How do smart home devices communicate – explained

A smart home is a home full of devices that are connected to the internet and can be controlled remotely. This means you can control lights, heating, air conditioning, or anything else in your house from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. But how do these devices communicate?

Smart home devices use a mixture of inbuilt Bluetooth, WiFi, and APIs to communicate on a home network and across the Internet.

We’ll go over the different ways that smart home devices communicate and some important considerations when it comes to choosing one for your own household!

How do you control smart home devices?

You’ve probably heard about the Internet of Things devices and the smart device revolution. These gadgets can usually be controlled with the help of a smartphone, provide automation features, and offer further remote access options using cloud technology or web-based portals.

Smart home devices are often controlled using a mobile app such as Apple HomeKit, Android SmartThings, or IFTTT.

However, even though smart home devices are usually controlled wirelessly with a smartphone app they require fundamental network protocols to communicate with one another.

Some devices might only be compatible with WiFi networks, while others may require a hub that

But have you ever considered how these smart devices actually work? And in particular, how is it possible for objects like smart TVs, fridges, or thermostats to communicate with each other? Read on to learn more about the underlying technology behind intelligent devices, especially the network protocols they use for communication.

Smart home devices use different methods for wireless communication, but most often, they take advantage of WiFi and Bluetooth. Such devices use WiFi to interface with a central wireless router that is connected to the internet. WiFi allows transmitting a large amount of data, fast.

Another common wireless protocol is Bluetooth. This technology is often found in peripherals like wireless mouse or keyboards. It also comes in handy for synchronizing data with wearable devices like fitness trackers or smartwatches. Bluetooth is reliable and requires relatively little power for data transmission. That’s why it’s an excellent pick for simple devices that transmit data frequently.

The two very popular protocols are Z-Wave and ZigBee. They’ve been around for over a decade, helping devices like washers and dryers to communicate. They provide low-power, relatively long-distance communication available for hundreds or even thousands of devices. Both protocols use symmetric encryption for security.

Another option is Lightweight M2M (LwM2M), a communication protocol designed for remote device management and telemetry within IoT applications. It reduces the power and data consumption – that’s why it’s a great match for devices with limited processing and storage capabilities.

Smart home devices and IoT is constantly evolving, and you can be sure that engineers will come up with many more solutions for fostering communication between connected devices.

How do smart home devices communicate with each other?

When it comes to communicating with other devices, there are lots of ways. Smart homes use various technologies such as WiFi networks, Zigbee/Z-wave (wireless), Lightweight MTPs (low power wireless) and APIs ‍(Application Programming Interfaces). This article will go through how these methods work in detail so that you can better understand what is happening behind your scenes when a device commands another one to perform an action.

Most IoT devices require a connection to the internet in order to function. However, smart home devices are increasingly connecting directly over WiFi or Bluetooth instead of going through an intermediary like a smartphone app.

These connections can be vulnerable because they’re not encrypted and it’s difficult for users to tell who is on the other end of their connections – meaning that when you connect your device wirelessly without encryption, there’s no way of telling if someone has hijacked your signal and connected themselves with bad intent.

Google has developed a technology called Weave that allows devices to communicate with each other without going through the internet. It’s something of a mesh network and it has been designed specifically for smart home products.

This is used in the Google Nest lineup of products.

WeMo is a technology created and used by Belkin. It’s a “home automation” system that lets you control lights, appliances, and other electronics remotely using your smartphone or tablet through WiFi connections to another WeMo device in the home.

How is smart home communication secured?

Smart home devices are secured by the very same internet security measures that protect our personal computers – firewalls, firmware patches, and passwords.

Smart home device communication can be insecure due to the lack of encryption. If your device wirelessly communicates without encryption, there’s no way of telling if someone has hijacked your signal and connected themselves with bad intentions.


There are many different ways that smart home devices communicate, but WiFi and Bluetooth are the most common. We hope you found this article helpful in getting a better understanding of how your device communicates to both you as well as other devices nearby.

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