The Types of IoT Networks & The Role They Play

Date : 6-12-2019

Internet of Things (IoT) Networks

When discussing the Internet of Things (IoT), the topic of networks is one that generally crops up quite often and with a variety of different types of network available, it’s pretty easy to get confused, especially if you’re new to the subject.

Here we take a closer look at those available and provide an explanation so that you can gain a better understanding of how the different elements of the IoT ecosystem fit together.

IoT networks can be categorised by the distance they cover and the purpose they are designed for and we’ve broken those down for you below:

A Nanonetwork – Applied in the military and biometrical sphere, nanonetworks typically consist of a group of a few extremely small devices (usually just a couple of micrometres across) which carry out simple jobs such as actuation, storage, computing and sensing. Due to their nature, you’re not likely to encounter this kind of network in a residential scenario.

A Body Area Network (BAN) – As the name would suggest, this network is designed to connect devices that are worn on the body or in some cases, inside the body when talking about embedded electronic equipment like pacemakers.

A Near Field Communication (NFC) Network – Typically employed in keycards, ID cards and contactless payment, NFC is a low-speed network that connects devices together over a small distance of around 4cm.

Personal Area Network (PAN) – Used to link devices in close proximity over a radius of approximately 10-20 feet, this kind of network would usually span one or two rooms.

Local Area Network (LAN) – A term that may be more familiar to you is LAN, which describes a network that covers an entire building, be it a residential or business property.

Wide Area Network (WAN) – This network is typically employed over a large geographical area and is the larger building block that links LANs together.

A Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) – A more complex type of network you may encounter is a WMN which is often an ad hoc network of wireless devices that connect directly together and typically consists of gateways, mesh routers and mesh clients. Those working across a WMN will connect together without having to connect to the internet, as they link up via what’s known as a mesh cloud.

In Summary

The many different types of IoT network each exist for a specific purpose and it’s what allows devices all over the world to be connected together and controlled remotely. From a network that covers just a single human body to others that span oceans, they all work together to form the ever-growing global structure that makes IoT possible.

At Sure Universal, our highly-reliable and highly-interoperable software-defined architecture allows us to create secure, user-friendly, scalable home and business automation solutions for our clients. Our platform stands out from the competition, as it’s the only one to deliver a complete, standard-compliant IoT software solution for both cable and telco operators.

If you would like to know more about anything discussed here or about IoT in general, we would recommend that you head over to our website If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or you’d like to book a consultation, fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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