Internet of Things (IoT) Protocols

IoT is the name of various things which are interconnected with each other. The communication between these things is happed through various protocols or standards which are called IoT Protocols & Standards.

There are lot of protocols & Standards, But we will discuss the most popular standards.

1. MQTT Protocol

MQTT stands for Message Queue Telemetry Transport. It is a Publisher-Subscriber model based a lightweight protocol. It sends simple data from publisher (sensors) to Subscriber (applications) through middleware (Broker).


Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) -IoT Protocol

  • MQTT holds three basic components: subscriber, publisher and broker.
  • MQTT is mostly used in small, low-memory, low-power and cheap devices.

Example: If it needs to sense the temperature, then sensor sense the data and send to broker. Broker forward this temperature to those devices which already subscribe the topic temperature.

2. DDS Protocol

DDS is stand for Data Distribution Service. It is an IoT protocol for real-time and high-performance machine-to-machine communication.

You can use DDS both in low-footprint (sensors) devices and in the cloud (server). The DDS protocols has two main layers

  • Data-Centric Publish-Subscribe (DCPS): It delivers the information to subscribers
  • Data-Local Reconstruction Layer (DLRL): It provides an interface to DCPS functionalities

3. AMQP Protocol

AMQP stands for Advanced Message Queuing Protocol. It is an application layer protocol for message-oriented middleware environments. It is approved as an international standard.

Advanced Message Queuing (AMQP) Protocol

It can explained through the following terms

  • Exchange: it gets messages from publisher and puts them into messages queues
  • Message queue: it stores messages which are sending by publisher. And then later on forward to clients
  • Binding: it is a links which exist between exchange and queue. It states the relationship between the first and the second components
  • Subscriber: It consume the services of publisher

4. Bluetooth Protocol

Bluetooth is a short range communications technology. It is mostly found in smartphones and mobile devices.

Now with the help of IOT protocols, the new application appeared with Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE), or Bluetooth Smart. This technology is scalable and flexible and less power consumption to all market innovations.

  • Standard: Bluetooth 4.2
  • Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Range: 50-150m (Smart/BLE)
  • Data Rates: 1Mbps (Smart/BLE)

5. Wi-Fi Protocol

Wi-Fi is used in radio wireless networking of devices. It is able to process large amount of data and transfer it quickly.

This type of connectivity is mostly found in LAN environments.

  • Standard: Based on IEEE 802.11
  • Frequencies: 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • Range: Approximately 50m
  • Data Rates: 150-200Mbps, 600 Mbps maximum

6. Zigbee Protocol

ZigBee is a low-power, low data-rate wireless network. It is mostly used in industrial settings.

The Zigbee community created the universal language for IoT called Dotdot. Dotdot is used in smart objects to work securely on any network.

  • Standard: ZigBee 3.0 based on IEEE802.15.4
  • Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Range: 10-100m
  • Data Rates: 250kbps

7. Cellular Protocol

Cellular Technology is the basically used in mobile phone networks. But it is also using in IoT application and can transfer data for long distances. IoT can take advantage of cellular communication technology by using its capabilities (I.e. GSM (Global System for Mobiles 2G), 3G, 4G and 5G soon).

It is able to transfer larger amount of data, but the power consumption and the expenses are high.

  • Standard: GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS/HSPA (3G), LTE (4G)
  • Frequencies: 900/1800/1900/2100MHz
  • Range: 35km (GSM); 200km (HSPA)
  • Data Rates: 35-170kps in GPRS, 120-384kbps in EDGE, 384Kbps-2Mbps in UMTS, 600kbps-10Mbps in HSPA and 3-10Mbps in LTE 4G.

8. LoRaWAN

LoRaWAN stands for Long Range Wide Area Network. It is a protocol for wide area networks (WAN). It is basically designed for huge networks (e.g. smart cities) with millions of low-power devices.

LoRaWAN is a secure bidirectional communication in various can provide low-cost mobile as well.

  • Standard: LoRaWAN
  • Frequency: Various
  • Range: 2-5km (urban area), 15km (suburban area)
  • Data Rates: 0.3-50 kbps


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