What are the differences between Zigbee and Wi-Fi?

Let us understand the concepts of Wi-Fi and Zigbee.


It is a wireless networking protocol that allows devices to communicate without internet cords. It's technically an industry term that represents a type of wireless local area network (LAN) protocol based on the 802.11IEEE network standard.

Wi-Fi is the most popular means of communicating data wireless, within a fixed location.

We can find Wi-Fi in the following:

  • Schools, Homes and Colleges

  • Corporate places and Private/Public Firms

  • Railway/Metro stations

  • Supermarkets where customers can pay online

  • Near restaurants, coffee shops, dine places

The ZigBee protocol

It is used in the IEEE 802.15 standards and adds the network security as well as framework protocol. This also has a network layer that gives a reliable and secure transmission among the devices.

There are several technologies that support the transfer of the data that is being fetched from the sensor at a specific rate which is about 250 kbps and it in turn operates in many frequencies.

As it needs low power from that of the device, then there would be a battery life for specific improvements.

This is a wireless technology that is made as to the open global standard for addressing the unique requirements of low cost or low power wireless IoT network.

The protocol here allows the devices that would communicate in a specific variety of network topology which would have battery life.

One such application is the ZigBee Alliance which contains a profile meant for home automation.


The major differences between Wi-Fi and ZigBee are as follows −

Zigbee uses IEEE 802.15.4 and the ZigBee alliance standard.Wi-Fi uses IEEE 802.11 series standard.
The network types of ZigBee are Wireless personal area network (WPAN).The network type of Wi-Fi is wireless local area network (WLAN).
The ZigBee frequency band is 868/915 and 2.4 GHz.The Wi-Fi frequency band is 2.4 and 5 GHz.
The channel bandwidth us about 1 MHzThe channel bandwidth of Wi-Fi is 0.3 or 0.6 or 2 MHz
The network topology used by ZigBee is star and mesh topology type.The network topology used by Wi-Fi is BSS, ESS configuration.
The date rate is up to 250 Kbps low data rateThe date rate of Wi-Fi is up to 54 Mbps using 802.11a/g OFDM technique, even more is achievable using 802.11n, 11ac, 11ad standard based products
The modulation techniques used here is BPSK, OQPSKThe modulation techniques in Wi-Fi are OFDM, CCK, BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, 256QAM
The distance coverage of ZigBee is 10 to 30 metersThe distance coverage of Wi-Fi is 30 to 100 meters
ZigBee is managed by Zigbee alliance and IEEEWi-Fi is managed by Wi-Fi alliance and IEEE.
The transmit power is -25dBm to 0 dBmThe transmit power of Wi-Fi is 15 to 20 dBm
Data protection is 16 bit CRCData protection is 32 bit CRC.
Popular ZigBee chip manufacture are Freescale, Ember, Texas Instruments (CC2530,CC2531), Marvell, ATMEL, MicrochipPopular Wi-Fi manufactures are Texas Instruments (CC3000), microchip, red pine, Broadcom.