Choosing the best gateway depends on a variety of factors including budget, power, features and, most importantly, functionality. At the IOT Architecture Group, we will help you choose the best gateway for your application so you can get on the cloud with minimal interruption to your business.
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Wi-Fi radio. Communicates to the wireless network in a home, office, or factory. Requires support of IP protocols such as TCP/IP. Moderate power requirements; low cost; easy placement; medium working range. Multiple device connectivity over a Wi-Fi network may be preferred where other communications hardware can’t provide enough power, or adding a new device to an existing multi-device interface is preferred. The IOT Architecture Group's Wisplet S2W IoT starter kit powered by Amazon, comes embedded with serial-to-wi-fi technology.
Cellular modem. Communicates data over the cellular telephone network. Provides assured communication even when AC power is lost (since most Wi-Fi networks go down when power is lost in a residential environment). Typically supplied with a Li-Ion battery pack that serves as a small UPS (uninterruptible power supply). Embedded cellular models enjoy smaller size and lower power consumption than previous external modems and require RF expertise.
Ethernet. A 10/100/1000 megabit/second wired network. Most common for industrial M2M (machine to machine) applications. Ethernet’s single network technology is now used in local area networks and wide-area networks (WAN), securely enabling mobile communications to communicate data through cloud-based applications.
In some installations, there are multiple sensor modules in a cluster. It is not cost-effective to provide every sensor with a WAN Internet connection. In these cases there is typically a wireless local area network, connecting the sensors wirelessly to a central gateway. This gateway provides the bridge into the internet.
Means for inter-sensor communications with the gateway include:
Bluetooth Low Energy. BLE is increasingly used because of its expanded range and lower power compared to early BT versions (Bluetooth Classic). Requires less power than Wi-Fi to maintain a connection and sustains smaller battery-powered devices, such as wearables. Bluetooth can also provide options where little to no RF expertise is needed. The IOT Architecture Group's Wisplet BLW comes enabled with Bluetooth to Wi-Fi connectivity.
Sub-GHz. Radios operating at 915 MHz (868 in Europe) are commonly chosen because of their greater range, lower power, and lack of interference as compared to radios operating at 2.4 GHz (Wi-Fi, ZigBee, BT). Best for wireless battery-powered applications with low-rate data requirements and for penetrating architectural and industrial barriers, such as humid environments or concrete walls. Low power additionally extends battery lifetime for devices operating separately from grid-dependent communications hardware, such as Wi-Fi.