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What is Z-Wave?

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 01 Jul, 2022
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Z-Wave is a wireless communication protocol known for Home Automation. Wireless Communication protocol is simply a set of rules or some standards, an application, or a program that should be followed in order to communicate wirelessly. This wireless protocol allows multiple wireless devices to communicate with each other in an affordable and reliable way with easy-to-use smart products. 

History of Z-Wave

Z-wave was first developed/founded by the two Danish engineers of a start-up company named, Zensys. Their actual motive was to build something to automate homes, but this later turned out to be a protocol implemented by many companies all over the world.

Later in 2008, it was acquired by Sigma Designs. After seeing the potential of this technology, many other companies( such as Z-Wave Russia, z wave Sverige ADI, Samsung SDS, Vivint, D-Link, and many other companies) also joined the alliance, which is formerly known as Z-Wave Alliance

Currently Z-Wave: It currently has more than 300 companies, with more than 500+ devices that support 14 Million applications worldwide. 

Z-Wave Architecture and Working

Z-Wave operates under source crowdedness architecture. In this architecture, one device or node needs to communicate with another node at the end and if it is not directly reachable then it communicates with the other nearest node, this nearest node passes the message to the next node and that will send the message to the destination and vice versa. 

The nodes are added to the mesh network by some method and can be removed using the same method.

Its frequency varies differently in different countries such as:

India- 865.2 MHz
USA-908.4 MHz
China-868.4 MHz

This variation in frequency depends on the regulations.

The available data rates: 9600 bits/sec 
Output power: 1 mw/ 0dBm
Range: 30 metres( free space)
Frequency: 924.4 MHz

Devices that operate in Z Wave are:

Samsung SmartThings, Fibaro smart sensors, GE Appliances, LG SmartThinq, and many others. It cannot connect a massive number of devices altogether. The number of devices that can be connected is limited and the hops as well. The Z-wave protocols and their devices are much slower when compared with the Zigbee protocol and its devices.

Z-wave Security:

Z-wave maintains confidentiality and integrity, as it uses an encryption algorithm i.e. AES Algorithm that encrypts the incoming and outgoing messages. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Algorithm, it is a block cipher. It, therefore, supports end-to-end encryption.

As Zigbee and Z-wave both use the same algorithm AES to ensure security both are safe. 

Z-wave Popularity:

As Z wave is a wireless solution for home automation, we have many other and much better solutions than Z Wave even if it consumes lower power than other wireless protocols. These are specifically popular for Home automation as they are compatible with lower data rates. It is popular outside India, like in the USA.

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