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IoT – When cellular is the better choice

The Internet of Things is already standard in many industries. Those who still want to switch to IoT solutions are confronted with numerous questions: Do the devices need to send or receive sensitive data? Do the devices have to keep running even in the event of a power failure? Who could tamper with the devices and how, and what would be the consequences for operations? New technology is accompanied by new uncertainty. This often begins with the choice of connectivity solution. Should the devices be networked via local WiFi or rather via cellular? Opinions are still divided on this question in particular. We look at both solutions, classify the advantages and disadvantages for you, and show you when cellular is the better choice.


The WiFi Variant – For Location-Based Iot Applications

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+ Cost-effective - Can only be used locally
+ Easy to implement with existing network - Security dependent on local network protection
+ Wide range of devices - Dependency on routers

Connectivity via WiFi is probably the most widespread and has been the standard for a long time. The IoT devices communicate with each other via a router and are connected to the Internet via modem. The advantages of this solution are that it is inexpensive to implement and the data traffic can be integrated into a local, usually already existing network. For many site-bound IoT applications, connectivity via WiFi is therefore an option, provided that an adequate Internet connection is available and the WiFi network is sufficiently secured.

The disadvantages of connectivity via WiFi result from the fact that a local network can only be used locally and not all IoT devices communicate with the router in encrypted form. Sensitive data from sensors or cameras, for example, may be accessible to third parties if the network is inadequately secured. Furthermore, with a WiFi solution, all IoT devices become dependent on a router. If this has a defect, communication between all devices that communicate via this router is interrupted. Depending on the application, this can lead to a disruption of operations or security breaches, for example if monitoring elements on sensitive production lines fail or hazardous goods are involved.


The cellular variant - For all mobile IoT applications and for more independence

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+ Can be used anywhere - Additional costs for SIM cards and data plan
+ The security of an individual encrypted connection for each device - Functionality dependent on network coverage and availability
+ Easy setup even without existing local network infrastructure  

As the name suggests, the greatest advantage of a connectivity solution via cellular is the mobility of the connection. An IoT device that communicates via cellular can be used anywhere the corresponding cellular network is accessible. This is what makes applications in the field or in asset and fleet management possible in the first place. In addition, a cellular connection offers the advantage that each device establishes its own encrypted connection. For example, each surveillance camera functions independently of a router or the other cameras in a facility. In the event of an IT malfunction or the failure of one camera, the other cameras continue to work and can still be called up. The same is true for all other mobile-connected IoT devices. A system that communicates via cellular thus benefits on the one hand from individual encrypted connections between the devices and on the other hand from a distribution and isolation of possible sources of interference or points of attack.

Of course, a cellular connection also has its pitfalls. For example, each device requires a SIM card and a corresponding data plan with a provider. Depending on the provider, this can lead to additional costs for the cards and the data packages. Digital Republic therefore offers a wide range of tariffs tailored specifically to IoT applications, so you never pay for something you don't need. Also to be considered is the cellular network coverage at the devices' locations to ensure sufficient connectivity. Since we at Digital Republic offer our services over the Sunrise network, you can easily check the availability at your location here .


When Cellular Is the Better Choice for Your Iot Application:

Do you already have a professionally maintained and secured network infrastructure and only need your IoT devices at your network location? Then a solution via your existing WiFi is a good choice.

However, if you rely on mobile connectivity, value an encrypted connection out of the box, or simply want a flexible solution without a lot of maintenance or backup, then a cellular connection is the better solution for you. At Digital Republic, we've made it our mission to meet these exact needs. Our rate system allows you to provide all your devices with the connectivity they need without paying too much for unnecessary bandwidth. Your devices are online immediately and over an encrypted connection. We also have no usage limits or fixed contracts. All our tariffs can be adjusted and cancelled on a monthly basis. This makes connectivity via cellular a straightforward all-rounder for IoT solutions and a better choice for anyone who wants to set up a mobile, future-proof and flexible IoT setup.

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