How To Connect Devices To An IoT System?

how to connect devices to iot system internet connectivity options

IoT systems combine hundreds of connected edge devices. As their number grows, businesses need to consider limitations such as cost and power management – especially with how their products connect to the internet. Here's an overview of the most widespread types of connection methods used in IoT applications to help you pick the best solution for your IoT implementation. 

Ethernet 

Offering a fast and reliable way to connect devices to the internet, Ethernet is common in industrial and building automation. Its strength lies in the ability to connect nodes to the same network. Ethernet is also a very secure option because it's hardwired. You can also power your device using Power Over Ethernet (PoE) – all it takes is one Ethernet cable, no need for a separate power module. However, hardwiring might not make sense for every application as the cabling can be bulky, and hiding the wires is a major challenge. 

Wi-Fi 

This is the go-to for internet connection for IoT implementation. The wireless nature of Wi-Fi removes the need to manage the cables that come with hardwired connections. Wi-Fi is fast and used by mainstream devices, but including Wi-Fi capability in an embedded design can be challenging. Also, it presents a number of security vulnerabilities and power consumption issues. 

Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) 

LPWAN is a less common option in consumer products, but many IoT applications use it – for example, environmental monitoring systems that cover inaccessible areas. Another good point of application is agriculture as LPWANs can cover large areas using very little power. While data is transferred at slow rates, but if your solution doesn't need to stream videos or check email, a high-speed connection isn't necessary. 

Cellular 

Cellular is available all over the globe, perhaps excluding extremely remote area. Some embedded systems can benefit a lot from this range. But note that it comes at a high price. For cellular, you must use a provider. It's impossible to set up your network without governmental regulatory approval. While cellular networks offer extensive reach, they also generate relatively high costs linked to the embedded components and provider subscriptions for every node. 

Get Connected

Setting up the connection is just one part of the job. To make the most o your system, you also need an IoT device management platform that will allow you to strike a balance between functionality and cost of running a system of connected devices.

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