An IoT gateway is a device or software that acts as a bridge between IoT devices (IoT meaning) and the Internet. All information that is collected by IoT products and sent to other devices need a gateway for such purpose. You can look at it as a central hub that receives and sends information.
IoT gateways are also in charge of device management, data processing, and security functions. They play an important role in the infrastructure of IoT, since it enables communication between devices.
What is the purpose of an IoT gateway?
IoT gateways act as a bridge between different communication protocols, that is, they are in charge of translating data between devices and servers that use different protocols, and making it possible to connect and communicate with a wide variety of devices (See Scaling IoT projects).
For example, an IoT gateway is useful for updating the firmware of a hardware device (firmware vs software), configuring its functions, and monitoring its performance. The gateway of IoT can also be used to filter and process data from the devices before it is sent to the cloud. In addition, the gateway also needs to provide security features such as encryption, authentication and access control.
What are the types of IoT gateways?
As you could see before, a gateway is very important for the correct performance of IoT products. However, there are different types of gateways that are meant for different uses, imagine them as an IoT router that needs specific characteristics for adapting well to certain conditions. Let’s see some of them:
Industrial IoT gateways: These gateways are designed for use in industrial areas and are often reinforced for use in harsh environments. Examples include the Advantech WISE-4210 and the Siemens SIMATIC IOT2000.
Smart home gateways: These kinds of gateways are designed for use in residential settings (smart homes), and are often used to control and monitor smart home devices such as lights, thermostats, and security cameras. Examples include the Samsung SmartThings Hub and the Amazon Echo Dot.
Wireless gateways: These are designed to connect wireless devices such as Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth to the internet. Some examples include the Z-Wave USB Stick, and the Digi XBee Cellular.
Vehicle gateways: IoT gateways designed for being used in vehicles. They collect and transmit data from various systems such as the engine, transmission, and navigation system. Examples include the NXP S32V234 and the Renesas R-Car H3.
Cloud-based gateways: They are based in the cloud and are accessed remotely. Examples include AWS IoT Greengrass, and Microsoft Azure IoT Edge.
Multi-protocol gateways: These gateways are designed to support multiple communication protocols, such as MQTT, HTTP, and CoAP, and can be used to connect a wide variety of devices. Examples include the Everyware IoT Gateway and the Predix Edge of GE.
These are just some examples of IoT gateways, there are many different types and variations of gateways available on the market. The choice of gateway for your IoT solution will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the application or system.
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