How does IoT work?

By | August 28, 2017

IoT, by definition is Internet of things. But, with the term “things”, it does not means that they connect to the internet in traditional ways that you are thinking of, like using your personal computer or laptop to open a web browser.

These networks, are set up for specific IoT devices and applications. For example, let’s take a case of a smart doorbell camera. This device shares information with you via your smart phone and lets you control the camera. The doorbell camera isn’t able to connect to everything, only your smart phone.

The doorbell camera and your smart phone use a specific network to communicate with each other. This is how IoT works.


There are several different ways these networks can be built.

First, there are mesh networks, which are devices that connect directly with one another and nothing else. Devices such as a robotic arm that connects to a controller or a sleep monitor that connects to your smart phone are good examples of devices that only need to connect with each other. Devices using a mesh network must be within close proximity with each other (usually around 30 to 300 feet) because they generally use short-range wireless technologies to communicate with each other, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Zigbee.


The opposite of a mesh network is a centralized network. This means that your IoT device (or devices) connect to a centralized point, or hub, which is then able to communicate with the rest of the devices connected to it.


Hubs can be closed, meaning that it only serves one IoT application. An example would be a group of 3 baby monitors that connect to a hub which then connects to you smart phone, enabling you to access all 3 cameras through the hub. No other IoT devices within your house can connect to that hub though since it is closed.

Then, there are open hubs that act as a centralized network for multiple IoT applications. You can have a hub inside your home that connects all of your IoT devices together. You can have a smart refrigerator, stove, garage door, and camera system all connected to the same hub. Then, all you would need to do to access any of these devices would be to connect to the hub.

The SmartThings Hub is perhaps one of the most popular ones available. The hub is sort of like a small router that sits somewhere in your home. It is compatible with many wireless communication protocols, enabling it to connect to many different types of devices. Once connected, you could control any of your devices through the SmartThings App.

Hubs don’t have to be hosted within your home either. They can be controlled in the cloud by the manufacturer of the IoT device or by a third-party company that sells access to their cloud-based IoT platform to manufacturers.

As you can see, there’s a lot of different ways IoT can work. Above are just few explanations.

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Read more about it on next posts on IoT :

IOT – Internet Of Things