The 7 Best LoRaWAN Devices on the Market

Whether you’re building a DIY project, or attempting to manufacture something for market, there are ready-made LoRaWAN gateway products to support your efforts
  • Many LoRaWAN gateway manufacturers are well known in the tech space. Whether you’re building a DIY project, or attempting to manufacture something for market, there are ready-made products to support your efforts. Cisco, Tektelic, Kerlink, Gemtek, The Things Network, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino all sell leading, well-reviewed LoRaWAN products. When in doubt, check the reviews, or just try everything.

    LoRa and LoRaWAN devices have deployed in more than 100 countries. But it's not easy to determine the best one. Generally speaking, there are uncertified and “LoRaWAN certified” products, the latter of which must undergo a certification process through the LoRa Alliance to prove full compatibility to the network protocol. Cheaper devices generally have weaker antennae and consumers may spend more money in the long run trying to get a better range. If your project is an important one, or one in which the quality of the device matters, and if you need to ensure interoperability, go with LoRaWAN certified.

     

  • Arduino MKR WAN 1300 (LoRa)

    The MKR WAN 1300 (LoRa) is not a gateway. It is a standalone board ready to pair with the LoRaWAN network out of the box. It is one of the leading devices of its kind, particularly in that it is easy for beginners to use and is very affordable at $40.

    Stay tuned. Arduino is also working on a LoRaWAN gateway of its own.

    Libelium and Loriot are LoRa Alliance members who partnered to develop and sell LoRaWAN dev kits.

    (Image source: Arduino)

  • Cisco IR 910

    Cisco is already a well-known name in the telecom space. Its IR 910 gateway features a multi-frequency daughterboard that runs the LoRaWAN protocol. It also supports WiFi and 3G cellular communications and boasts the ability to be used for outdoor applications. It is one of the most expensive on the market (at $1500) but is also one of the most versatile. If you decide against using LoRaWAN after all, at least you still have a fully functional gateway.

    (Image source: Cisco)

  • Kerlink Wirnet Station

    The Kerlink Wirnet Station is a compact outdoor LoRaWAN gateway, introduced in 2014.
    It's an industrial-grade IoT gateway that supports the deployment of resilient public and private smart networks. It offers also offers monitoring-and-alarming capability, real-time radio scanning, and cellular/Ethernet backhaul.

    The Wirnet station is compatible with Kerlink network operations tools, Wanesy Management Center, but also with third-party solutions to enable flexible and scalable deployments across many industries.

    (Image source: Kerlink)

  • The Lorrier LR2

    The Lorrier LR2 is a carrier-grade gateway for those looking to have a professional IoT network. It’s an outdoor device with wide coverage from both large telecommunications companies and individuals supporting LoRaWAN. 

    (Image source: Lorrier)

  • MultiTech Conduit (with LoRa mCard)

    The MultiTech Conduit is another LoRaWAN gateway device meant for easy deployment. What's key here is its configurability, 10-mile line-of-sight management, and its ability to scale. What sets this one apart is the fact that the Multitech Conduit device uses mCards (shown). This gives the base device access to thousands of different mCards to expand its RF connectivity.

    (Image source: MultiTech)

  • Raspberry Pi (Custom)

    Raspberry Pi doesn’t make its own LoRaWAN gateway per se, but several hackers detail open-source designs of Raspberry Pi-powered designs online. Makers agree Raspberry Pi-powered LoRaWAN gateways of all shapes and sizes make one of the best, low-cost LPWAN gateways on the market. Learn to make your own from The Things Network, or buy a kit from Seed Studio or Spark Fun.

    (Image source: The Things Network / TTN Zurich)

  • The Things Gateway

    The Things Gateway is manufactured by The Things Network, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. It is one of the best quality LoRaWAN gateways on the market for the price ($340), and it works right out of the box. The company says consumers will be live on the network within five minutes following setup.

    (Image source: The Things Network)

Cabe Atwell is an electrical engineer, machinist, writer and maker. Aside from his writing at  Design News  , you can find his work at  EETimesEDNMake Magazine  HacksterSolidSmack, and dozens of other publications. Beyond writing, he also builds projects, designs tutorials, and writes books. His forthcoming book for aspiring engineers is, “  The Troublemaker's Handbook: A Compendium of Tricks and Hacks Using LEDs, Transistors, and Integrated Circuits."

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