The LoRa Network, created by Semtech, is a simple, yet complex technology that aims to take place of a cellular network. It can be used both publicly and privately through long range and low power consumption giving users improved coverage and highly secure data transmissions that does not require a Wi-Fi or wireless connection.
Sounds awesome, right?
Essentially, LoRa is gaining a lot of at tention recently because of its efficiency and ability to replace technology like Sigfox.
However, there is a lost of mystery behind LoRa. To many, it is a technology that is implausible, too good to be true, not something that could ever work – especially work well.
That’s why we are going to look at the top 5 biggest myths that surround the LoRa technology in an attempt to set the record straight once and for all.
1. LoRa is the same thing as LoRaWAN
LoRa and LoRaWAN are not the same…they are different entities, but they do work together. Confused yet?
Here is the difference:
LoRaWAN is a type of communication protocol and a system architecture for the LoRa network. On the other hand, LoRa is an actual device, a physical radio layer, that enables the long-range communication needed to make the network work.
The LoRaWAN communication protocol impacts the battery life of a node, the network capacity, service quality, security, and many other applications the network includes. It contains the actual data in raw format.
LoRa then comes in and extracts and turns the data into electromagnetic waves. It encodes the data into frequency “chirps,” which is how the data is sent back and forth.
2. The LoRa Network is not secure
With any technology that sends and receives data wirelessly, there is always room for security concerns. LoRa has two layers of security that are arguably better than the alternative. There is security for both the network and the application.
Here is how the security for the network and the application work:
The network security makes sure the node in the network is authentic.
The application security layer makes sure the network operator will never have access to the end user’s private data. Highly secure AES encryption is used when sending the data.
Furthermore, it is almost impossible (but now completely, of course) to detect the “chirp” signals and intercept the transferring data.
3. You can send large files, images, and videos with LoRaWAN
Technically you can, but you should not as that is not what the network is designed to do.
LoRa is meant to send data slowly and in small amounts. Videos, images, and other large files will not transfer efficiently and will just lead to frustration. Reserve your trusty internet connected to share those types of files.
LoRa is meant to send small amounts of sensor data that are used for monitoring purposes. Sending such small amounts of data slowly allows the battery life of the network to last an incredibly long time.
4. LoRa is only used for IoT applications and sensor monitoring
Although LoRa and LoRaWAN is used the most widely in the IoT industry, we see much use in manufacturing, industrial businesses, and many other industries as well.
Smart cities often use the LoRa network for keeping track of parking sensors, waste management, and smart lighting throughout the city. You can also manage utilities with LoRa with smart grid management and smart metering.
Environmental monitoring with LoRa is also popular and effective. LoRa can monitor floods, send out alerts, pick up on changes in water, air, noise, and more.
LoRa has a wide range of uses and is not just limited to IoT devices transferring data back and forth.
5. LoRa signals cannot transmit data over 10 km
The theory that LoRa can never transmit data over 10 km is simply not true. The range LoRa can transmit depends on numerous features such as antenna used, indoor and outdoor gateways, and much more.
If you have an outdoor gateway and there are no to little physical structures blocking any of the transmission signals, you will have a much better and more efficient range than if you are in a city environment where there are many tall buildings and physical objects to obstruct the signals.
The Bottom Line
LoRa may be surrounded by a lot of misconceptions, but more people are beginning to realize the true benefits of using this type of network. LoRa is secure, efficient for many kinds of industries, and can reach across long distances. Perhaps considering LoRa for your company can pay off.