What Technology?

There are many different methods which allow you to remotely control your home’s lighting, appliances, security system, and other consumer electronics. The table below shows the most popular remote technologies along with their advantages and disadvantages.

The Main Players


Brand INSTEON Z-Wave Wi-Fi Bluetooth 802.15.4/Zigbee
Maximum Theoretical Network Size Unlimited 232 256 9 256
Maximum Practical Network Size 1000's 30-35 Dozens 9 Dozens
Physical Layer 1 RF RF RF RF RF
Physical Layer 1 Frequency 915MHz 915MHz 2.4GHz 2.4GHz 915MHz or 2.4GHz
Physical Layer 2 Powerline - - - -
Physical Layer 2 Frequenc 132KHz - - - -
Mesh Enrollment Automatic Procedural Procedural Procedural Procedural
Operate without Hub Yes - - - -
Cost $ $$ $$$ $ $$
Compatibility Classes (Less is More) 1 >1 Many 3 >9
Forward & Backward Compatible Yes - - - -
Scenes without Delay Yes - - - -
Message Propagation Simulcast Routed Routed Theoretical Routed
Network Configuration Full Mesh Partial Mesh Star Star Star + Mesh
Controller Failure Remote Access Failure Complete Network Failure Complete Network Failure Complete Network Failure Complete Network Failure
Mobile Devices Automatic Breakdown Automatic Automatic Breakdown
Initial Products Fully Supported Obsolete Just launched Just launched Obsolete
Physical Interoperability Yes Yes Yes Yes Not Assured
Brand Interoperability Yes Not Assured With Software/SDK With Software/SDK Limited
Messages Acknowledged Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Unique Addressing Yes - - - Not Enforced
Error Detection Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Error Correction Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Collision Avoidance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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