Wireless Network Technology


Wireless standards are murky ground for many users, giving them cause to worry over proper use. WiFi, Zigbee and Bluetooth are the three most popular standards in wireless technology, such as smart homes and the Internet of Things. To select the right device for the right wireless connections, it helps to understand how these standards work on their own. The following table helps outline key features of each of these three standards.

Standard IEEE 802.11b IEE 802.15.4 and zigbee alliance IEEE 802.15.1
Specification WiFi Zigbee Bluetooth
Frequency band 2.4GHz 2.4GHz 2.4GHz
Data rate 11Mbps 250kbps 1Mbps
Range ~100m ~10-100m ~10m
Nodes 32 65,536 7
Power Consumption High Very low Low
Complexity High Low Medium
Network Latency milliseconds milliseconds milliseconds
Security Medium(Service Set Identifierr (SSID) 128bit AES and application layer user definable High (64 bit,128 bit)


Nice chart however the latency specs appear to have typos. I believe the latency specs in this Digi-Key article are much better.

  • Wi-Fi: 1.5 milliseconds (ms)
  • Bluetooth low energy: 2.5 ms
  • ZigBee: 20 ms


Thanks for your reply. The latency specs are updated.