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I am new to IoT and LoRa, and still trying to grasp the scope and capabilities after discovering a whole technology I never knew existed.

I have read some about LoRaWan and IoT, but am confused about the technology. Is LoRaWan and IoT wide area networks that are independent of the world wide web (www) or are they part of it? I also am not clear on the capability and functionality of LoRa devices.

This is what I am trying to do, and would like to see if I can utilize LoRa technology to accomplish this:

Basically I want to set up a wireless link between two sites which are ~.5 mile apart in which siteA will be connected to the internet (www) and the siteB may connect to the internet through siteA's gateway. I find information indicating there are devices which interface LoRa devices to ethernet. Is it possible to use these devices to set up a wireless link over LoRa?

Example, ethernet-to-LoRa interface is connected to the gateway at siteA and to a LoRa device. LoRa device at siteA communicates with LoRa device at siteB, which is also connected to a ethernet-to-LoRa interface. Now a computer or WiFi access point is connected to siteB ethernet-to-LoRa interface, and user at siteB is able to access the world wide web.

I understand there will be a sacrifice in network speed, and I wouldn't expect to be able to stream movies etc.

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I think you missed how slow LoRa is. It is very, very, very, very slow.

The slowest data rate (at SF12, BW125) is just 250 bits per second. That's 31 bytes per second. Just the text of this answer would take 50 seconds to send, without counting any overhead. This full page, including contents, styles, scripts, images, etc. is over 3 MB, that would take over a day to send!

The fastest data rate varies between 11000 and 21900 bits per second depending on the region. Much faster, but that still brings us to the speeds we were used to back in 1994 or thereabouts. The web has since evolved to take advantage of the multi-megabit speeds afforded by broadband, so again, a page like this one would take about 20 to 40 minutes to send.

Also, in some regions, there are regulatory restrictions, and you can't transmit more than 1% of the time in the same band for instance, so that would multiply everything by 100!

LoRa is designed for sensors which send very very little data very very rarely, not to exchange files, transmit large amounts of data, browse the web or anything like that.

You may want to consider long-distance Wi-Fi (though, again, there are EIRP limitations), WiMax, and other point-to-point radio technologies. Note that radio technologies don't like obstacles. Hills, buildings, trees, etc. will reduce your range a lot (or even completely block transmission). You want not only line of sight between the two antennas, but you need that line of sight to remain well above any obstacle (see Fresnel zone for details).

Or install a separate Internet access, or use a 4G modem, at the second location.

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  • 0.5 miles assuming clear line of sight (no trees) should be easily be within the capabilities of modern outdoor WiFi kit with directional antenna (e.g. some of Ubiquiti's kit) – hardillb Mar 19 at 21:00
  • GSM is the answer probsably – P__J__ Mar 21 at 21:35

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