Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
1.Demonstrate a broad understanding of the knowledge base of this module, and its terminology and discourse (with specific reference to transmission media, data encoding, transmission modes, error detection and correction, flow control, multiplexing, switching techniques, and routing);
2.Identify and evaluate the principles and concepts underlying theoretical frameworks highlighted in this module, and demonstrate an ability to identify their strengths and weaknesses, especially in relation to the evolving networking scene (covering network topologies, protocols, layering, standardisation, LANs, WANs & MANs, internetworking, management, and multicast);
3.Collect and evaluate information from a variety of authoritative sources to inform a choice of solutions to standard data communication and network problems highlighted in this module, including online open source and subscription-only literature;
4.Evaluate the reliability of data and information provided in this module, using pre-defined techniques and/or criteria, especially in relation to free resources.
This assignment will assess the following learning outcomes:
5Collect and evaluate information from a variety of authoritative sources to inform a choice of solutions to standard data communication and network problems highlighted in this module, including online open source and subscription-only literature;
6Evaluate the reliability of data and information provided in this module, using pre-defined techniques and/or criteria, especially in relation to free resources.
ZigBee and Z-wave operations
Communication over the network has been growing substantially for the last two decades. Internet users have been using different networking protocols such as Wi-Fi and wired network to support their needs. With continued technological advancements, there has been raising demands for more stable and reliable network (Aju 2015, p. 68). This has resulted to several network alternatives such as ZigBee and Z wave. These are wireless network communication protocols which provides an opportunity to connected devices to share data and communicate effectively without relying on either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi supported network. These two complementary network protocols make use of low energy radio waves to facilitate steady and continuous device connection. Introduction of both ZigBee and Z wave in the networking industry resulted to growth of smart things with all devices being connected to each other. Smart things facilitates interconnection and communication of all devices at homes and offices. With such stable and reliable network, it has been possible to automate home appliances such as lightings and other electronic devices. In this regard, it would be important to appreciate the need and opportunities which have come up with ZigBee and Z wave network protocols (Lobaccaro, Carlucci & Lofstrom 2016, 348). They have capability to connect more devices than other available wireless network.
These are wireless communication protocols which make use of radio frequency to distribute network signals to several devices. According to Obaid et al. (2014, p. 115), through use of radio frequency, it is possible to control and monitor all connected devices status. Basically, ZigBee and Z wave are regarded to be different but are used by devices to communicate to each other over the network. Almost every device is currently being designed in such a way that, they are able to connect to Z waves. Smart home technology has been advancing through use of Z waves to include doors, motion sensors, and remote controls and touch switches among other devices. With ZigBee products, customers are able to integrate available technology in order to meet specific user needs. All these technologies are mesh networks which is a clear indication that, network signal can hop from one device to the other. In such a working scenario, all home gadget does not need to be connected to the Wi-Fi. Z waves in its working capability can allow a maximum of four hops between the any connected device and the controller. ZigBee has a capability of operating on 915MHz and 2.4GHz frequency. On the same note, Z-wave has been observed to operate on a very low frequency of 918-960MHz a clear indication there is minimal interference on Z-wave as compared to ZigBee (Lobaccaro, Carlucci & Lofstrom 2016, p. 348). Similarly, ZigBee can support more than 65000 devices while Z-waves can support up to 232 devices making it suitable for many homes. In order for other devices to work with Z-waves and ZigBee, they should be enabled with any of the enabled chips. The embedded chip makes it possible for the device to communicate with other devices effectively.
Differences between ZigBee and Z wave
Differences between ZigBee and Z wave
Table 1. ZigBee and Z-wave differences
Specifications and capabilities of ZigBee and Z-waves
Home automation, remote control and smart grid
Security and home automation
Similarity between ZigBee and Z-wave
Both ZigBee and Z-wave make use of mesh network topology. Through use of mesh topology structure, this makes it possible to connect and communicate with many devices at the same time. In a mesh topology, networked devices are able to send and receive signals from interconnected devices randomly. In both network protocols, wireless signals are used as a means of communication between communicating devices. Communicating devices should be within a prescribed radius in order to receive and send signals (Turab 2018, p. 14). The radius of coverage is specific to each technology in use. Communication between networked devices in all these technologies form a smartThing hub. Interconnection between smart devices supported by either technology results to smartThing hubs used to perform different activities. Finally, both ZigBee and Z-wave can be used in different working environments such as homes, enterprises and small businesses. With Z-wave being the inferior and supporting a minimum of 232 devices, its application can be used to support small, medium and even large organizational needs. On the same note, ZigBee can be used to support more than 6500 devices at a time. Considering the range upon which these technologies can be used to operate, both protocols can be used to support any business environment.
Z-Wave and ZigBee compatible devices
For devices to integrate smoothly, compatibility issues should be factored in order to make specific device interface with others effectively. In this regard, there are more devices which are compatible with ZigBee. These devices range from battery powered to light switch powered devices. In a bid to increase device compatibility, Z wave has been tailored to accommodate variety of devices (Betzler et al. 2014, p. 14932). Some of the products which support ZigBee are Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue Yale smart locks among others. Similarly, similar smart home brands and devices that support Z waves are; Samsung SmarThings, Winkhub, ADT security Hub, Honeywell thermostats, Yale Smart Locks among other available devices.
