1

Communication Protocols

Wi-Fi vs. Zigbee: we untangle it all for you!

The field of connected objects and home automation can seem very complicated for some people, hence the importance of doing research and being informed before making such a purchase. Among the questions that consumers ask themselves, one of them comes up frequently: What is the difference between Zigbee and Wi-Fi communication protocols? Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of each protocol.

Zigbee Communication Protocol

Smart devices, like thermostats, switches, and smart plugs, communicate with other objects using a communication protocol. Zigbee is one of the most popular. It is a wireless protocol that uses a secure, low-power mesh network architecture. This is an essential detail for optimizing devices’ energy consumption.

Products using the Zigbee communication protocol require a gateway to receive commands from mobile devices and user interfaces. This gateway saves all your connected objects’ setpoints and programmings so that your home remains smart and functional, even during an Internet outage. The Zigbee communication protocol offers unparalleled stability, which allows the creation of a large park of connected devices. It can be made up of different types of smart products such as those offered by Sinopé Technologies: gateway, thermostats, switches, dimmers, electrical outlets, load controller, and more.

The Zigbee communication protocol has several advantages, hence its growing popularity. These benefits include the local programming of devices, the ability to have a vast network, low energy consumption, compatibility and interoperability between different products, and dynamic communication between devices.

Mesh network
Mesh is a wireless network architecture where each connected device acts as a signal repeater to relay information received from a terminal (the gateway) to its final destination (the furthest smart device).

Wi-Fi Communication Protocol

Wi-Fi devices connect directly to the home Wi-Fi network and do not require the use of a gateway.

For its part, the Wi-Fi communication protocol is by far the most widely used across the world. Already well established in our homes, Wi-Fi connected devices can be easily controlled with your mobile phone or tablet. Not requiring the additional use of a gateway, it is a good option for home automation newbies or for consumers who are not looking to build an advanced ecosystem with extensive functionality.

Mainly focused on developing Zigbee and previously Mi-Wi devices, Sinopé Technologies launched in September 2020 its smart Wi-Fi thermostat for electric heating. The company’s range of Wi-Fi products now includes a smart self-closing water valve and several types of thermostats: electric heating thermostat, floor heating thermostat, and low-voltage thermostat. Unlike their Zigbee versions, the Wi-Fi thermostats are compatible with Apple HomeKit, a major asset for Apple fans.

Note that it is possible to equip your smart home with multiple types of Wi-Fi devices. However, to ensure network stability, it may be necessary to use a more powerful router or even a signal repeater.

Do you own Mi-Wi devices and want to add other Sinopé products to your ecosystem? It is now possible since your Mi-Wi devices can coexist in the same location as Wi-Fi and Zigbee devices in the Neviweb app.

Differences between Sinopé Wi-Fi and Zigbee thermostats

It may be relevant to know that Zigbee and Wi-Fi thermostats have pretty much the same settings but do not have exactly the same features.

Differences between Sinopé Wi-Fi and Zigbee thermostats
 

Wi-Fi

Zigbee

Connectivity requirements

Wi-Fi devices require a permanent Internet connection as well as a Wi-Fi router to be controlled remotely through your mobile devices.

Zigbee devices require the use of a gateway (GT130 or Zigbee compatible) and a permanent Internet connection to be controlled remotely through your mobile devices.

Programmings

Schedules: Set a different schedule for each day of the week, up to 8 periods per day.

Automations: Create automations that run based on time, sunrise/sunset, device action, or your presence.

Network stability

The more connected devices the network has, the more interference there will be, which will affect its stability.

* Tips to improve the stability of your network:

  • Add a signal repeater
  • Choose a powerful router

A Zigbee network can include many connected devices without affecting its stability. The network’s stability would even be enhanced since the devices relay information over a shorter distance.

Compatibility

  • Neviweb
  • Apple HomeKit
  • SmartThings
  • Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Neviweb
  • SmartThings
  • Hubitat
  • Alexa
  • Google Assistant

Differences between Sinopé Wi-Fi and Zigbee thermostats

WI-FI

ZIGBEE

Connectivity requirements

Wi-Fi devices require a permanent Internet connection as well as a Wi-Fi router to be controlled remotely through your mobile devices.

Zigbee devices require the use of a gateway (GT130 or Zigbee compatible) and a permanent Internet connection to be controlled remotely through your mobile devices.

Programmings

Schedules: Set a different schedule for each day of the week, up to 8 periods per day.

Automations: Create automations that run based on time, sunrise/sunset, device action, or your presence.

Network stability

The more connected devices the network has, the more interference there will be, which will affect its stability.

*Tips to improve the stability of your network:

  • Add a signal repeater
  • Choose a powerful router

A Zigbee network can include many connected devices without affecting its stability. The network’s stability would even be enhanced since the devices relay information over a shorter distance.

Compatibility

  • Neviweb
  • Apple Homekit
  • SmartThings
  • Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Neviweb
  • SmartThings
  • Hubitat
  • Alexa
  • Google Assistant

Wi-Fi vs. Zigbee: which one should I choose?

