Does anyone have a real- world comparison of various wireless networking protocols, such as Zigbee, LoRa, BTLE (and BT5, if there any production models to measure), even WiFi (any others)?

I am interested in a real-world comparison, rather than just marketing hype.

I am interested firstly in power consumption on battery and then on achievable broadcast range (plus trade-off ratio).

For my interests (and most IoT projects, I imagine), I am not interested in continuous transmission. I will probably be sending small < 128 byte packets once per minute or every few minutes, possibly hourly. That might play some role if hardware dedicated to a particular protocol has a good sleep mode when not Tx/Rx.

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    That's one data packet of said size once per minute, e.g. pure payload of (unsecured?) raw data or are you tied to a higher level protocol with whatever handshakes that brings, correct? I'm asking because that's an amount of bytes in header level size categories, (e.g. unsecured http get header is about twenty something bytes. A TLS handshake about 1k if I remember correctly. So the payload would potentially be dwarfed by protocol encapsulation, meta data and headers. (1/2)
    – Helmar
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 20:14
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    It might be prudent to list the whole stack of protocols you want to employ. Otherwise your protocol stack might kill the assumptions you are using to pick the wireless protocol. Unfortunately that makes it also less likely that you'll find that matching real-world comparison. (2/2)
    – Helmar
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 20:15
  • Great points! I think I will leave it as-is, in hope of any answer, even if it is slightly more ballpark than accurate to my single use case.
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 8:02
  • Can you give a rough X consumes more than Y consumes more than Z?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 11:54
  • Unfortunately no, at least not in what I'd say qualifies as real-world comparisons.
    – Helmar
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


This is NOT an answer.

It is just a sketchpad area for the OP dump some stuff that needs further research & will soon be deleted.

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    For what it's worth, the changes for BT5 were intended to improve range by 4 and reduce power (by 2?). But the last time I went looking for BT5 hardware (a few weeks ago) there was only one chipset/module barely arrived on the market.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 1:32
  • I could be wrong, but i think that the protocol offers a trade off; i.e doubling the range halves the data rat, and vice versa. The new Raspberry Pi 4 has BT 5, as does the Orange Pi 3 ([here](are specs for 125 Linux boards). It might be worth checking AliExpress
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 6:46
  • For BT5, see also , the new Sparkfun Artemis ... learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/…
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 9:31
  • And the STM32WB series - st.com/en/microcontrollers-microprocessors/stm32wb-series.html
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 7:59

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