What Is The Difference Between IoT And M2M?


M2M and IoT both are used when electronic devices are connected and they share data with each other. However, there are some major differences between how both (IoT and M2M) are used and how they work. In this post, we will discuss about what M2M really is and how is it different than IoT.

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M2M and IoT

M2M is an acronym for Machine-to-Machine, the term is related to telecom industry and it refers to the communication between different devices. The connection can be either wired or wireless.

The M2M was originated in 1960’s when caller ID was being developed.

Internet of Things, which also called IoT, on the other hand, is a bit different than M2M. IoT is a term which is not concentrated on telecom networks solely. Rather, the IoT focus on connecting multiple devices and computer applications with each other.

Similarities and differences

Both IoT and M2M refer to some devices being connected and transferring data with each other. However, how the communication is done is different for both, IoT and M2M.

M2M is point-to-point communication, Devices in M2M send and receive information directly from each other and generally, devices in M2M communication are not connected to internet. In case of IoT, devices are always connected to internet either using wired or wireless internet.  The connectivity to internet is for processing data and delivering it through a middle layer which is hosted in the cloud.

As explained in above reasons, we can think of M2M as a subset of IoT. M2M is like a line connecting 2 points and is like large network that consists of a lot of M2M network along with other devices and computer systems.

Practical Examples

Now that we have talked about what both technologies are and how they are different in working, let’s take a look at practical applications of both.

M2M is when an employee uses an identity card to unlock a door. When the card is swiped, the detector inside the lock will receive the ID and unlock it if the ID is valid.

Also Read: History of internet of things

IoT is more powerful than that, once implemented, IoT can turn on lights, change the temperature on thermostat and even print out today’s appointments for the employee once he has unlocked the door with his Identity Card.

IoT devices are connected to cloud and hence they can collect and share data so that it can processed and it can be used in other places. Also, the connectivity to full-flagged internet gives some advanced capabilities to devices in IoT.

I hope that this post helped you in understanding the differences between M2M and IoT. In case you still have any question, drop them in the comments below.


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