Having many options seems excellent in almost any situation, yet with the freedom of choice comes the responsibility of taking the right path. And with over 200 cellular router and gateway manufacturers, your choice truly matters. Naturally, to choose the best option for your IoT solution, you must be sufficiently informed on various aspects of available hardware and software and all of the other supporting factors.
Let's start with the big picture and narrow in on the best individual device choices. First of all, decide what scale will your solution span:
- Hobbyist — various DIY solutions, mainly small-scale projects that do not require a lot of investment.
- Consumer Electronics — smart home solutions, wearable tech, low to medium scale solutions.
- Industrial IoT — smart factories, automated tracking and regulating systems, remote maintenance for industrial-scale projects.
- Industry driven — encompassing a whole industry infrastructure like logistics, smart city, agriculture, very large-scale solutions.
Once your niche is selected, it will be easier to plan your solution and calculate all the needed costs and labor. The next step is to look at the crucial factors that can influence your project.
Reliability means more than just knowing that your supplier has an excellent track record with other clients. It would help if you considered the technical side of things. Can you trust the hardware to have all the necessary safeguards in place, so your IoT project would properly function even if something unexpected happens? Now let's take a look at some of the essential features that increase the reliability of the product you plan on purchasing.
You might have heard that 'turning it off and on again' is a great way to fix many problems that a device might encounter. However, you can't always be there in person to press the reboot button. A regular restart of the device is a great preventative measure for any minor hiccups that it might encounter. An auto-reboot function does just that. Ping Reboot performs periodic device reboots or re-establishes the connection to the internet. Be sure to look for this function if you want to ensure that your solution will minimize system downtime and need for maintenance.
Another great tool that increases solution reliability is The Watchdog. It can be an electronic component or a software timer that monitors the work of software and hardware. If an error occurs and the watchdog timer fails to restart the ongoing monitoring loop, the Watchdog can perform many corrective actions. Such a mechanism further automates problem-solving steps and lessens the need for human interaction. So be sure to check if the device has a Watchdog already installed or is compatible with such a failsafe mechanism.
Failover is a vital function that can ensure uninterrupted connectivity. If your primary connection goes down, then the device will automatically switch to another available option. This way, your setup will have uninterrupted connectivity and stable speed. You can also set up failover so that the change happens when one connection starts to slow down.
Teltonika Networks has a selection of professional routers with up to three failover options depending on the model. So be sure to check the available features that IoT device has to offer and choose based on your needs.
If you would like to delve deeper and find out about reliability options in more detail, be sure to check out the Teltonika Networks article on RutOS reliability.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is another crucial factor to consider. Once again, depending on the scale of your solution, you might need a way to monitor and control the IoT equipment efficiently. Look into options that would let you troubleshoot and change the settings of your IoT solution remotely, cutting down on expenses significantly. If you do not need to travel every time you need to reconfigure the settings physically, that will substantially reduce the cost over time of your IoT solution. Also, look for easy installation options, make sure that all of the necessary connections are there.
Teltonika Networks can offer you products with many various connection types. Our hardware offers legacy connections, making even intricate IoT solutions easy to install right away without the need to use adapters and additional cables.
You should be able to access all the available information easily. Sure, you can find most of the questions answered online in user forums all over the internet. However, an official wiki or knowledgebase for that specific piece of equipment is the way to go. Your supplier should offer installation manuals, configuration examples and use case scenarios. Also, look at the compatibility information because many assembly lines can have older components integrated into the overall solution.
Teltonika Networks can offer you an extensive knowledgebase with almost 3,000 articles when it comes to ease of use. You can find anything from installation manuals and configuration examples to real-life use cases that will help you make your choice and implement it without much hassle. All of the information Teltonika Networks offers is updated regularly. Moreover, you can also find not only text but video material in our YouTube channel containing tutorials and various product tests.
Naturally, everyone wants to cut down the cost as much as possible when implementing their solution. However, some manufacturers might at first present you with a lower price. Only after that will you notice that some crucial components are missing from the initial deal, like antennas, cables, mounting options, or a remote management system. So, make sure in advance that the offer you get includes all the required hardware and software for your project.
Teltonika Networks includes all the accessories required to set up your IoT solution right away. This contains components like antennas, chargers, mounting brackets and the like. Thanks to this practice, you won't need to look for missing components yourself and save a lot of time and additional expenses.
Security options can make or break the company. In 2021 data breaches cost companies approximately $4.24 million. It is crucial that you make sure that all parts of your smart solution are secured. If malicious parties breach a switch or a router, it might start a chain reaction and sabotage the entire system. Such options as a Firewall, VPN and various certificates are crucial components in any IoT solution. Of course, there are measures that only you can take, but a baseline level of security is a must from your provider.
Arguably the first line of defense is a secure password. However, this might be a little too obvious, so much so that some people tend to forget it. A great deal of breaches happens because of generic passwords. Teltonika Networks has addressed this issue by making password change mandatory before deploying our devices into your IoT solution. With a required password change before even enabling the system, your security is vastly increased.
Firewall and VPN
Two of the most prominent security features are a Firewall and a VPN. A Virtual Private Network establishes safe access between remote private networks, encrypts data and provides anonymity while browsing the internet. It also has many security protocols in place that further increase the security of your network. Next is the Firewall, which can have a set of custom rules on who can access your network and devices. You can set who can access the data within your network and who gets rejected and basically, it acts as a barrier between secured and unsecured networks.
Teltonika Networks has a fantastic array of security measures already prepared for you. We offer preconfigured firewall settings, multiple VPNs, web filter, TCP dump and many more, so your data safety is ensured right from the get-go. If you would like to find out what else we have to offer in more detail, be sure to check Teltonika Networks webinar on RutOS Security.
To wrap things up, let's take one more quick overview of what you should focus on when looking for a suitable device for your IoT project. First, you must decide what scale IoT project you are taking on, which lets you plan how much you wish to invest and what additional hardware you might need to solve all the connectivity issues.
After that, you must plan out your solution carefully. Planning will let you answer the question of what exact functionality you are looking for in your devices. Remember to take into consideration the reliability of the supplier and the product. Will you access all the additional information you might need and support if you encounter a problem?
Also, look for easy-to-implement devices to cut down on unnecessary expenses like hiring new staff and experts to implement the device into your solution. Lastly, look for highly secure options. This will ensure that your investment will remain safe and uncompromised.
Be sure to take a look at the extensive inventory of Teltonika Networks devices, which can be just the right choice for you, now that you know how to pick out the suitable hardware and software combination!