Zig who? Protocols with weird names

Don’t forget that the first post in a community guide is a wiki - feel free to add to it or correct it.

This guide was written with reference to:

Home Assistant 2023.9.3
Supervisor 2023.10.0
Operating System 10.5
Frontend 20230911.0 - latest

I can’t be the only one who skips over bizarre names in forum posts. Not good - time for a list. Most definitions are from Wikipedia.


Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology standard that is used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances and building personal area networks (PANs).

In the most widely used mode, transmission power is limited to 2.5 milliwatts, giving it a very short range of up to 10 metres (33 ft). It employs UHF radio waves in the ISM bands, from 2.402 GHz to 2.48 GHz. It is mainly used as an alternative to wire connections, to exchange files between nearby portable devices and connect cell phones and music players with wireless headphones. Bluetooth - Wikipedia

Bluetooth Low Energy

Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE, colloquially BLE, formerly marketed as Bluetooth Smart) is a wireless personal area network technology designed and marketed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG). It is aimed at applications in the healthcare, fitness, beacons, security, and home entertainment industries.

It is independent of classic Bluetooth and has no compatibility, but Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) and LE can coexist. Compared to Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy is intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range. Mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, as well as macOS, Linux, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows 11, natively support Bluetooth Low Energy. Bluetooth Low Energy - Wikipedia


ESPHome is a system to control your microcontrollers by simple yet powerful configuration files and control them remotely through Home Automation systems. It supports ESP8266/ESP32, RP2040 and various Realtek/Beken chips commonly found in Tuya wifi devices. www.esphome.io


Matter is an open-source connectivity standard for smart home and Internet of things devices, which aims to improve their compatibility and security.

It originated in December 2019 as the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) working group, founded by Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance, now called the Connectivity Standards Alliance. Subsequent members include IKEA, Huawei, and Schneider.

Version 1.0 of the specification was published on 4 October 2022. The Matter software development kit is open-source under the Apache License. Matter-compatible software updates for many existing hubs became available in late 2022, with Matter-enabled devices and software updates expected to be released during 2023. Matter (standard) - Wikipedia


MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) is a lightweight, publish-subscribe, machine to machine network protocol for message queue/message queuing services.

It is designed for connections with remote locations that have devices with resource constraints or limited network bandwidth, such as in the Internet of Things (IoT). It must run over a transport protocol that provides ordered, lossless, bi-directional connections—typically, TCP/IP, but also possibly over QUIC. It is an open OASIS standard and an ISO recommendation (ISO/IEC 20922). MQTT - Wikipedia


Tasmota is an open source firmware for all ESP devices. This flexible and expandable firmware allows full local control along with benefits of regular updates and quick setup. It can be easily integrated with home automation solutions and you can automate using rules, timers and scripts. You can easily control Tasmota with MQTT, Web UI, HTTP or serial. https://tasmota.app/


Thread is an IPv6-based, low-power mesh networking technology for Internet of things (IoT) products.

Thread uses 6LoWPAN, which, in turn, uses the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless protocol with mesh communication (on the 2.4 GHz spectrum), as do Zigbee and other systems. However, Thread is IP-addressable, with cloud access and AES encryption.

A BSD-licensed open-source implementation of Thread, called “OpenThread”, is available from and managed by Google. In 2019, the Connected Home over IP project (later renamed “Matter”), led by Zigbee Alliance (now Connectivity Standards Alliance), Google, Amazon, and Apple, announced a broad collaboration to create a royalty-free standard and open-source code base to promote interoperability in home connectivity, leveraging Thread, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth Low Energy. Thread (network protocol) - Wikipedia


Zigbee is an IEEE 802.15.4-based specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios, such as for home automation, medical device data collection, and other low-power low-bandwidth needs, designed for small scale projects which need wireless connection.

The technology defined by the Zigbee specification is intended to be simpler and less expensive than other wireless personal area networks (WPANs), such as Bluetooth or more general wireless networking such as Wi-Fi. Applications include wireless light switches, home energy monitors, traffic management systems, and other consumer and industrial equipment that requires short-range low-rate wireless data transfer. Its low power consumption limits transmission distances to 10–100 meters (30’ to 300’) line-of-sight, depending on power output and environmental characteristics.

Zigbee devices can transmit data over long distances by passing data through a mesh network of intermediate devices to reach more distant ones. Zigbee is typically used in low data rate applications that require long battery life and secure networking. (Zigbee networks are secured by 128 bit symmetric encryption keys.) Zigbee has a defined rate of up to 250 kbit/s, best suited for intermittent data transmissions from a sensor or input device.

The name refers to the waggle dance of honey bees after their return to the beehive. Zigbee - Wikipedia



Z-Wave is a wireless communications protocol used primarily for residential and commercial building automation.

It is a mesh network using low-energy radio waves to communicate from device to device, allowing for wireless control of smart home devices, such as smart lights, security systems, thermostats, sensors, smart door locks, and garage door openers.

Like other protocols and systems aimed at the residential, commercial, MDU and building markets, a Z-Wave system can be controlled from a smart phone, tablet, or computer, and locally through a smart speaker, wireless keyfob, or wall-mounted panel with a Z-Wave gateway or central control device serving as both the hub or controller.

Z-Wave provides the application layer interoperability between home control systems of different manufacturers that are a part of its alliance. There is a growing number of interoperable Z-Wave products; over 1,700 in 2017, over 2,600 by 2019, and over 4,000 by 2022. Z-Wave - Wikipedia

So now you know…