What are the variations between Zigbee vs Thread – Execs & Cons of Every Normal

I beforehand wrote an article comparing Zigbee vs Z-Wave and the professionals and cons of every good dwelling know-how.

Thread is a brand new good dwelling communication protocol that builds upon the Zigbee specification and is out there without charge; nonetheless, this requires settlement and continued adherence to an Finish-Consumer License Settlement (EULA). Albeit, it’s a must to be a part of the Thread Group to be allowed to make use of it.

A few of this text was generated utilizing ChatGPT as I wished to see if it was in a position to precisely evaluate the 2 applied sciences (principally the Z-wave bit). I’ve added some extra info myself, particularly with Thread and the conclusion. One difficulty with ChatGPT is that it has restricted information of occasions that occurred after September 2021. This, due to this fact, makes it lower than perfect for lots of tech-focussed content material.

What are Zigbee and Thread

Zigbee and Thread are two fashionable wi-fi communication protocols utilized in dwelling automation and good gadgets. Each of those applied sciences use mesh networking, the place a number of gadgets can talk with one another, and the information packets are relayed from one system to a different. Nevertheless, there are some variations between the 2 that may have an effect on their efficiency and usefulness. On this information, we’ll discover the variations between Zigbee vs Thread and their execs and cons.


Zigbee is an open wi-fi communication protocol developed by the Zigbee Alliance. It operates on the two.4 GHz frequency band, which is identical as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Zigbee makes use of a mesh community topology, which permits for higher protection and reliability in bigger networks.


  • Open protocol: Zigbee is an open protocol, which implies that it isn’t restricted to a single producer. This permits for extra system selections and higher interoperability.
  • Decrease price: Zigbee gadgets are usually inexpensive than Thread gadgets, making it a extra reasonably priced possibility.
  • Bandwidth: Zigbee has a better bandwidth than Thread, making it able to supporting high-bandwidth functions like video streaming.
  • Scalability: Zigbee can assist a bigger variety of gadgets in a single community in comparison with Thread.


  • Interference: Zigbee operates on the identical frequency band as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which implies that there could also be interference from different wi-fi alerts.
  • Safety: Zigbee makes use of weaker encryption in comparison with Thread, making it much less safe.
  • Energy consumption: Zigbee gadgets have a tendency to make use of extra energy than Thread gadgets, which implies they could want extra frequent battery replacements.
  • Vary: Zigbee has a shorter vary in comparison with Thread, making it much less appropriate for bigger properties or buildings.


Thread home network - What are the differences between Zigbee vs Thread – Pros & Cons of Each Standard

Thread is an open wi-fi communication protocol developed by the Thread Group.

Thread makes use of 6LoWPAN, which, in flip, makes use of the IEEE 802.15.4 wi-fi protocol with mesh communication, which relies on the two.4 GHz frequency band, similar to Zigbee.

The massive distinction so far as performance goes is that Thread is IP-addressable, with cloud entry and AES encryption. As a result of Thread is IP addressable, it would not want the identical form of good hub as Zigbee, and we’ve got seen gadgets like Google Nest WiFi Professional launch as a Thread border router.


  • Safety: Thread makes use of AES 128-bit encryption, making it a safe communication protocol for good dwelling gadgets.
  • Interoperability: Thread is designed to work with different IP-based protocols, which implies that it might combine with different methods akin to Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
  • Much less power-hungry: Thread gadgets use much less energy than Zigbee gadgets, which implies they’ll last more on batteries.
  • Vary: Thread has an extended vary than Zigbee, making it a more sensible choice for bigger properties or buildings.


  • Restricted system selections: Thread is a comparatively new know-how, which implies that there could also be fewer gadgets that assist it in comparison with Zigbee.
  • Value: Thread gadgets are usually costlier than Zigbee gadgets.
  • Bandwidth: Thread has a decrease bandwidth in comparison with Zigbee, which implies it could not be capable to assist high-bandwidth functions like video streaming.
  • Scalability: Thread can assist a restricted variety of gadgets in a single community in comparison with Zigbee.


In relation to selecting between Zigbee vs Thread, Thread is almost certainly the higher general answer. However with this comparability, it’s much less about selecting between shopping for Zigbee and Thread merchandise. Thread could be very new, with a restricted variety of gadgets out there. Zigbee gadgets can theoretically be upgraded to Thread, and this seems to be what Aqara have deliberate with a lot of its gadgets. It’s potential, if not very possible, that we are going to see Thread and Zigbee coexist for a very long time.

A consumer on reddit coated the advantages of Thread over Zigbee, and this was two years in the past, so it’s possible issues have modified (and hopefully improved additional) for Thread:

  • A lot decrease latency (usually half of Zigbee’s); Thread appears to ship the instructions within the first packet, not look ahead to back-and-forth connection establishing.
  • A lot better efficiency within the mesh community – particularly over a number of hops
  • No want for a hub – all IP primarily based, instantly addressable with out “translations” by a hub to the remainder of the community
  • As redundant and secure because the web, utilizing confirmed IP applied sciences

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