The use of the new technology, the internet of things (IoT), is becoming increasingly prevalent in the world today. Many individuals, businesses, and countries are using this technology in most of their operations. For them to successfully use the IoT, they will need to have an active connection to the IoT networks. One important element that can help in achieving this is the LoRa gateway.
The LoRa or long-range gateway is a physical box, with software that allows the connection of IoT devices to cloud storage. This portal acts as a Wi-Fi router. It is a crucial component for running efficient wireless networks on devices and sensors. Internet of things devices use the LoRa gateway as a hub to create and connect data to external networks.
To fully understand how IoT LoRa Gateway works, it is vital to keep some important terminologies in mind. LoRa is a type of LoRaWANportal. This acronym means low power wide area network and is just one out of the several radio frequency network available. It allows the wireless connection of devices and sensors to IoT under different types of industries.
Apart from the terminologies, it is also vital to know the working principles of this network and how it leads to a successful IoT connection. Now, let us discuss how the LoRa gateway works, the types available, their uses, and benefits.
How Does the LoRa Gateway Work
A LoRa gateway is able to serve different devices at a time. These devices send out signals in form of radio frequency to the portals at any range. It is necessary to have multiple LoRa pathways so that you can improve the resilience of a network. It is hard for the IoT connection to fail when there are multiple pathways installed.
To illustrate how this gateway works, imagine you own a reservoir and it has not been easy for you to measure water pressure or levels of the reservoir. You hardly know when there is a need to power the water pump except you continually go for physical data collection. This physical data collection is tiring, time-consuming, difficult, and costly. But if you have IoT sensors, data becomes easy to collect and send to your mobile phones and laptops.
For the IoT connection to be successful, the sensors will wirelessly pass the data through a LoRaportal. Then, the portal will pass data from the sensors to the cloud and finally to your laptop or phone. So you can also say that these gateways can act as a mailbox between the sensor devices and the cloud. For more information on how this works, see here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LoRa
Types of IoT LoRa Gateways
There are two types of LoRa gateways available. They include:
These types are easy to use and inexpensive. They can run the packet forwarding software directly to the network servers.
These types run an operating system with the packet forwarding software running as a background program. Although it consumes more power than the minimal firmware, it is more flexible. It also allows the gateway administrators to have full control of the devices.
Uses of the IoT LoRa Gateway
This gateway is useful in different ways. Here are some of them:
When There are No Other Communication Methods
In many rural areas where there are no communication signals, LoRa can be very useful. Due to its long-range nature, this portal can receive data from very long distances, even in rural areas. It is cheaper than Wi-Fi and other connections. Also, it is suitable for indoor use which is a common problem for cellular connectivity.
When The Requirements Are Strict
LoRa is built to be operational and robust even after many years of use. Thus, this gateway is perfect for industries where network failures are prohibited. These industries can include the emergency alert system (EAS), agricultural monitoring system, and surveillance system. The operational reliability of these industrial fields must be 100% at all times. Fortunately, LoRa also has devices like supply chain trackers and wearables that make it hard for network failures to occur.
When Private Network is Compulsory
This portal can allow people and businesses to build their private network easily for internal use. It allows the users to be flexible and have full control of the management of the gateways. With no external intervention, this private network improves the data security of information passed through it.
Benefits of the IoT LoRa Gateway
The following are some of the benefits of this portal:
It Allows the Use of Multiple Gateways Which Reduces Network Service Disruptions
When you send data to a sensor, these portals make sure that they receive the information and forward it to the network server. This server will then reduplicate the information and select the best portal to send the data back to the sensor.
This is very important for IoT devices. Since there are multiple gateways, there is no way all of them will fail. Even when one has network service disruption, the others will help in delivering the information.
It is Very Affordable and Has High Scalability
One LoRa network can service more than a thousand end nodes in the server. It is also very affordable. Because it is cheap and covers a large range of areas, the need for this network continues to rise. Also, this network can be scaled to fit the needs of an environment or application. If you would like to know how to scale the LoRa network, you can read this article.
It Can be Used Everywhere
Since this operates on an unlicensed radio frequency, it can work in many countries for free. Even in rural areas where there is no network coverage, you can create your gateway and help others connect to them without charge.
The world of IoT is continually growing and LoRa gateways will play a vital role in the future potential of this technology. Hopefully, this article has given you a clearer understanding of what this gateway is and the numerous uses and benefits it has.