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Advantages of CoAP protocol | disadvantages of CoAP protocol

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of CoAP protocol. It mentions CoAP protocol advantages or benefits and CoAP protocol disadvantages or drawbacks. CoAP stands for Constrained Application Protocol.

What is CoAP protocol?

• It is a web transfer protocol which is used in constrained networks such as IoT, WSN, M2M etc. to provide communication between constrained devices having less memory/less power specifications.
• It follows client/server model. GET, PUT, POST and DELETE methods are used.
• It uses both request/response and publish/subscribe models.
• It supports binding to UDP, TCP and SMS.
• It is very efficient RESTful protocol as defined in RFC 7252.

CoAP Architecture

• As shown in the figure-1, it uses both HTTP clients and CoAP clients. Proxy device is used to bridge gap between constrained network environment and normal internet based on HTTP.
• It uses both asynchronous and synchronous message types.
• It suppors header of 4 bytes.
• Refer CoAP Protocol architecture >> ,difference between CoAP vs HTTP and CoAP vs MQTT for more information.

Benefits or advantages of CoAP protocol

Following are the benefits or advantages of CoAP protocol:
➨It is simple protocol and uses less overhead due to operation over UDP. It allows short wake up times and long sleepy states. This helps in achieving long battery life for use in IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) communication.
➨It uses IPSEC or DTLS to provide secure communication.
➨Synchronous communication is not necessity in CoAP protocol.
➨It has lower latency compare to HTTP.
➨It consumes less power than HTTP.
➨It uses ACK message and hence it becomes reliable like HTTP. Moreover it avoids unnecessary retransmissions.
➨CoAP protocol is used as best protocol choice for home communication networks. It is used in information appliances, communication equipments and control equipments in smart home networks.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of CoAP protocol

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of CoAP protocol:
➨CoAP is unreliable protocol due to use of UDP. Hence CoAP messages reach unordered or will get lost when they arrive at destination. To make CoAP as reliable protocol, stop and wait with exponential backoff retransmission feature is incorporated in it. Duplicate detection is also introduced.
➨It acknowledges each receipt of the message and hence increases processing time. Moreover it does not verify whether the received message has been decoded properly or not.
➨It is unencrypted protocol like MQTT and uses DTLS to provide security at the cost of implementation overhead.
➨CoAP has communication issues for devices behind NAT (Network Address Translation).

Link to IoT Wireless Technologies

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