What is an IoT Network?

The Internet of Things


The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a network of everything that is connected to the internet, from something as small as a toy or sensor, to as big as a train.


While IoT devices were a new concept just a few years ago, the concept of IoT has spread to almost every aspect of our lives, from medical services to smart home devices, even to agricultural industries across the world. Advancements in Technologies such as cloud computing, big data management, machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and mobile technologies have allowed IoT devices to offer better privacy, increased stability, and streamlined user experiences.



Why are IoT Networks Important??


IoT devices, since they are connected to the internet, are capable of communicating with devices across the entire network and with outside services, such as the TP-Link Cloud for both Kasa and Tapo devices. Connecting these devices to the internet, not only provides increased control and functionality, but the anonymous data collected can be used to optimize connections, communicate statistics (energy monitoring), or even create alerts/notifications. In industrial applications, IoT devices allow companies to better monitor, track, and predict changes that may occur on a larger scale, such as how the agricultural industry can even track the detailed humidity, solid moisture, and temperature across their property in order to provide the best-growing conditions for their crops.


IoT devices, while providing invaluable experiences to our lives and smart homes, can also use a significant amount of bandwidth or crowd your home network. By placing all these devices on a separate network, you are freeing up your network for the devices where you want the best connection, such as your phone or streaming device.


Automation Efficiency

If you have ever attempted to create automations with your Smart Devices on a congested network, you will know that the overall performance, speed, and reliability at which the Automation is performed can be heavily affected or varying. By placing your Smart Devices on a designated IoT network, you can be sure that your devices can effectively communicate with each other to provide the best connections possible. This will also create additional bandwidth on your main wireless network that your streaming devices and phones can now take advantage of.


Simplified Setup

IoT networks can also simplify the setup process for your smart devices as a separate and easier-to-input password can be used to connect the devices. IoT networks also provide methods for changing the bands and security used by these devices; meaning that if your device only connects via a 2.4 GHz connection, the 5 GHz bands can be disabled for the IoT network, allowing your other devices to keep their high-speed connection from the main network.

Furthermore, if you would like to use the newest security protocols but are limited by your smart device's compatibility, the encryption method of the IoT network can be different from the method used on the main network to connect your devices.


How is TP-Link Embracing IoT Networks?


If you happened to catch the Wi-Fi 7 Product Launch Event, you might already know that a Private IoT network is featured in all of TP-Link’s current Wi-Fi 7 Lineup. For Wi-Fi 7 Routers supporting the feature, both the Deco BE95(2-Pack) and the BE900 are available for preorder now.


IoT Networking is already beginning to roll out to specific deco models, such as the Deco X50/55 (v1 and V1.6) and the new Deco XE200. If you do not see the feature available, please check that you are running the most up-to-date firmware from your model’s download page. If your device is not yet supported, keep an eye out for New Beta Firmware on the official TP-Link forums, and for new firmware updates on your model’s support page.




The New IoT Configuration Interface from the Deco XE200


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Any IOT coming for the x68 ?



Unfortunately, we don't have any insights into what models will receive the feature and when. However, the goal of the firmware is to roll it out to as many models as possible as it is developed. From the list of firmware available on the site for the X68, it looks like it is still receiving constant updates and support for potential bugs. 


Each week, more and more models are provided with the 1.6/1.7 update so make sure that you are checking for updates often. Our teams do normally update the firmware pages each Friday, otherwise, major model releases often receive an announcement through the forums.

Is there a means to simply migrate some if not all of the IoT devices from either or both the main mesh network or the guest network over to the IoT network?  I for example have devices that are only physically touchable by climbing an extension ladder to its upper most rungs.  So if there was a way to change its network it would be grand.  Many of these devices are security lights and cameras.

Dr, that is an awesome idea.

@DrKahanamoku @mstbone67a 


Unfortunately, actually moving the device over to another network requires you to change the settings of the network connection on the device. This means that you would need to use the reset method for whatever device you are looking to move. The ability to change the networks is highly dependent on your device's manufacturer, as the only real way this could be accomplished is via a Bluetooth Connection to devices.


The alternative, and what I recommend, is to leave the device on your main network and just tell your network to treat the device as an IoT device by setting up device isolation policies for that specific device. As far as we are aware, the device isolation setting is currently available on a select few devices such as the XE200, BE95, and I think the X55. You can check to see if the option is there in your Deco app, as it will be its own card on the bottom Homeshield Screen; you will also see device isolation toggles when looking at the network settings for a specific client device.



The setting will be rolled out to more models in a firmware update, as this was added to the 1.6 firmware at a later time - for users that do not have the feature and are using a 1.6 or equivalent firmware - please keep an eye out for a 1.7.0 update.

What are the practical differences between using guest network for IoT devices and using the IoT network for IoT devices?  Is device-to-device isolation improved?  Is bandwidth limitation improved?  Etc etc


Trying to decide if I want to put in the effort to move all my IoT devices from guest network to the new IoT network. 

The IoT network technically has more configuration options as the Guest Network, such as Bands and security. However, as mentioned in the post, the IoT network does not have default isolation policies yet; you must toggle the isolation for each device individually (It was made this way because the matter controllers, hubs, and TVs will not be able to communicate with your devices if they are also isolated on the IoT network) This is also why it is not recommended to create a matter or thread network on a guest network.


Moving your devices over will also free up some of the bandwidth for your main network, and allow you to use your guest network for guests or as an extremely isolated network.

Other than cameras and light bulbs, what is suggested or best practices for other devices to go in the IoT network? Would one add in thermostats, nest smoke detectors and electrical outlets?



As the Deco's IoT Network does not automatically isolate devices from the main network, you have much more freedom in which devices you can add to the IoT Network.

I would recommend checking out our article on Device Isolation to learn the impact of device isolation on devices:  Using Device Isolation on Deco


It will largely be up to personal preference, but I would generally recommend adding any of your Smart Home Devices to your IoT network. I would start with adding devices that are controlled through simple commands, if the devices are isolated on top of being placed in the IoT network, they will have the easiest time functioning and receiving commands from the internet.


Devices such as cameras are largely up to you and will change depending on your setup, such as if you are recording locally to an NVR, or if your smart home Hubs/TVs have difficulty showing the live stream. In these cases, it may be better to leave the camera on the network and not isolate the device.


The creation of the iOT network feature helped my printer issues where I don't have to keep swapping networks between 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz devices just to print a page since I prefer the 5 GHz network due to more bandwidth.  Putting all my 2.4 GHz devices on the iOT network feature helped fixed this issue and my normal wifi only has 5 GHz and 6 GHz wifi SSIDs.