A Comprehensive Guide to Prominent IoT Protocols
There is presently a colossal move to connect just about any object to a network or server in order to aid the transfer of data that would give us an insight into their functionalities and improve them. This summarizes the whole purpose of IoT that is currently sweeping across various industries. Interestingly, IoT primarily involves the enabling of devices to establish connectivity, which in turn permits communication. Hence, the technology heavily depends on connectivity standards and protocols specially designed for various devices and which basically fuels the IoT ecosystem.
As expected, the influx of IoT-related innovations has had an explosive impact on the number of protocols available to engineers. In this guide, we will take a look at some of the prominent connectivity protocols in the IoT space.
MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport)
MQTT is generally regarded as a lightweight message protocol for devices with low power and memory specifications. The protocol allows the collection of data from electronic devices. And since it enables the subscriber-publisher- broker component model, it constantly verifies the authorization of entities having access to the network.
Bluetooth is commonly used in mobile devices as a short-range wireless connectivity protocol. The popularity of this protocol, particularly in the IoT space, reached an unprecedented high with the introduction of Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE). The protocol is essentially useful for IoT applications as it boasts of scalability that integrates seamlessly with devices. Like the MQTT, BLE is a low power consuming protocol and it is not suitable for transferring large streams of data.
Data Distribution Service (DDS) is more of a powerhouse IoT protocol, which enables a real-time machine-to-machine connection. The protocol introduced by Object Management Group (OMG) boasts of scalable functionalities that seamlessly work as cloud platform connectivity protocol or as a data communication protocol in low-footprint devices.
WiFi has continued to play an important role in IoT-related designs because of its fast data transfer capacity as well as its ability to transfer large streams of data. Apparently, integrating the WiFi standard 802.11 into a device, allows it to send as much as hundreds of megabytes per second. However, the major limitation of this communication protocol lies with the low power efficiency registered in some IoT-related applications.
Like the Bluetooth and MQTT, the Zigbee is a lower power consuming protocol as well as a small data transfer enabler. The Zigbee 3.0, unlike the other two protocols, however, is most suitable for industrial applications.
Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) is an international standard that primarily functions as a messaging protocol for middle-ware ecosystems. The protocol follows three processes which include the logging of messages in queues, storing them till they are ready for processing, while the last, establishes the relationship between the previous two processes.
Cellular devices have protocols that allow communications over a longer range of networks. This is made possible with the availability of cellular communication networks like the GSM, 3G, 4G and the newly introduced 5G. Although this protocol facilitates a high rate of data transfer, it is often costly and power inefficient to sustain this level of connectivity. Instead, cellular is more effective in lower data transfer sensor-based applications.
As earlier mentioned in this post, the successful implementation of IoT globally depends on the innovation, as well as the efficacy, connectivity protocols proffer to manufacturers. Already, we have experienced major leaps in this space and the protocols listed above are some of the most engaged IoT protocols.