Internet of Things Topologies – CompTIA Network+ N10-007 – 1.5


We tend to be connecting more
and more devices to each other into what we are calling
the Internet of Things. For example, we might be
connecting wearable technology, like a smartwatch
or a health monitor, and making those devices
communicate to each other. These can also
track our locations and provide mapping
information for us. The real question, of
course, is what type of data are these storing, and where is
that information being stored. We’re also connecting a lot
of home automation devices as well. Many people have video
doorbells on their house that are connected
over the internet, along with their
garage door openers. You can control your
heating and cooling from wherever you happen
to be in the world. And all of these devices
know when you’re home, and they know when
you’re not home. One category of Internet of
Things technologies is Z-Wave. This is a technology
that’s primarily used to automate the home. So if you need to control
lights turning on and off or you need to lock doors
or control the garage door, you can do it using
Z-Wave technology. These Z-Wave devices communicate
through a wireless mesh network. You would put many different
Z-Wave devices in your home, and they would hop through
each other on their way to the destination. Z-Wave devices commonly
communicate over the 900 megahertz ISM band. That’s the industrial,
scientific, and medical band, and there’s no special
license required to be able to use
those frequencies. And since they’re using
the 900 megahertz band, there’s no conflict with
802.11 networks that might be running in your home. Another common type of Internet
of Things typologies is the ANT or ANT+ wireless
network protocol. These are using the
2.4 gigahertz ISM band. And you commonly see these
associated with fitness devices and heart rate monitors. These are using a completely
different type of networking than your 802.11
or your Bluetooth, but they are using
2.4 gigahertz. These frequencies, of
course, could be jammed, and ANT and ANT+ don’t require
any type of encryption to be able to communicate between
all of these devices. One of the most popular
Internet of Things typologies is Bluetooth. This is using the
Personal Area Network to connect a lot of our
personal devices together. You can use Bluetooth to
connect wireless headphones and external speakers. You could use it for
tethering internet connections from your mobile phone. Or it might be connected
to health monitoring systems all connected
together through Bluetooth. Another common Internet
of Things technology is near field
communication or NFC. We most commonly
see this integrated into our mobile phones. It’s a two-way communication,
and it’s usually implemented as a way to provide payments
using your mobile phone. Simply move your mobile phone
close to the payment system, and the transaction is done
without having to pull out any type of credit card. You might also see NFC use
with other types of networks. For example, you can use
NFC to help with the pairing process for Bluetooth. And in some environments, you
can use NFC as an access token. So you can use your
mobile phone to allow you access into a room
with an electronic lock. Infrared is a technology
that’s been around for a very long time, but
we’re integrating it also into our mobile phones, our
tablets, and our smart watches. Although in the past,
we used infrared for file transfers and printing,
the most common use these days of infrared is to control
an entertainment center all by using your mobile device. Radio frequency
identification or RFID is another Internet
of Things technology, and we seem to use RFID
everywhere in our daily life. It’s used in our access
badges and inventory tracking. And some of us even have
RFID tags inside of our pets. RFID tags are usually
not powered devices. They’re powered using the radio
energy that is sent to the tag. It powers up the
tag, and the tags sends back an ID over this
wireless communication. This is a bidirectional
communication, and you can find
some RFID tags that do use a powered or
active format as well. And one of the most common
internet of things technologies is our 802.11 wireless networks. We use them in our home,
we use them at work, and we use them
everywhere else as well. This is an IEEE standard. It’s managed by the
IEEE 802 committee. There have been many
updates to 802.11 over time, and we foresee many updates
coming in the future as well for this very
popular wireless technology. If you want to be sure that
your Wi-Fi devices will be able to communicate
with each other, you need to look for
the Wi-Fi trademark on the devices, which help
ensure that all of these will be able to interoperate
with each other.

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