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Zigbee vs. Bluetooth: Choosing the Right Protocol for Your IoT Application

March 05, 2020 / CHARLES ADAMS

Both Zigbee® and Bluetooth® wireless protocols are widely used for local communications in Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and there are some trade-offs to review in choosing the right one for your application. Each protocol has unique strengths that guide which solution to implement when designing a new network. In certain situations, one protocol will be a better fit than the other, though sometimes the right solution is to implement both together to take advantage of their combined strengths, as we will discuss in this article. To better understand these IoT protocol options, let's take a look at the advantages and limitations of Zigbee, followed by the same for three different "flavors" of Bluetooth: Classic, BLE, and BT Mesh. This will help explain the trade-offs and show some use cases for each, so that you can choose the optimal protocol for your IoT application - be it a smart city, industrial IoT, digital signage or other connected technology use case.