Z-Wave and Zigbee are both mesh networks built to support wireless communications, particularly in the form of automation systems such as that of the home. This can then allow multiple devices and appliances to be connected to the technology.
Belonging to different operations and brands, there are a few differences that you can note between the two when it comes to operability, interference, power consumption, device compatibility and support, security and speed.
You can go through some of these points of comparison in further detail below so that you can opt for the better choice.
The frequencies at which Z-Wave and Zigbee function can have an impact on the regular functioning of other wireless systems in your house such as your Wi-Fi. In the case of these two, Zigbee tends to interfere with this connectivity since it operates at a frequency of 2.4 GHz due to a similar range.
Z-Wave operates at a frequency of 1 GHz, providing lesser Wi-Fi interference.
When it comes to the power required to function, both Z-Wave and Zigbee require low power, resulting in lesser consumption of energy and increased savings on bills, promoting efficiency. However, since Zigbee has a higher frequency, it uses slightly more power as compared to Z-Wave, resulting in relatively higher costs.
In terms of how many devices each can support, Zigbee can support a greater number of devices as compared to Z-Wave. However, an important aspect to note here is that Z-Wave’s 232-device potential can lead to much better bandwidth as compared to Zigbee’s 65,000 potential device connections. Read our articles on the best z-wave hubs for more info.
In terms of speed, Zigbee is faster as compared to Z-Wave. While this can prove useful when it comes to transferring information and data, the overall range that the signal can cover might be lesser.
There are nearly 3,000 Z-Wave and Zigbee products that each of them can support. However, Z-Wave can manage to work throughout all the 3,000 Z-Wave products whereas you will need to ensure that Zigbee and its products are all of the same categories.
Z-Wave is privately run and operated while Zigbee is open. This makes Z-Wave more interoperable due to its certification standards and compatibility with all Z-Wave devices.
On the other hand, Zigbee’s open structure may end up giving different certifications to the devices and the actual software technology.
Both Z-Wave and Zigbee offer a high amount of security to your automation system. This is because both of them offer AES128 encryption, keeping it safe and secure against the possibilities of hacking.
Thus, it is only possible for the devices in the network to access the technology.
The Bottom Line
Those were some of the key distinctions and points of comparison between Z-Wave and Zigbee. Despite being of the same level of security, Z-Wave has a slight edge as compared to Zigbee due to the compatibility, interoperability, lack of interference and lower power usage.
When it comes to making a choice, make sure you consider these points and your own requirements.