zigbee vs z-wave-difference between zigbee and z-wave

This page zigbee vs z-wave covers difference between zigbee and z-wave wireless PAN technologies.The other difference between various terms are provided here.

Both the zigbee and z-wave are short range wireless PAN technologies used mainly for remote monitor and control applications as home automation systems. The page provides difference between zigbee and z-wave Personal Area Network technologies. Both technology devices have output power of 1mWatt(0 dBm) and uses 128 bit AES encryption.


About zigbee: It is a routing based radio standard developed by zigbee alliance. The specifications have been ratified in 2004 while it has been published in 2005. IEEE 802.15.4 zigbee specifications cover PHY and MAC layers.

The zigbee goals are as follows:
• To provide wireless network for industrial, medical and home automation devices.
• To provide self-organizing network to overcome complexity in installation procedures.
• To provide low data rate and low power consumption wireless system

To achieve the above goals zigbee has different kinds of devices such as network coordinators, FFDs(Full Function Devices) and RFDs(Reduced function devices).
Refer zigbee tutorial for more.


About z-wave: This is also routed radio network owned by company called Sigma Designs, Inc. z-wave devices send message using radio frequency wave. It is mainly targetted for home automation. z-wave network is self organizing and self-healing, hence it is easy to set-up z-wave network.

z-wave has been developed to achieve the following goals in a reliable wireless network.
• Low power system
• Low cost system
• Easy network installation and no network maintenance
• Easy inter-operability among different vendors
Refer z-wave tutorial for more.

Though zigbee and z-wave are similar WPAN technologies and used for similar applications, they have following technical differences.

Specifications Zigbee z-wave
Standard 802.15.4 defines
layers of zigbee network
It is an open standard
developed by zigbee alliance
Developed by Zensys
as proprietary
wireless standard, It is not an open standard. ITU recently added Z-wave PHY and MAC layers in G.9959 standard.
RF Frequency Band 2.4 to 2.483 GHz,with 16 channels
of 5 MHz bandwidth each
Other optional frequency bands
are 915 MHz band in the US and 868 MHz
band in Europe region
Z-wave uses part 15 of unlicensed ISM
band 908.42 MHz in US/Canada,
Other countries have their
own frequency band
Data rate 250Kbps in 2.4GHz band with
OQPSK modulation,
40Kbps in 915 MHz band with
BPSK modulation,
20 kbps in 868 MHz band
9.6 kbps and 40 kbps with GFSK
Modulation type OQPSK, BPSK modulation as per
PHY layer used
Gaussin Frequency Shift Keying
(GFSK) modulation
Distance About 10 meters range coverage of 30 meters
can be achieved in free space
Number of Nodes supported Zigbee network supports maximum
of upto 65K nodes
z-wave network can have
upto 232 nodes
Alliance Maintained by zigbee alliance
having consortium of
more than 220 members
Maintained by z-wave alliance
having consortium of
more than 160 members
Applications Security and home automation,
smart grid, remote
monitor and control
Security and home automation
Popular devices EM351, EM357 single chip zigbee
device from Ember,
Zigbee home monitor and control
panel from iControl
ZM3102, ZM4101, ZM4102 from Sigma Designs
Vendors/Manufacturers Many vendors which includes Ember,
Freescale, Microchip,
Jennic, RFM, Lemos
Available only from one vendor Sigma Designs


Refer what is z-wave and what is zigbee for more information.

z-wave basic resources

• z-wave tutorial
• z-wave physical layer-PHY
• z-wave MAC layer
• z-wave protocol stack
• z-wave security basics

What is Difference between

difference between FDM and OFDM
Difference between SC-FDMA and OFDM
Difference between SISO and MIMO
Difference between TDD and FDD
Difference between 802.11 standards viz.11-a,11-b,11-g and 11-n
Bluetooth vs zigbee
Fixed wimax vs mobile
wibro vs mobile wimax
Microcontroller vs microprocessor

IoT Wireless Technologies

WLAN    ➤THREAD    ➤EnOcean    ➤LoRa    ➤SIGFOX    ➤WHDI   
Zigbee   ➤6LoWPAN   ➤Zigbee RF4CE   ➤Z-Wave   ➤NFC   ➤RFID   ➤INSTEON  

RF and Wireless Terminologies