What is LoRaWAN?
LoRaWAN stands for Long Range Wide Area Network and is used for connecting devices to the internet at long range. The LoRa Alliance defines the LoRaWAN network architecture as a cloud-based, low-power, wide-area (LPWA) network protocol. It is a popular specification for Internet of Things (IoT) devices due to its versatility and security.
How is LoRaWAN used in IoT?
Using LoRaWAN, you can connect battery operated ‘things’ to a network to collect valuable data. Due to it being a LPWA network protocol, these devices can be in places other protocols do not accommodate for. Devices can be in a range of convenient places to collect data, such as up a light pole, in a paddock or on a car. The end-node devices “talk” to each other through gateways which relay the transmitted data onto a centralised network server. This data can be sent to an easy-to-read dashboard where valuable insights can be observed.
What are the benefits of LoRaWAN?
There’s a reason LoRaWAN is such a popular option for IoT integrators. Here’s 5 reasons why LoRaWAN stands out from the crowd:
LoRaWAN IoT networks are easily expandable, use bi-directional communication and as a wide-area network protocol, allows expansive coverage. Devices can be easily added to a network without disruption to existing architecture.
The underlying architecture of LoRaWAN is simple compared to cellular, another more complex option for IoT networks. Due to lower complexity, faults are easier to diagnose and resolve since network diagnostic tools are at your fingertips.
LoRaWAN utilises end-to-end security and uses two layers of cryptography to ensure a secure network.
LoRaWAN IoT networks can be uniquely designed to meet the requirements of each client. Available resources can be optimised to suit each customer, use case and geographic situation. Unlike cellular networks, you have the power to decide where your gateways are positioned.
5. Free-to-use on The Things Network
LoRaWAN is free to use through services like The Things Network (TTN). The TTN IoT community welcomes and openly encourages collaboration and sharing the network for the benefit of furthering research and greater accessibility.