Walk through the various alternative mobile device connection types, looking at the specifications and how they are applied.
- If you take a look at the typical smart device today, you have all kinds of connectivity to this device. Now, we cover things like 802.11 and Bluetooth in other episodes. I'll mention a little Bluetooth in this episode. In this episode a wanna talk about all the other ways that we have wireless connectivity with these mobile devices. Now, I need to be careful here. I'm am leaning heavily on what CompTIA is saying, so some of these, I personally disagree with as mobile connectivity, however, I'm a team player and love ya CompTIA so I'm gonna go ahead and go along.
So, what we're looking to do here is we are marching through a large number of different types of mobile connectivities. The test wants you to recognize what these connectivities are, to have a relative idea of their speed, to have a relative idea of the range, and then that's about it. So, we're gonna march through these pretty quick so are you guys ready? Here we go. Number one is Z-wave. Z-wave, which is on the exam, and his major competitor ZigBee, which is not on the exam, are home automation technologies.
For example, here in Houston, Texas, my electrical hub on my house is ZigBee compliant. And my Samsung washing machine can connect to that and I could do things if I wanted to, like for example, wash my clothes remotely, but, there's actually a lot more useful stuff. For example, for your heating systems, air conditioning systems, stuff like that, these home automation systems are very, very powerful. So let's go ahead and get some numbers down right now. For Z-wave it runs at the 900 MHz band, you have a range of about 30 meters, and it runs at about 9600 bps.
ZigBee is in the 2.4 GHz range, it's got about a 10 meter range, and it runs at about 250 Kbps per second. Now you look at these and you go, Mike, these are really slow. They can be slow. It's not like they're gonna be sending all the data about every pair of pants that's in the washing machine. We're gonna be sittin there tellin the dryer to turn on or turn off. We're gonna tell the A/C system to kick it up to 72. We don't have much in the way of data needs. Z-Wave and ZigBee are out there, they're very cool, but in my opinion they're not really mobile technologies, they're really for the home.
But, again, see CompTIA, whatever you say. All right, let's keep marching on. The next one I wanna talk about is ANT and ANT+. ANT and ANT+ are pretty much exclusively for health devices. So if you're the type of person who likes to work out at a health club, whatever those are, then you could get in there and things like heart rate monitors, and watches, and what are those things called that people use with two wheels? Oh, ya, bicycles. They have all kinds of different devices that use ANT/ANT+ technology.
ANT runs in the 2.4 GHz band, got about a 30 meter range, and it gets all the way to about 20 Kbps per second. Again, not very fast but it doesn't need to be that fast. Even though we do mention Bluetooth otherwise I wanna bring this up one more time because Bluetooth really is popular with mobile devices and we use it all the time. But let's make sure we've got our speeds, and distances, and bands right. So, Bluetooth is in the 2.4 GHz band, it has a range of up to 100 meters, depending on what class you have, and it can run as fast as 3 Mbps, although a lot of times it can run a lot slower as well.
The next one I wanna talk about is Near Field Communication. With NFC, I can allow very close-range communication. In the Android world, I can just high five somebody else with an Android phone and we can transfer data. So, NFC's very popular, I have a printer in my house and if I need to print something that's on my Android I just tap the printer and it prints. It's really, really convenient. NFC has, runs around in the 13.56 MHz band, it's kinda got it's own unique band, but it's distance is only 4 cm.
So that's why it's gotta be really, really close. And it runs, I don't know, around 424 Kbps. So NFC could be a little slow, especially when you're printing a big print job. I've certainly run into that. Next is RFID. RFID is unique because the idea behind RFID is that you have a passive device and it uses the radio power from another device to turn that device on and it will send tiny, tiny amounts of information to the receiving device.
RFID is popular in packaging, it's good for tracking luggage, we see it used all the time in places that we don't even really think about. Now you gotta be careful with RFID. RFID is kind of more of a state of mind than a standard and there's a huge number of standards for RFID. So RFID can run as low as a 20 KHz band up to a 10 GHz band. It has ranges as little as 10 cm up to 200 meters. But when it comes to speed we almost don't even think about it because with RFID there's tiny amounts of data.
And I'm talking sometimes 10 bits, 20 bits, maybe a few hundred bytes at most, which is sent very, very quickly and that's all that's sent, so, the idea of speed doesn't come into play too much when we talk about RFID. All right, now, everything we've talked about up to this point, all of these technologies, all use radio in one form or another to send and receive data. There is one technology left and I use that with a qualifier cause it's fading fast, called infrared.
Infrared uses light. Now, for years we always had an infrared send and receive on our mobile devices unless you had an Apple. Us Android guys had them. And I always enjoyed them cause I could sit there and change channels at the sushi bar. But even that unfortunately is starting to fade away. Infrared uses infrared light so it doesn't have really a bandwidth per say. The official range is only like one plus meter but I can assure you from personal experience I've been able to change channels from far more distance than just one meter.
And it has a data transfer speed of about 1 Gbps. Also keep in mind that infrared is line-of-sight. So, if you're gonna be dealing with infrared devices you need to be able to see them in order to do whatever you wanna do. Okay, now folks, this was a quick run through. The way the exam looks at these types of things, we've covered what you need to know. So make sure you are aware of the names of these different types of technologies, make sure you have some idea of where one would use them, and have some idea of some of the specs I've thrown out and you're gonna do great on the exam.
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