What are the Data Link Layer Communication Protocols in IoT?

IoT communication protocols are modes of communication which ensure the security of the data that is being exchanged between IoT connected devices.

IoT devices can be connected through an IP network or a non-IP network. Even though there is a difference in their memory, range, and power use.

But connections via IP networks are complex and also take high memory and power from the IoT devices even though the range is not a problem. Non-IP networks like Bluetooth which require less memory and power but have a range limitation.

Communication Protocols

The most common use communication protocols of IoT are as follows −

  • Bluetooth

  • Wi-Fi

  • Zigbee

  • MQTT

  • OPC- UA

  • Cellular

  • Z-wave

  • LoRaWAN


The key benefits of IoT communication protocols are given below −

  • Interoperability

  • Innovation flexibility

  • High quality

  • Credibility

  • Global scalability

Types of IoT Protocols

The types of IoT Protocols are as follows −

IoT Network Protocols

These protocols are designed over a network to connect medium to high power devices. They allow data communication within the scope of the network. Examples of IoT Network protocols are HTTP, LoRaWAN, bluetooth, zigbee etc.

IoT Data Protocol

These protocols are designed to connect low power IoT devices. They are capable of providing end-to-end communication with the hardware, without any internet connection. Examples of IoT data protocols are MQTT, CoAP, AMQP, and XMPP.

Data Link Layer Communication Protocols

Now let us discuss some of the protocols and their differences.


LPWAN or Low-power wide area networks is a media access control (MAC) layer protocol designed for public networks in large-scale with a single operator. It is used for secure mobile bi-directional communication in wireless battery operated devices. and is ideal where low power and long range is needed with millions and millions of devices connected.

Its V1.0 spec dated January 2015 and it was released to the public in July 2015. It witnessed rapid adoption and many of its products are readily available on Amazon.


It is an IEEE 802.15.4 standard-based protocol for personal area networks with short range, low power, and low data rate wireless data transfer. ZigBee is less expensive than other wireless personal area networks and also simple. It is called a mini version of Wi-Fi as they are both often used in similar applications in terms of household-based wireless communication.

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11)

It is a technology developed for electronic devices to connect to a wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). It has various encryption technologies WEP, WPA, WPA2, etc., and can be password protected. It has been used widely in the IoT ecosystem as it serves in terms of utilizing the current infrastructure for the new Internet of thing technology.


The major differences between LPWAN, ZigBee and Wi-Fi are given below −

IEEE 802.15.4
Wi-Fi Alliance
902MHz -928MHz
868/915 MHz — 2.4 GHz
2.4 GHz, 5.8GHz
2–5km (urban) 15km (Suburban)
10–100 m
Data Rates
0.3–50 kbps
250 Kbps
11–105 Mbps
Power Consumption
Application Areas
Environmental data monitoring, smart cities
Home and Building Automation, Wireless Sensor Networks, Medical Data Collection
Smart Traffic Management, Office Automation, Residential and Commercial IoT router