Z-Wave was developed by a Danish startup called Zensys. It is a proprietary wireless communications protocol specifically designed for the needs of remote control applications and therefore all kinds of home automation devices. While using a low-power wireless technology it supports the communication via a mesh structure which means that several Z-Wave devices also act…
Universal Powerline Bus or short UPB is a communication protocol developed for the needs of home automation. As the name suggests it uses the existing powerlines of homes for sending data. It was developed in 1999 by PCS Powerline Systems and was inspired by the already ubiquitous X10 protocol.
As the oldest protocol on the market, X10 has built up quite some reputation over the last 30 years. X10 was originally designed for powerline communication only but through time the need for wireless communication emerged.
ZigBee is a home automation protocol which was originally invented for the use in Personal Area Networks (PAN). Like Z-Wave it uses low power radio frequency communication which results in long battery lives for ZigBee using devices. The protocal is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and is widely considered as an alternative to Bluetooth…
KNX is an abbreviation for the word Konnex and describes a standardized protocol for building control and also has its place in traditional home automation. Its biggest advantage is the independence of any particular hardware platform which means that it could also be executed on an 8-bit microcontroller.
Insteon tries to combine the best of both worlds which means it supports powerline communication as well as radio frequency communication. Considering it only as a protocol would be an understatement. It is rather a complete technology stack which also consists of separate protocols for the two different types of communication.