ZigBee and Z-waves networking principles
SmartThing hub require both ZigBee and Z-wave in order to operate efficiently. In order to make use of these networking protocols, smartThing hub must be connected to some other devices or make use of chips that can receive or sent signals to other connected devices (Mendes et al. 2015, p. 7279). SmartThing hub makes use of these protocols to pass signals from one device to the other. In this case, SmartThing hub communicates remotely through use of subject protocols. Once ZigBee produces network signals, they are distributed to other devices through Z-wave technology. ZigBee and Z-wave should be connected to at least one working controller which helps subject protocols to receive and respond commands from other devices or the operator. In this regard, smartThing devices cannot be connected to more than one hub at a time. A device can only belong to a single hub at a time and can only respond to commands from just a single hub. The range of ZigBee and Z-wave without any interference from obstacles varies depending on environmental factors. The smartThing hub has an approximate of 130 feet and ZigBee and Z-wave has been approximated to be 50-100 feet (Gomez & Paradells 2010, p. 6). The range approximated with an assumption that, it happens between two devices and no signal hopping would occur. It is possible to extend the range of both Z-wave and ZigBee by adopting mesh network topology which makes it possible for either signals to hop through several devices. The powered Z-wave and ZigBee are interconnected to serve as wireless network repeaters in a bid to increase both speed and strength of the network. Important to note is that, nether of the two protocols can communicate to each other. It is not possible for a Z-wave chip enabled device to communicate to another device fitted with ZigBee antenna and vice versa.
Similarity between ZigBee and Z-wave
Z-wave frequency of 908.42 MHZ does not interfere with router wireless network. Next, it is very easy and simple to install and use. It does not require any advanced skills and experience to use it. Similarly, Z-wave is almost compatible with almost all devices which is the only capability that makes it popular. On the same note, ZigBee offers is considered cheap and has low power consumption (Moinuddin et al. 2017, p. 6). Its design has been made flexible with capability to add more wireless features suitable for specific user. Finally, ZigBee signals are able to hop up to 15 times making possible to extend its working radius without much restrictions.
Z-wave is regarded as resource intensive as it require frequent batteries replacement. Being compatible to many devices makes it possible to connect as many devices as possible. Due to its many connections, it tends to occupy more space and are somehow expensive to purchase. Similarly, ZigBee has compatibility issues making it difficult to extend its working capability (Subramanian & Jeyaraj 2018, p. 32). Finally, it is important to note that, ZigBee can be complex to set up when required for enterprise use.
ZigBee and Z-wave are network devices like any another and should be vulnerable to security issues such as hacking. In this regard, when planning to integrate smart devices into home network, Z-wave should be preferred (Subramanian & Jeyaraj 2018, p. 32). If required configurations are not carefully done, it may result to privacy breach.
ZigBee and Z-wave are regarded to be wireless protocols that facilitate communication between devices across the network. Though there are notable differences between these devices, they work hand in in hand with each other. These network protocols have been adopted by users as an alternative to Wi-Fi network connections. Each of these protocols has different working capabilities and have varying operational frequencies. For interconnected devices to communicate to each other, they should be fitted with chips which can receive and respond to commands from other devices. With innovation of ZigBee and z-wave, it has been possible to set up smartThings hub which results to smart home connections. Both protocols can be used to make connections in either homes, small businesses or enterprises. There exist notable differences and similarities between ZigBee and Z-wave. Finally, there are some risks which can be associated with these network protocols such as cybersecurity issues.
Aju, O.G., 2015. A survey of ZigBee wireless sensor network technology: Topology, applications and challenges. Network, 30(7), pp.65-100.
Betzler, A., Gomez, C., Demirkol, I. and Paradells, J., 2014. A holistic approach to ZigBee performance enhancement for home automation networks. Sensors, 14(8), pp.14932-14970.
Gomez, C. and Paradells, J., 2010. Wireless home automation networks: A survey of architectures and technologies. IEEE Communications Magazine, 48(6).
Lobaccaro, G., Carlucci, S. and Lofstrom, E., 2016. A review of systems and technologies for smart homes and smart grids. Energies, 9(5), p.348.
Lobaccaro, G., Carlucci, S. and Löfström, E., 2016. A review of systems and technologies for smart homes and smart grids. Energies, 9(5), p.348.
Mendes, T., Godina, R., Rodrigues, E., Matias, J. and Catalao, J., 2015. Smart home communication technologies and applications: Wireless protocol assessment for home area network resources. Energies, 8(7), pp.7279-7311.
Moinuddin, K., Srikantha, N., Lokesh, K.S. and Narayana, A., 2017. A Survey on Secure Communication Protocols for IoT Systems. International Journal of Engineering and Computer Science, 6(6).
Obaid, T., Rashed, H., Abou-Elnour, A., Rehan, M., Saleh, M.M. and Tarique, M., 2014. ZigBee Technology and its application in Wireless Home Automation systems: a survey. International Journal of Computer Networks & Communications, 6(4), p.115.
Subramanian, N. and Jeyaraj, A., 2018. Recent security challenges in cloud computing. Computers & Electrical Engineering, 71, pp.28-42.
Turab, N.M., 2018. IOT wireless home automation technologies and their relation to specific absorption rate. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, 96(14).
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