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7 M2M Wireless Technologies Explained

Choosing the right M2M/IoT wireless network is not a simple task. Like most difficult decisions, the process can be overwhelming and selecting a network that’s ill-suited to your needs can be both costly and burdensome to amend. Thankfully, there’s a great deal of information and comparative data available to assure your decision is a well-informed and successful one.

There are several key issues to consider. For example, if you’re trying to determine whether ZigBee is a better fit than a cellular M2M network, you need to be able to answer the following questions:

  • Do you need to cover a long range?
  • What kind of battery life do you need?
  • Are you collecting data or collecting and sending control messages?

The purpose of this report is to help you evaluate, consider, and confidently answer these questions. For those developing Internet of Things (IoT) apps, it’s essential to make the best possible choice when it comes to wireless technology. In this document, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the 7 Most Common M2M Wireless Technologies used in IoT communication:

  • WiFi
  • Cellular
  • Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • 6LoWPAN
  • ZigBee
  • Symphony Link

We cover the basics of each network, present several use case scenarios, and provide comparisons of expected ranges while holding other variables held constant.

The bottom line is that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to choosing an M2M wireless network. If you’re currently developing an M2M or IoT app and trying to determine the best wireless network for your communication needs, this white paper is certainly worth a few minutes of your time -  it just might have the answers you need.IoT Protocol Selection White Paper

Written by Brian Ray

Brian is the Founder and CTO of Link Labs. As the chief technical innovator and leader of the company, Brian has led the creation and deployment of a new type of ultra long-range, low-power wireless networking which is transforming the Internet of Things and M2M space.

Before starting Link Labs, Brian led a team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab that solved communications and geolocation problems for the national intelligence community. He was also the VP of Engineering at the network security company, Lookingglass, and served for eight years as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received his Master’s Degree from Oxford University.


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Looking for more information about the latest IoT technologies, like LPWAN, LoRa, M2M, long-range wireless and more? Here are a few resources to get you started.

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