25 devices - WiFi or Zigbee?

Hi guys.

The 25 smart devices can have their own router if I go the WiFi route, just not sure how much interference to expect with my main network.

Thoughts please, WiFi or Zigbee?
I'll probably end up using home assistant as a hub

ES
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Having a separate router would defenitely help if you went for WiFi IMO, however I think my preference would be for ZigBee.

ZigBee actually uses a similar frequency to 2.4 GHz WiFi but it's much lower power. Unlike WiFi which has all devices communicating directly with the router ZigBee is a mesh network, so in theory any hard wired devices will act as repeaters for the signal.

I use Philips hue and it's by far the most stable and reliable wireless system I've experienced. It will also continue functioning without an internet connection and if you have ZigBee control devices (wireless switches or motion sensors with a battery) they will continue to operate even without a network connection at all.

This is just my opinion so YMMV
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
WiFi is NOT a good medium for many IOT devices. It uses too much power; the space is already congested; it doesn’t mesh; its security is often lacking; it can suffer from network latency; it adds a massive overhead to the router and APs; want me to go on? ZWave and Zigbee are much better choices.
 

Fingerbasher

Novice Member
I have over 50 wifi devices on a service provider router, about 35 devices are smart home wifi, I have no lag or communication issues and we stream TV all day. It might be because of my providers router which is the latest BT home hub, I also only use the Smart life system to link over to all my Alexa devices, which I have in every room.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
35 - 40 devices is about the Max that an ISP router can normally handle effectively. After that threshold things slowly start to go awry. Devices dropping off the network, lag when asking devices to do things, devices freezing, devices not updating, higher latency on games consoles. This is not some made up number it’s what the manufacturers designed these £10 WiFi routers to be able to handle. Higher spec WiFi routers and commercial WiFi routers are often capable of handling more devices, as they have better and faster processors and more memory which is necessary for routing tables.
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
My EE router fell apart on the 21st device. Installed a TP-Link mesh and it's working without issue with 57 devices currently.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
WiFi is NOT a good medium for many IOT devices. It uses too much power; the space is already congested; it doesn’t mesh; its security is often lacking; it can suffer from network latency; it adds a massive overhead to the router and APs; want me to go on? ZWave and Zigbee are much better choices.
If I had a choice then I would choose z-wave as Zigbee still uses 2.4Ghz but its all down to what your devices support. If want Hue or Ikea Tradfri for example then your only choice is Zigbee. Still better than WiFi.
 

TobyGoree

Novice Member
Hi guys.

The 25 smart devices can have their own router if I go the WiFi route, just not sure how much interference to expect with my main network.

Thoughts please, WiFi or Zigbee?
I'll probably end up using home assistant as a hub

ES
Zigbee is fine. Just make sure your channel on the routers 2.4ghz isn't interfering with the Zigbee channel. Use a free WiFi Analyzer to see which channels they are on. Google images "Zigbee and Wifi Channels" to see a diagram of this.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
Get an Echo 4 and use that as the ZigBee hub. I'll be doing that on the next price drop, although all my gear is currently WiFi.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
You will find a lot less IOT devices on Zigbee than you will on Zwave. Zigbee tends to be the domain mainly for smart lighting and some plug sockets. ZWave

This website has some quite good comparisons https://futurehousestore.co.uk/wi-fi-vs-zigbee-vs-z-wave
and their chart below is a good summary of the 3 technologies

1617180801120.png
 

Myke1

Novice Member
I have something like 25 smart devices running off my Sky Broadband router, some but not all include an Echo show, Echo dot, various lights, plugs, printer, Ring Doorbell and one other camera. My connection has been dropping out continually, especially the Broadband on the PC. I spoke to Sky who said, "oh upgrade to our Superfast that will fix it, it hasn't but what I have learnt is that I'm probably running too many devices on the Sky Router. I understand there is this Z Wave or Zigbee which would lift the load on my Wifi and speed things up. Im not very Tech savvy but I have learnt which swear words bring the greatest relief when I follow all the instructions and still technology doesn't do what I want it to. Can anyone give me some simple advice about what I should do.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
A more powerful router would 100% help, Sky's lack of support for other routers is one of many reasons I left Sky Broadband TBH.

Do sky routers now support modem mode do you know?
 

TobyGoree

Novice Member
I have something like 25 smart devices running off my Sky Broadband router, some but not all include an Echo show, Echo dot, various lights, plugs, printer, Ring Doorbell and one other camera. My connection has been dropping out continually, especially the Broadband on the PC. I spoke to Sky who said, "oh upgrade to our Superfast that will fix it, it hasn't but what I have learnt is that I'm probably running too many devices on the Sky Router. I understand there is this Z Wave or Zigbee which would lift the load on my Wifi and speed things up. Im not very Tech savvy but I have learnt which swear words bring the greatest relief when I follow all the instructions and still technology doesn't do what I want it to. Can anyone give me some simple advice about what I should do.
A third party router would do the trick. Something like a Draytek, Asus or Netgear with built in WiFi. There's multiple ways of doing it but I'd suggest that route
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
The arguments for Zigbee are good. However my Asus router handles about 80 devices without breaking a sweat, no issues at all. And the few devices that need a hub came with one anyway.

You are going to need a decent WiFi router at some point if your into smarthome tech, you will always have lots of WiFi only devices, so that’s what I would (and did) do first. You could always look into buying one that has zigbee built in, there are some good WiFi 6 mesh routers now that have zigbee now.
 
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oneman

Well-known Member
The arguments for Zigbee are good. However my Asus router handles about 80 devices without breaking a sweat, no issues at all. And the few devices that need a hub came with one anyway.

You are going to need a decent WiFi router at some point if your into smarthome tech, you will always have lots of WiFi only devices, so that’s what I would (and did) do first. You could always look into buying one that has zigbee built in, there are some good WiFi 6 mesh routers now that have zigbee now.
Same here, running about 60 WiFi devices without issues but I will have I also have about 20 devices that are ZigBee running through one hub.
 

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