Overall, Wi-Fi and Zigbee are two great communication protocols to get full control of your smart home. Your smart devices should be chosen according to your needs. For example, if you want to control a few rooms’ temperature remotely or if you already use the Apple HomeKit app at home, we suggest you opt for Wi-Fi products. On the other hand, if you want to eventually purchase a complete ecosystem of Sinopé smart devices, including heating, lighting, and specialized controls, we recommend that you choose Zigbee products. So, which one best suits your lifestyle?

10 responses to “Wi-Fi vs. Zigbee: we untangle it all for you!”

  1. Michael McDonell says:

    Will the Sinope work with my Phillips Hue Bridge for Zigbee, and what are the differences between the 3000 watt and 4000?

    • anabelle.poissant says:

      Hi Michael,

      Our Zigbee thermostats are not compatible with the Phillips Hue Bridge unfortunately. There are a few differences between the 3000 W and 4000 W thermostats:

      1- Capacity difference: maximum load of 3000 W for TH1123WF and TH1123ZB and maximum capacity of 4000 W for TH1124WF and TH1124ZB. (If you do not know what wattage is required to control your electric heaters, you can read this article: https://support.sinopetech.com/en/1.1.2.1.5/)
      2- The 3000 W thermostats are physically smaller than the 4000 W thermostats.

      For more information, we invite you to communicate with our sales team by email at sales@sinopetech.com or by phone at 1-855-741-7701. Thanks!

  2. Hank says:

    In order to include wider set of Zigbee devices such as cameras and motion sensors, a third party hub seems preferable. The GT130 does not work with other devices (non-Sinope) is that correct?
    Which ones are compatible- as alternative hub for Sinope thermostats?

    • anabelle.poissant says:

      Hi Hank,
      Thank you for your question! Indeed, the GT130 hub doesn’t work with non-Sinope devices. The Sinopé thermostats can be connected to a compatible Zigbee gateway, such as the SmartThings hub or the Hubitat hub. However, you’ll need Sinopé’s GT130 gateway to use the Neviweb app and control your devices remotely.

      For more information, we invite you to communicate with our support team by email at support@sinopetech.com or by phone at 1-855-741-7701.

      Thanks,
      The Sinopé Team

      • Kane says:

        So, what functionalities are available with a third party hub? I am in BC and have a Hub from BC Hydro that in theory is compatible with the Zigbee version of Sinope’s Thermostat. What will I be able to do through their app? Not only the thermostat, how restricted are the other smart products? I was thinking in buying a thermostat but now I’m worried that I’ll have to deal with two Zigbee hubs if I have products from different brands.

        thank you

        • anabelle.poissant says:

          Hi Kane,

          Thank you for your question! It goes without saying that connecting our devices to our gateway and to the Neviweb app allows you to access a maximum of features. However, you can still connect our thermostat to a compatible Zigbee gateway, which may offer the same amount (or less) features. You can look on your hub company website to see the features that it offers (for example consumption graphs, compatibility with voice assistant and platforms, remote control), but we can say for sure what are these features.

          If you want to discuss more about it, you can contact us by phone at 1-855-741-7701 or by email at support@sinopetech.com. You can also communicate with BC Hydro so they can help you understand which features are offered with their hub. Thanks and have a great day!

  3. eap.peace says:

    All the screenshots of the phone app appear in French language

    • Valérie Sinopé says:

      Hi,
      Thank you for your comment! We continue to update our new support website. The images will soon be replaced by their English version.
      Thanks,
      The Sinopé team

  4. Jeremy Lacroix says:

    HI,

    I have multiple Zigbee devices in different location from your compagny but I would like to use them with Applekit. Do you have plans to add compatibility in the future?

    Regards

    • Valérie Sinopé says:

      Hello Jeremy,
      Thank you for your question and for your interest in our products! Zigbee devices are currently incompatible with Apple HomeKit. Our team is studying the compatibility with this home automation platform.
      In the event that future Zigbee devices become compatible with Apple HomeKit, devices purchased before compatibility will remain incompatible with this platform.

      However, we have designed a wide range of Wi-Fi thermostats that are compatible with Apple HomeKit.

      Thanks,
      The Sinopé team

Leave a Reply to Hank Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Aucun article dans le panier.
How about 10% off
your first order?
Sign up to our newsletter to get 10% off and be the first to hear about new products, deals and discounts
please wait

Surf the
summer
wave!

Get 15% off
the smart electrical load controller.*

Enter the code

SPLASH15

Reduce your energy consumption by remotely controlling your pool’s filtration and water heater.

*Offer valid from July 19 to July 26, 2021, at 3:00 A.M. EST.

Get 15% off
the smart electrical load controller.*

Reduce your energy consumption by remotely controlling your pool’s filtration and water heater.

Enter the code

SPLASH15

*Offer valid from July 19 to July 26, 2021, at 3:00 A.M. EST.