What is Zigbee?
Zigbee is the only global, standards-based wireless solution that can conveniently and affordably control the widest range of devices to improve comfort, security and convenience for consumers.
It is the technology of choice for world-leading service providers, installers and retailers who bring the benefits of the Internet of Things into the Smart Home.
Zigbee is the language for a wide variety of smart home devices so companies can deliver an integrated ecosystem of home monitoring, energy management, heating and cooling, security and convenience devices.
– http://www.zigbee.org/ is now called the Connectivity Standards Alliance – https://csa-iot.org/
What is ZigBee?
•Low-power, low data rate wireless protocol
•Max throughput 250 Kbps
•Small, lightweight stack (120 KB)
•Built-in star or mesh topology support
•Long battery life (5-year goal)
•Range commonly 10-100 meters
Do a web search on ZIGBEE
How does ZigBee differ from BlueTooth
While Bluetooth® focuses on connectivity between large packet user devices, such as laptops, phones, and major peripherals, ZigBee is designed to provide highly efficient connectivity between small packet devices. As a result of its simplified operations, which are one to two full orders of magnitude less complex than a comparable Bluetooth® device, pricing for these devices is extremely competitive, with full nodes available for a fraction of the cost of a Bluetooth® node. They are also actively limited to a through-rate of 250 Kbps, compared to the much larger pipeline of 1 Mbps for Bluetooth®, and operates on the 2.4 GHz ISM band, which is available throughout most of the world.
What are the Problems with ZigBee?
1 – Additional RF radiation from all the transmitters
All new devices that are wireless ZigBee connected have a radio receiver and a transmitter. Depending upon the configuration there will be an increase in the RF Radiation in the home from all of these devices. For people with severe EHS this may be considered a health assault.
One configuration has a Smart Meter with an associated ZigBee transmitter that sends current kWh usage to a digital read out somewhere in the house. This means that there will be an increase in RFR at the Smart Meter AND at the digital read out.
2 – A hacker may obtain private information about the occupants
A hacker may just listen to the various ZigBee transmissions from a house and can determine activity inside. I am not sure what benefit the hacker will obtain but there is a possibility.
3 – A hacker may manipulate the devices against the owners wish
This is the big issue. If a hacker can listen in to the various ZigBee communications the hacker will be able to send commands to the various devices to make them misbehave. Example – turn all ZigBee lights off, turn furnace off, turn a/c off or on, turn the refrigerator off, and on and on. Some of this activity would be a nuisance but some may be quite damaging. (eg. heat off in the winter)