Difference between zigbee and wifi

Zigbee technology is designed to carry a small amount of data over a short distance while it consuming very little power, while in WiFi is a mesh networking standard, meaning each node in the network is connected to each other. This post gives information about the difference between ZigBee and wifi to better understand this topic.

The main key difference between Zigbee and WiFi is given below:

  • Zigbee has IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee Alliance, While Wifi has IEEE 802.11 series.
  • Zigbee as WPAN network, WiFi has WLAN network type.
  • Zigbee has 868/915 band and 2.4 GHz frequency, WiFi has 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
  • Zigbee has about 1 MHz channel bandwidth, while WiFi has 0.3 to 0.6 or 2 MHz channel bandwidth.
  • Zigbee has star and mesh type topology used, WiFi has BSS, ESS configuration used.
  • Zigbee has BPSK, OQpsk modulation type while WiFi has OFDM, CCK, QPSK,64QAM, 16QAM,256QAM modulation techniques used.
  • Data rate up to 250 Kbps low data rate, while WiFi up to 54 Mbps using 802.11a/g/OFDM technique, even more, is achievable using 802.11n, 11ac,11ad standard based products.
  • In Zigbee typical distance coverage around 10 to 30 meters, while WiFi 30 to 100 meters distance covered.
  • Zigbee managed by alliance and IEEE, WiFi Alliance and IEEE.
  • Number of RF channel in ZigBee 1(868MHz), 10(915MHz), 16(2.4GHz)  while WiFi 14(2.4GHz)
  • Zigbee chip cost $2 less per device than WiFi device at high volume.
  • Zigbee chip or module has a power consumption of 0.39 watts over WiFi chip of 0.87 watts.
  • Transmitted power of ZigBee is -25dbm to 0 dBm while WiFi 15 to 20 dBm.
  • Data protection using CRC is 16 bit while WiFI 32 bit CRC.
  • Zigbee is used for home automation, while WiFi is used for cellular connection within home.
  • Popular Zigbee chip is Freescale, Texas, Marvell, ATMEL, Microchip while WiFi chip Texax instruments, redpine, microchip, Broadcom, etc.
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