Z-Wave® is a bidirectional communication protocol designed specifically for controlling, operating, measuring and monitoring home automation equipment : lighting, heating/AC, security, home entertainment, etc. The Z-Wave® protocol utilizes an optimized radio technology for weak bandwidth radio communications (9-100 kbps). In Europe, Z-Wave® devices operate in the 868.4 MHz band, which ensures the absence of any interference with the WiFi connections or with other wireless receivers operating in 2.4 GHz such as Bluetooth or ZigBee®.
The range of the Z-Wave® signal is approximately 50m (higher outdoors and lower indoors). However, the Z-Wave® technology automatically and dynamically creates a "mesh network" between the various Z-Wave® devices that compose it and each of these devices becomes itself a repeater in order to increase the reach and reliability of the radio signals and to connect through the Z-Wave® network devices that are not within direct range of each other.
Each Z-Wave® network has its own identifier (Home ID), which enables multiple Z-Wave® networks in a single location to operate completely independently and without interfering with each other.
The main advantage of the Z-Wave® radio protocol over other mesh network competitors such as ZigBee® is the complete interoperability between the various Z-Wave® devices from different manufacturers. This interoperability is guaranteed by a certification process which is performed by companies approved by Silicon Labs., which itself is the owner of the Z-Wave®, and by the Z-Wave Alliance, which was created in 2005 to bring together all the stakeholders in the Z-Wave® ecosystem (over 700 member companies since early 2018). CBCC Domotique SAS (which owns the Swiid® brand) is a full member of the Z-Wave Alliance.
Z-Wave® devices can be used either independently in a decentralized way (e.g. a wireless switch or associated with a single remote controlled plug) or in centralized manner using a central controller or an integrated IP gateway, the latter allowing access by/to your Z-Wave® network to/from the outside world.