Types of Network Communication in IoT

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For any two devices to communicate with each other we need connectivity. The connectivity to the network could be wired or wireless. Here, we can see the types of network communication in IoT.

Network Communication in IoT

These three types of network communication are seen in the Internet of things:

  1. Thing to Things
  2. Thing to Proxy
  3. Thing to Internet

Thing to Things

In thing-to-things network communication, one thing communicates with another thing/things by sending messages, commands, or data.

Example: Thing-to-things communication is seen in RFID Technology.


A basic RFID system comprises two parts: the tag, and the reader.

The RFID tag has an embedded transmitter and receiver. The actual RFID component contained in a tag has two parts:

  • An integrated circuit for storing and processing information, and an antenna to receive and transmit a signal.
  • The RFID tag has non-volatile memory storage and can include either fixed or programmable logic for processing transmission and sensor data.

Tags can be passive, active, or battery-assistive passive.

  • A passive tag is the cheapest option and features on battery. The tag uses radio energy transmitted by the reader.
  • An active tag features an onboard battery, periodically transmitting its credentials.
  • A battery-assistive passive tag also features a small onboard battery but is only activated when in the presence of an RFID reader.
  • Furthermore, a tag may be either read-only or read/write. A read-only tag has a factory-assigned serial number used for identification in a database, while a reader/write tag can have specific custom data written to the tag by the user.

RFID Reader

The RFID reader features a two-way radio transmitted-receiver (transceiver), also known as an interrogator.

  • The transceiver transmits an encoded radio signal to interrogate the tag. The radio signal essentially wakes or activates the tag. In turn, the tag transponder converts the radio signal into usable power and responds to the reader.

RFID Working

In most the RFID system, tags are attached to all items that are to be tracked. These tags are made from a tiny tag chip that is connected to an antenna.

RFID Working

Thing to Proxy

In Thing to proxy networking, one thing communicates with another thing/things by sending messages, commands, or data via proxy/hub.

The thing to proxy communication can happen with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, etc. via a hub.

The thing to proxy networking:

Example: Below is a few examples of things to things networking.

Also Read: What is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)? A Beginner’s Guide To BLE

Things to Internet

Things to an internet connection can be a direct connection or via proxy.

Things to Internet

Also Read: What Is Raspberry Pi And Sense HAT

What is M2M (machine-to-machine) communication in IoT?

M2M communication in IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the communication between two or more devices or machines over a network, without the need for human intervention. M2M communication enables devices to exchange data and perform tasks automatically, making it an essential component of IoT. This technology is used in various applications such as smart homes, wearable devices, industrial automation, and transportation systems. M2M communication is typically achieved through the use of wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, NFC, or cellular networks.

What is End-to-end communication in IoT?

End-to-end communication in IoT refers to the communication between IoT devices, which can be either sensors, actuators, or gateways, through a network, to a centralized system or cloud service. This communication is used to transfer data and commands between devices, allowing for the effective monitoring and control of connected devices. End-to-end communication in IoT is important as it ensures that data is transmitted securely, efficiently, and reliably, allowing for better decision-making, control, and optimization in various applications.

Also Read: IoT Reference Architecture

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