Smart Home Connections 101: Protocols

Smart Home Connections 101: Protocols


Seamlessly connecting the smart home’s systems isn’t just about the devices you choose to install. The connection protocol those devices use is even more important, if you want them to work together.

Choosing the wrong connection protocol can be the difference between a functioning TecHome and a home with slow response times and limited interoperability. In other words, if the devices you install don’t interconnect on the same protocol, your clients will end up with dozens of apps on their mobile devices, and ease-of-use goes out the window.

Check out the slideshow below to see the differences and benefits of major home automation protocols.

RELATED: A Home Automation System Decades in the Making


[tps_title] ZigBee [/tps_title]

ZigBee uses low-power to stand out.
ZigBee uses low-power to stand out.


ZigBee was designed as a low-power alternative to traditional connection protocols.

The low-power setting limits transmission of data to 100 meters (1076-square-feet), but this distance can be extended by relying on a mesh network of sensors and devices.

According to Cisco, the biggest flaw of ZigBee is security. In a cybersecurity test that pitted hackers against the connection protocol, physical attacks were effective in extracting data from ZigBee devices.

ZigBee is ideal for smaller homes and clients looking for control without dedicating too much of their utility budget on energy costs. Some devices that use ZigBee to connect include D-Link’s line of security cameras, Yale locks and Samsung SmartThings Hub.

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About The Author

Michael Black is a staff writer and content coordinator at TecHome Builder. He has a particular interest in new solar developments and smart energy systems and is always looking for the next smart home trend to cover. As the youngest member of the TecHome team, Michael brings a passion that keeps the team energized. He also is instrumental in leading our social media efforts.

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