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Ebyte-Internet of Things wireless data transmission expert: the difference between LoRa wireless transmission technology and LoRaWAN wireless module

Many people can't tell the difference between the LoRaWAN wireless module and the LoRa gateway wireless transmission technology, and what their application in the field of IoT is.

LoRaWAN refers to the networking protocol of the MAC layer, while LoRa is a protocol of the physical layer. Although the existing LoRaWAN networking basically uses LoRa as the physical layer, the LoRaWAN protocol also lists that GFSK can also be used as the physical layer in certain frequency bands. From the perspective of network layering, LoRaWAN can use any physical layer protocol, and LoRa can also be used as the physical layer of other networking technologies.

LoRa is one of the LPWAN communication technologies, and it is an ultra-long-distance wireless transmission scheme based on spread spectrum technology adopted and promoted by Semtech in the United States. This solution changes the previous compromise between transmission distance and power consumption, and provides users with a simple system that can achieve long distance, long battery life, and large capacity, thereby expanding the sensor network. At present, LoRa mainly operates in free frequency bands around the world, including 433/868/915MHz, etc.


LoRaWAN wireless communication is an open standard that defines the communication protocol of LoRa chip-based LPWAN technology. LoRaWAN defines Media Access Control (MAC) at the data link layer and is maintained by the LoRa Alliance. This distinction between LoRa and LoRaWAN is important because other companies like Link Labs use a proprietary MAC layer on top of the LoRa chip to create a better hybrid design, called Symphony Link in Link Labs' case.

LoRaWAN is a star or star-to-star topology that is generally considered better than a mesh network because of its advantages in maintaining battery power and increasing communication range. Specifically, a star topology relays messages to a central server through gateways, and each end node transmits data to multiple gateways. The gateway then forwards the data to the web server where redundancy detection, security checks and message scheduling are performed.


In general, LoRa contains only the link layer protocol and is very suitable for P2P communication between nodes; LoRaWAN also contains the network layer, so information can be sent to any base station connected to the cloud platform. Just connect the correct antenna to its socket and the LoRaWAN module can work at different frequencies.

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