IoT gateways are used as a bridge to connect data from sensors or edge devices to the cloud. These gateways serve an important role in supporting an IoT ecosystem, as they not only establish connectivity but can also enable the seamless communication of data generated by sensors within the network, by translating network protocols. IoT gateways provide security and manage the flow of data within the network. In some use cases, they even do edge computing, locally managing and analyzing data. Here’s what you need to know about IoT gateway devices, as well as some IoT gateway vendors offering top-rated products.
Just as with other IoT technology, it’s important to choose gateways made specifically to support the Internet of Things. Here are the most important things to look for when selecting an IoT gateway device:
There are different types of IoT gateways with different purposes. For example, one that’s used for a connected diaper in a hospital will likely need to accommodate different requirements than one intended for another application. Some gateways used in outdoor applications may need to be waterproof, while ones used indoors may not. Make sure the gateway supports your business goals and the specific use cases for your products and services.
Be sure the gateway manufacturer you choose supports your existing authentication and encryption standards and continues to follow and update to new standards. Technology changes rapidly, and it’s essential to keep up. If your IoT solutions are intended for Department of Defense (DoD) or government use cases, you may need to choose gateways and other technology from a list of approved vendors. Regardless, be sure to check the requirements your IoT gateway must meet before making a decision.
Consider your current equipment and potential future needs to ensure your overall solution will be able to grow as you do. In particular, make sure the gateway supports 4G and beyond. Given sunset plans for 3G, looking forward to 4G and 5G is imperative to ensure the gateway you choose will be effective for years to come. This is especially true in the United States, but it also applies around the world.
The gateway is crucial for supporting connectivity in your IoT system. Make sure it supports the required protocols to provide the range you need for your devices. For example, if you are using sensor technologies like Bluetooth or LoRa, you need to be sure the gateway will support your chosen technology, both now and in the future.
As with many IoT deployment considerations, it’s a good idea to select gateway devices that have enough processing power at the edge to support your use case. Even if you don’t currently use this technology, you might in the future.
Ensure the gateway has a robust enough management system to allow for future updates to your IoT solution. If you are deploying a lot of gateways in a single solution, you need to be able to remotely manage them to oversee connectivity, configure changes, and provide software updates. Imagine the difference between having to manually update one gateway to remotely change the APN, versus managing a thousand gateways, one at a time. It’s best if you aren’t required to be onsite (or remotely update individual gateways) to implement changes.
Gateway companies sell their hardware to OEM clients, who then work with a connectivity vendor. While your first thought may be to go directly to cellular vendors like Verizon and AT&T, you should consider the implications of that path. Authorized data resellers like Zipit can provide a much higher level of support by helping to simplify cellular data management, providing multiple carrier options to improve solution coverage, offer more competitive rates, and help to offload the operational complexities of maintaining multiple carrier relationships. Zipit’s platform provides customers with a single pane of glass through which to manage all cellular devices, and a powerful way to monetize your cellular services. Furthermore, while some gateway providers may offer basic connectivity options, Zipit may be a better partner to help you meet your ultimate goals, as many customers can attest to.
Here are some top IoT gateway vendors:
Using an IoT gateway provides many advantages to support and enhance your IoT ecosystem. With a top-rated gateway, you can lay a fertile foundation for growth in the years to come. As you consider your current and future needs, Zipit can help you connect with the very best IoT gateway vendors.
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