Why I chose zigbee for home automation

My search for security and convenience

For the majority of time before I started home automation I have spend my time researching which protocol was suitable for me.

My main concern was/ still is, is security and privacy. As I don't want any spies or other wise entries into my home, unless I say so! (yes, I am a control freak)

There where the following protocols to choose from:

  • WiFi
  • Z-Wave
  • Zigbee
  • RF (Radio Frequency)
  • Proprietary

This was off the bat a no go, as there was no control over on what happens and so on.

My main concern here was security and privacy, as the device has a connection to the WiFi it could do all kinds of nasty things like send out usage, or make it a little more interesting, execute code on my network received from external source, so a no go.

RF (Radio Frequency)
The issue I had with this protocol is that there is no communication between the devices, it is just one way, so when turning on or off a device the controller sends out 3 messages, hoping that one will be received, apart from the range issue. A pro, devices have no internet access, but can be succeptable to hackers as you only need to transmit an RF signal.

This is a neck on neck race with Zigbee, the main weakness in my account is that it can controll up to 232 devices, which in the beginning seems like a huge number, but it will keep growing pretty quickly when you get hooked. Security wise it is great as the devices themselves have no internet access.

For me in my context this is the winner as it supports networks with a lot of devices going into the 1000s, is secure in home using zigbee2mqtt, is cheap using xiaomi/ IKEA components. And as another secure part it has no internet access of its own.

So that is the short of it, I will keep my devices on zigbee using zigbee2mqtt.

See you later!

Jasper van Rijbroek

Jasper van Rijbroek

I'm a PHP and NodeJS developer who was born in Amsterdam, NL but now lives in beautiful Valencia, Spain. I work remotely full-time and enjoy blogging about everything related to this wonderful country. Let me know if you have any questions about Spain - I'd be more than happy to help!

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