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IoT protocols: Comparison for Better Comprehension

IoT protocols allow equipment to exchange data, so without them, even the most sophisticated mechanisms are useless. At the same time, different protocols are optimal for different systems and tasks of different complexity. The multitude of options makes the choice much more difficult, however, without proper communication, correct interaction between devices, sensors, gateways, servers, and user applications is impossible.

Sirin Software, with its expertise in the field, would like to introduce proprietary this brief IoT protocols comparison to help you make the right choice.

MQT/Message Queuing Telemetry Transport

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The protocol is designed for non-intensive data exchange in networks with low bandwidth. It is mainly used for connecting small, stand-alone devices to remote locations.

MQT/Message Queuing Telemetry Transport uses a publisher-signed template. The message broker manages subscription themes, devices, and publishes updates to users. This model provides very simple data streams, therefore it is widespread, but some disadvantages make its use impractical in certain cases.

Thus, here are the ultimate pros of MQT/Message Queuing Telemetry Transport:

  • Low power consumption (170 times lower than in 3G networks and 47 times lower than in Wi-Fi networks) due to light and simple design;
  • Reliability of message delivery with the ability to increase up to 100% using three different flags, also known as QoS (technology for providing different classes of traffic with different priorities in service).

On the flip side, here are the pros of MQT/Message Queuing Telemetry Transport:

  • Lack of support for streaming audio and video content;
  • Cumbersome asynchronous publish-subscribe mechanisms combined with user interface programming take a long time to get a response;
  • Low speed of data exchange.

AMQP/Advanced Message Queuing Protocol

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One of the open, extended IoT protocols for application layer message queue management. Allows for the interoperability of industrial systems and applications, including for transactional messages between servers and in banking. Optimal for large-scale tasks.

Pros of AMQP/Advanced Message Queuing Protocol:

  • High quality and security of message delivery due to the use of QoS;
  • Ability to adapt to other IoT standards (increased complexity).

Cons of AMQP/Advanced Message Queuing Protocol:

  • This protocol is heavyweight, excluding the use in low-power devices, which imposes restrictions on the application in the banking sector.
  • Advanced addressing scheme, which is extremely user-friendly. Assigning recognizable names to IP addresses makes them easy to identify;
  • The ability to process large amounts of data, indispensable in manufacturing and 3D printing;
  • High flexibility – the ability to load extensions or plugins as needed.An inconvenience for the user, often discouraging developers from using AMQP/Advanced Message Queuing Protocol for IoT.

HTTP/Hypertext Transfer Protocol
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This protocol has received a lot of criticism as it is considered slightly outdated in some professional circles. However, the HTTP/Hypertext Transfer Protocol has obvious advantages:

  • Advanced addressing scheme, which is extremely user-friendly. Assigning recognizable names to IP addresses makes them easy to identify;
  • The ability to process large amounts of data, indispensable in manufacturing and 3D printing;
  • High flexibility – the ability to load extensions or plugins as needed.

Surely, HTTP/Hypertext Transfer Protocol has its drawbacks, too:

  • Problems with the integrity, security, and confidentiality of data because encryption methods are not used at all;
  • High power consumption as HTTP/Hypertext Transfer Protocol requires more system resources.

CoAP/Constrained Application Protocol

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It is a network transport protocol built on UDP that provides a REST programming interface between IoT devices and servers, making it invaluable in some applications.

The major advantages of CoAP/Constrained Application Protocol include:

  • Low overhead costs and low energy consumption with long battery life;
  • Best encryption model that can be combined with DTLS (Data Transport Layer Security) rather than SSL.

And some of its drawbacks CoAP/Constrained Application Protocol:

  • Low reliability of messages – the method of confirmation of receipt of messages does not allow you to understand one hundred percent for sure that it was received completely and correctly decoded;
  • Problems with NAT and firewalls as IP becomes dynamic over time. For this reason, this protocol is only suitable for devices with limited resources, microcontrollers, etc.

Bottom Line

The choice of IoT protocols is key for the developer. Comparing the disadvantages and advantages of each is a difficult question in itself, but it is even more difficult to create a working application.

One thing is for sure – it’s always best when professionals handle such tasks. Contact us to get savvy assistance in picking the most suitable IoT protocols and the entire arsenal of technologies and tools necessary for the successful implementation of your project, no matter how complex it may be!

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