How exactly do IoT devices communicate? Well, it’s complicated. But here is a simple guide to understanding how IoT devices work by communicating data over different systems and protocols to offer seamless connectivity.
The Circle of IoT Life
By 2020 tens of billions of devices will be connected to the internet and 50% of all new businesses will rely on the IoT by then. So what is the IoT? In a nutshell, anything connected to the internet is considered part of the IoT however, the literal definition is changing.
“Simply, the Internet of Things is made up of devices – from simple sensors to Smartphones and wearables – connected together.”
A person-to-person wireless call is made over one provider network. When that same phone sends an alert that someone is knocking on the front door, it becomes part of the IoT.
The home security network runs along a different network but is connected to the phone, providing a seamless connection across different platforms and protocols. Any data saved and stored will likely be located on the cloud, adding another layer of connectivity.
The Layman’s Guide to IoT Communication
According to IBM, there are standard protocols that enable different devices operating over different systems and networks to communicate with each other. One standard model goes through 7 layers of protocols every time a device communicates with another through the internet.
From the physical device, data goes through the network, is transported from the network into a session, then the presentation where the information can then be seen and finally, the application protocol where the data can be used, manipulated, and retransmitted. The bigger the IoT gets the more complex the protocols needed to ensure seamless communication get.
Constant security will eat up a lot of bandwidth and create a huge cache of stored data. When connecting devices to the IoT, how the device is used will have an impact on how those devices communicate:
- Wireless connection is limited by the range of the network
- Storage will depend on how much bandwidth is available – devices that store a lot of data have to account for cloud storage fees
- Operating systems may have to be customized in order to work with other devices on the network
- Different Anti-virus software from multiple devices can disrupt connectivity
Securing Homes by Securing Devices
According to Samsung, there are over 7 billion devices that lack the security necessary to be prepared for the IoT environment predicted for 2020. Device insecurity presents a real threat to network security.