Internet of Things (IoT) solutions developers face myriad decisions beyond simply defining a feature set. Recent studies have shown that only a quarter of IoT projects are successful. Well informed hardware and application platform selections, including the networking protocol stack, can help IoT projects get off to a good start, but the choice of communication media is arguably one of the most critical decisions that must be made.

This paper addresses the major considerations for developers who want the increased reliability and security of wired versus wireless networking, and who are considering RS-485 as their wired solution. It compares FT (ISO/IEC 14908-2) and RS-485 (EIA-485) networking, exploring the pros and cons of each technology, ease of installation, and total cost of ownership.

Key takeaway

While the initial component cost of network transceivers for FT technology may be slightly higher than the isolated RS-485 options that are sometimes used in the IoT market, once the cost of labor to install, troubleshoot and maintain the system is included, FT solutions frequently have a compelling advantage in total cost of ownership.