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IoT Lexicon

Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT) Glossary!

This resource is intended to be your comprehensive guide to the terminology and abbreviations central to the IoT landscape.

The Internet of Things is revolutionizing how we interact with technology and data by creating a world where devices, sensors, and systems are interconnected and can communicate with each other over networks.

In this glossary, you will find explanations and definitions of basic concepts within IoT.

Additionally, common abbreviations and acronyms used within IoT will be explained to facilitate your understanding of technical language.

Whether you are a newcomer to IoT or an experienced professional, this glossary is intended to be a useful resource for you.


6LoWPAN: Abbreviation for "IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks". It is a network protocol for transmitting IPv6 packets over low-power wireless networks, typically used within IoT.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): One of the most used symmetric encryption algorithms used to protect data within IoT systems.

AI (Artificial Intelligence): Computer algorithms and techniques that enable machines to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as machine learning and deep learning.

Actuator: The components in an electronic item that convert electrical signals into output such as sound, motion, or other functions. They are the opposite of sensors.

API (Application Programming Interface): An interface that allows different programs and systems to communicate and interact with each other.

APN (Access Point Name): An APN identifies the connection point to a gateway between the mobile network and the internet, allowing mobile devices to connect to the internet via the mobile network.

Backhaul: Network segment that connects smaller networks or devices to a central point or core network.

Beacons: Small Bluetooth transmitters placed around to provide users with information or advertising tailored to their location.

Big Data: Large and complex datasets that can be analyzed to gain insights and improve decisions within IoT and other areas.

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy): A low-energy version of Bluetooth technology used to connect IoT devices such as wearables and smart home devices to mobile phones and other devices.

Botnet: A network of connected machines or objects that have been hijacked for other purposes, usually by hackers to carry out attacks such as sending spam emails or overwhelming other networks.

Firewall: A barrier that protects a network against unwanted traffic.

Cloud Computing: Delivery of computing services, including storage, data processing, and network access, via the internet (the cloud).

Cloud: External servers handle storage and processing of data instead of doing it locally on the device.

Connected car: A vehicle that is connected to the internet and often has its own local network to provide features such as entertainment systems and navigation.

DoS (Denial-of-Service)/DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service): Types of attacks aimed at putting a system out of action by overloading it with traffic.

E-health: Healthcare practice that uses electronic and digital solutions, which with IoT can include automatically shared patient records and disease-detecting wearables.

Edge Computing: Processing of data near the source instead of sending all data to the cloud, reducing latency and bandwidth needs.

Embedded Software: Software embedded in a hardware device and controls its functions, typically within IoT devices.

eUICC (Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card): A new type of integrated SIM card that allows you to change mobile operator without physically changing the SIM card.

Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA): A technology that enables wireless updating of the device's firmware or embedded software, reducing the need for physical access for updates.

Gateway: A device that acts as a bridge between IoT devices and the cloud, enabling communication between the devices and remote servers or other devices.

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS): A mobile phone technology that allows data transmission over mobile networks, often used for IoT devices requiring mobile connectivity.

Hacking: Exploiting weaknesses in digital systems to gain unauthorized access.

IAM (Identity & Access Management): A set of tools and procedures to ensure that only authorized users have access to a network.

Industrial IoT (IIoT): Application of IoT technology within industrial environments to monitor and control machinery, processes, and systems.

Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) Band: Frequency bands reserved for unlicensed use, often used for wireless communication protocols within IoT.

Interface (API): Programming interface for easily connecting a software or service to another.

IoT (Internet of Things): A network of physical devices equipped with sensors, software, and other technologies to collect and exchange data over the internet.

IoT platform: A software platform that provides tools and services for developing, connecting, and managing IoT devices and applications.

Capacity: Expression for the number of users and objects that a network can handle.

Encryption: A way to protect data by transforming it into an incomprehensible language that requires a key to restore it to its original state.

LAN (Local Area Network): A geographically limited network, typically within a building.

