbee protocol is as widely used as Z-Wave, but faster than the latter. The Zigbee smart hub made by Teekar can connect up to 55 devices at the same time, while other hub only support 50. It easy to install and set up.