8 Leading Wireless Technologies for IoT End-Devices

The Internet of Things is doing wonders in almost every sector – be it industrial sensors warning vehicles about their speed limit or smart gears monitoring health. 

IoT is a requisite element for every sector's functioning; On the whole, we lean on wireless technologies for all our daily actions, be it using cellular data while at remote places or WiFi at home. IoT covers several connections that render untethered access to vital content on the internet. Overbearing it may sound, IoT has become an integral part of our routine chores, undeniably for our own good. 

Have you ever wondered what tech tools make this definite data available to you? Effective Wireless Technologies! The tech giants have made strides in developing IoT technologies that offer myriads of benefits. 

Before hopping on IoT wireless technologies, let’s be apprised of IoT and its end devices. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of interconnected things (digital devices, machines, or people) embedded with sensors, software, and similar technologies. Its main purpose is to connect and transmit data with other systems or devices over the internet. With no human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction, IoT essentially aims at creating a smart market landscape and convenient processes. 

If we give utterance to IoT devices, it refers to the computing devices that wirelessly connect to a network and transmit data over the internet. A few common examples of IoT end devices include smart TVs, speakers, wearables, locks & security, and more. Over time, IoT devices have gained huge momentum amid the AI-driven digital world. Putting a figure on it, “By 2023, IoT devices sales are projected to reach 1.3 billion with ever-increasing demand fueled by 5-G technology,” claims a report. Further, IHS Markit has tempered their numbers stating, “By 2025, the number of IoT devices will be 75.4 billion and 125 billion by 2030.”

Top IoT End-device Wireless Connectivity Types

The wireless networking technology used with web-enabled devices depends on the IoT application equipped. As there exists a multitude of IoT applications, so are wireless technologies. Each protocol has certain tradeoffs in terms of usage, benefits, power consumption, range, and more. 

Here’s a briefing about different types of connectivity solutions to help you choose the right one. 


Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWANs) cover a wide area providing long-range communication at low costs, moderate power, and low-priced batteries that run for long years. These wireless systems support vast IoT sensor networks extending to large-scale industries and commercial places. The major benefit of using this technology is security. LTE authentication and encryption features make it the most secure system as compared to WLAN systems. LPWANs also offer the benefits of higher efficiency and enhanced speeds ranging from 3Kbps to 375 kbps.

LPWAN for IoT networking marks numerous benefits other than security. It consumes less power and makes your device’s battery last for long hours. The low power requirement in turn implies low-cost batteries, reducing the overall cost of the device. LPWAN covers a long distance that ranges between 3-20 KM. Moreover, it functions in the free radio spectrum eliminating the need for a license or payment for transmitting data through this network. 

However, all LPWANS are not the same and they differ by use cases, benefits and spectrum. Each approach has its fors and againsts and performs differently in essential network factors. For instance, in the case of IoT software geared for data transfers in small intermittents periodically, LPWAN is the best-suited network. The main thing to consider is whether the technology operates in the licensed spectrum (LTE-M, NB-IoT) or unlicensed (LoRa, Ingenu). 

LPWAN technologies could be used in smart meters, track and trace, smart agriculture, smart industry applications, and more. 


Zigbee is swiftly picking up steam amid diverse wireless technologies available. It is standard-based technology developed to address the needs of economical, low-power, short-range wireless IoT networks. It is designed to transfer data over RF in commercial and industrial applications which require low data rates and improved battery life. Their physical range is less than 100 m and hence, are suitable for medium-proximity IoT applications. 

Zigbee is mainly used in devices such as smart speakers, smart locks, security systems, smart home accessories, and more. 


Z-wave is one of the leading wireless technologies that is primarily used in smart home networks. It allows smart devices to connect and transfer data with each other. It exchanges commands using low-energy radio waves from device to device allowing wireless control of devices. Z-wave IoT appliances largely include esmart lighting, security systems, windows, thermostats, remote controls, door openers, and like devices. Similar to other connections, the Z-wave system can be operated via the internet-connected from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. 

This protocol provides low latency communication with a data rate speed of 100kbit/second or 1GHZ. It Offers superior security to keep your home safer from fraud or attacks. 

Z-wave has an upper hand over other systems due to its plentiful benefits. Leading off with the simple installation, Z-wave IoT devices involve seamless controlling and easy-to-use functions that could be managed by every other person. Further, if set side by side with other smart home solutions, Z-wave is quite affordable and less costly. Other pros that make it a preferable solution include reliability, security, improved signal range, and energy efficiency.

Bluetooth and BLE

Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy are frequently used wireless networking tools for exchanging data over short ranges. Bluetooth is commonly used in smart speakers, headphones, and more. Bluetooth Low Energy as the name suggests consumes less power and is used in fitness belts, smartwatches, and similar devices. BLE is also integrated with medical wearables such as glucose meters and pulse oximeters.

This technology requires users to connect IoT devices to their smartphones or tablets. Further, the reason it is reliable for small-distance connectivity makes it an unsuitable network solution for transferring huge data amounts. Despite this, umpteen people opt for sharing data via Bluetooth as it shares numerous extras. Wireless capability, affordability, easy transmission process, minimal interface, and scalability are a few reasons validating Bluetooth as a preferred solution.


Radio-frequency identification (RFID) provides positioning solutions for IoT applications. It is a wireless technology that uses radio waves at varied frequencies to source, track and communicate data with people. It is a widely used solution in supply chain management, logistics, healthcare, and more. It is a low power consuming system that enables you to track things/people in locations in an inexpensive way. 

A few use cases include RFID tags in the automobile industry to track production progress, RFID in pharmaceuticals to maintain warehouses and stocks, etc. 


Amidst The tech-advanced market, cellular networks are the hyped term we all have come across to.

These networks (4G & 5G) are high-speed, high-efficiency communication networks with voice calling and video streaming capabilities. Cellular networks have been the widely accepted wireless solutions as they offer better bandwidth, scalability, and global interoperability. The future for cellular technologies holds much more than just being integrated with mobile phones and the logistics niche. In the coming years, it is positioned to be equipped with autonomous vehicles and augmented reality. It is also expected to facilitate live video surveillance for industries like healthcare and public safety. 

Talking of the downside, these networks involve high operational costs and power consumption needs as compared to others. 


Given the crucial role of Wi-Fi in communication and data transfers, there’s no need to define its role. It is simply an internet connection that’s shared with several devices via a wireless router. It uses radio waves to exchange data from a wireless router to WiFi-enabled devices. It pertains to being the most common network used to connect devices like smart home gadgets, digital appliances, security cameras, and more. 

In the IoT space, its cons lie in less coverage, low scalability, and more power consumption. It is not a likely connectivity solution for large battery-operated IoT sensors, especially in the industrial sector. 


Thread is an IPv6-based networking technology for IoT devices. It enables connected devices to communicate with other applications, access services in the cloud, or interact with the users with applications. It has been designed for smart applications and devices used in the home. Thread is developed for secure networks to connect multiple devices with each other using internet protocols in a wireless network. It can connect up to 250 devices in a wireless mesh network that includes internet as well as cloud access. 

The true-blue advantage of Thread wireless connectivity is it offers utmost security to the Internet of Things. It prevents fraudulent attacks using best-in-class encryption ending security loopholes found in previous protocols. A user-friendly system allows the effortless connection of devices via tablets, smartphones, and more. Further, It is a low-cost system that operates at reduced power levels. Reliable communications make Thread the preferable connectivity technology over others. 

If you're thinking about adopting IoT technologies, consider the benefits, cons as indicated in this article prior to making any choice.