Link Budget: Calculation of the total loss of signal strength in a communication system, used to assess performance and coverage within IoT networks.

LoRa Protocol (LoRaWAN): A wireless communication protocol used for long-distance communication with low power consumption within IoT.

Low-Power Wide Area (LPWA): Wireless network technologies designed to enable long range and low power consumption for IoT devices, examples include LoRaWAN and NB-IoT.

Low-Power Wireless Sensor Network: Networks of wireless sensors designed to operate with low power consumption and often used within IoT to collect data from the environment.

LPWAN (Low-Power Wide-Area Network): Wireless networks designed to transmit data over long distances with low power consumption, e.g., LoRaWAN, NB-IoT.

LTE-M: Abbreviation for "Long-Term Evolution for Machines". It is a variant of the LTE standard optimized for IoT devices and low power consumption.

M2M (Machine-to-Machine): Communication between devices without direct human involvement, where devices communicate directly with each other to perform tasks.

Malware (Malicious software): A collective name for all software intentionally designed to destroy or exploit.

Managed Connectivity: Solutions that enable monitoring, control, and self-service of communication in IoT solutions.

Media Access Control (MAC): Protocol layer that manages access to shared media capacity in a network, including bandwidth allocation and collision management.

Mesh: A network variant where each node is interconnected with each other, making it a more secure but more expensive option than traditional networks.

MNO (Mobile Network Operator): A mobile operator that owns and controls all necessary elements to provide mobile services.

Mote: A small device with sensors and wireless communication used to monitor and collect data within IoT applications.

Near-Field Communication (NFC): A wireless communication technology that enables data transfer over short distances, typically used for contactless payment and identification.

OpenVPN: Free software to establish private networks (VPN).

OTA (Over-the-Air): Updating of software and firmware on IoT devices through wireless transmission over the internet.

PKI (Public Key Infrastructure): A system to ensure secure transfer of information through asymmetric encryption.

Protocol: Rules and standards that govern communication between devices within an IoT network, e.g., MQTT, CoAP, HTTP.

Radiofrequency (RF): Electromagnetic waves within the frequency range used for wireless communication, including IoT networks.

Repeater: A device that amplifies and retransmits signals within a network, extending its coverage and range.

RF Geolocation: Use of radio frequency signals to determine the geographical position of a device or user, typically used within IoT for tracking and location-based services.

RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification): A technology that uses radio bands to identify and track objects equipped with RFID tags.

Sensors: Devices that measure physical or chemical properties and convert them into electrical signals that can be read by other devices.

Smart Meter: A digital meter that measures and reports energy consumption in real-time, typically used within smart grids to optimize energy management and efficiency.

Software-Defined Network (SDN): A network where the control of network equipment is separated from the underlying hardware and defined through software, enabling easier management and configuration, useful within IoT.

Structure Attenuation: Loss of signal strength due to obstacles or materials in the environment, which can affect performance and coverage within wireless IoT networks.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP): A set of communication protocols used to enable communication and data transfer over the internet and other networks.

Two-step verification: A security arrangement involving two steps to increase security during login or access to sensitive data.

Ultra-Wide Band (UWB): A wireless technology that uses wide frequency bands for precision positioning and high-speed data transfer within IoT and other applications.

VPN (Virtual Private Network): A closed encrypted connection (so-called tunnel) on the internet. To gain access, you must undergo an authentication process.

WAN (Wide-Area Network): Networks that extend over a larger geographical area, such as the internet.

Wearables: Technology worn or carried by the user, such as activity trackers or health sensors.

ZigBee/Z-Wave: Wireless communication protocols used to connect and control smart home devices within IoT, such as lights, thermostats, and locks.

We hope our collection of terms and abbreviations has been a help for you to navigate through the complex world of IoT.

If you or your company need help implementing IoT solutions or need advice to optimize your current infrastructure, do not hesitate to contact us!

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