Zigbee speed and range

The problem with youtube is that they give part of information, and my mind was condition to understand that wifi device lack in reactivity, cost more and cannot work as both dumb and smart switch.

Its anecdotal, but for zigbee I’ve been MUCH happier with the Sonoff stick. ALL if the zigbee issues I had with the Nortek stick went away with the Sonoff.

You can look at the specification of the specific Zigbee chip used in each device but it will not tell you the real world values as different manufacturers implementations of radio components and antenna design in their different products will also play a huge role, thus the chip used does not tell you the real world performance.

Generally, just be aware that Zigbee signals are relatively weak and have poor penetration of building materials so the key is to rely on a strong Zigbee network mesh (meaning adding many Zigbee Router devices), as well as keeping in mind that Zigbee devices are very sensitive to RMF/EMI/RMI interference so it makes it much easier to troubleshoot later and find the real root cause if have already optimized your setup and environment to work around that by avoiding interference and build out a large Zigbee network with loads of always-on mains-powered products that act as Zigbee Router devices.

My tip is to buy a few “IKEA TRÅDFRI Signal Repeater” as dedicated Zigbee Router devices and they are cheap and work better as repeaters than non-dedicated Zigbee Router devices. Alternatively do as suggested above and buy a flash a few ITead Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 Plus Dongle with Zigbee Router firmware and use them in USB-changers. General advice there is that more is better so right now buying additinal “IKEA TRÅDFRI Signal Repeater” for the same total cost will give you the most bang for the buck today.

Also, regardless of the actual devices uses, always aim to keep the firmware of the Zigbee Coordinator updated, add more products acting as Zigbee Routers devices and implement workarounds for interference, see:




The conclusion is that you can avoid a lot problems with some basic knowledge about how to avoid interference and adding more Zigbee Router devices. When in doubt, add more Zigbee Routers.

That is actually not a good recommendation today. Nortek HUSBZB-1 is old product based on old chips.

Better to get a dedicated Zigbee Coordinator and a dedicated Z-Wave Controller based on newer chips.

I’m not saying that Nortek HUSBZB-1 is bad but it does use obsolete chips no longer manufactured. Latest EmberZNet Zigbee SDK firmware released from Silicon Labs is not supported on such old chips.

Much better to get a Zigbee Coordinator based on Silabs EFR32MGxx or Texas Instruments CC26x2.

Current benefit of Texas Instruments over Silicon Labs is that it is better supported in Zigbee2MQTT:


Silicon Labs (a.k.a. Silabs) “EZSP” serial protocol used in their Zigbee firmware only has experimental support in Zigbee2MQTT (while they supported Texas Instruments ZNP serial protocol for many years):


ZHA integration do however support all adapters, though newer with later firmware is recommended:


Only for that reason are Texas Instruments based Zigbee Coordinator recommended over a Silabs one.

Posting that is the Zigbee section in a thread discussing Zigbee could be considered trolling. Anyway, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Thread, EnOcean, and Bluetooth are all much better then Wi-Fi when it comes to battery-operated devices because they do not need to sleep as deep and wake up faster so offer better response and battery life. Those are facts about those technologies and not subjective anecdotes. Regardless, this is the Zigbee section and if you guys want to discuss protocol religion about other protocols then may I suggest considering posting such discussions elsewhere instead.


As my question show, i am obviously new at this home automation business, but work in technology for a living. I am not a idiot.

  • Citing the fact of my onw network is not troling.
  • Proposing alternative is not trolling.

I started this thread to learn about zigbee and learn i did. Tanxs to everyone who share their experience, this is what a forum should be.

In addition to its standard function as a marketplace, a forum was a gathering place of great social significance, and often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions and debates, rendezvous, meetings, et cetera. In that case it supplemented the function of a conciliabulum .

BTW, quoting the obvious from wiki, this is trolling.

You have a nice day.

Let’s go back to the post #1, have you narrowed down to some short list on what you’d likely try, for zigbee?

As folks mentioned above, for zigbee, it is not star topology like wifi, so one coordinator plus a couple of battery-powered end devices is not likely get you any solid zigbee mesh network.
OTOH, once you have good zigbee mesh in place, speed and range becomes less of the concern (or becomes non-issue), due to the nature of mesh.

So if your goal being to cover your place with zigbee, one zigbee coordinator + a couple of mains powered zigbee devices (“routers” in zigbee lingo) + a couple of battery-powered zigbee end devices are likely what you’d be looking at. Hence the question: do you have a short list over last few days?

I’m just curious what you have in mind.

I stand ready to order the following :

4 x SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus
16 x SONOFF ZBMINI-L ZigBee Mini Smart Switch
8 x Sonoff S31 15A WiFi Smart Plug
1 x SONOFF ZBBridge Smart Zigbee Bridge
16 x SONOFF SNZB-03 ZigBee Motion Sensor
16 x SONOFF SNZB-04 ZigBee Wireless Door Window Sensor

Now, my understanding from all the message i got is that most of this wont mesh because they all act as terminal except for the bridge and the Dongle.

I like the idea of Ikea repeater but have not found the time to go read the spec yet. I do have to go to Ikea tonigh so i will look it up.

Once again, I am very tanksfull for any comment or suggestion to help me make this a success story.

Recommend you read my first reply with honestly great tips before thinking that I meant any offence. For the record, I did not mean any offence. I was not saying that you were trolling before, instead just wanted to hint to not get too off-topic discussing other protocols.

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SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus” by ITead are great, recommend using one as a Zigbee Coordinator (just upgrade the firmware first) and reflashing the other three with the latest Zigbee Router firmware. See:



SONOFF ZBBridge Smart Zigbee Bridge” is not recommended as a Zigbee Coordinator adapter because it uses WiFi. But you can hack it and then reflash into a Zigbee Router instead. See:






“Sonoff S31 15A WiFi Smart Plug” is only WiFi and does not support Zigbee at all, so be sure to get the “SONOFF S31 Lite zb Smart Plug US Type Zigbee Version” instead if want a Zigbee Router (though it is one of their older models so I do not think it supports the newer Zigbee 3.0 specification).


SONOFF ZBMINI-L ZigBee Mini Smart Switch” is not recommended as do not work as Zigbee Router and the current firmware is a little buggy, though ITead confirmed issue said they will release a firmware update via OTA once they found the root cause. See:


Recommend get “SONOFF ZBMINI” with neutral instead of “SONOFF ZBMINI-L” without natural as that works as a Zigbee Router and seen reports that it is stable even if not got best Zigbee Router range:


If only looking at ITead’s Sonoff lineup then can also recommend " SONOFF BASICZBR3" as it is also a good Zigbee Router too uses an older chip which does not support the newer Zigbee 3.0 specification:


Another product not recommended right now is their “SONOFF S26R2ZB” which currently does not support OTA updates and earlier shipping versions had very buggy firmware so have to replace the whole unit if unlucky to get one with older firmware:


The general rule is that battery-operated Zigbee devices and mains-powered Zigbee devices without neutral will not act as Zigbee Router devices.


I did not know of https://itead.cc/.

I now have more reading to do, great post, tanxs.
I am looking at the SONOFF ZBBridge Smart Zigbee Bridge because the offer i was seing on amazon was requesting them for some sensor. I will lookup the website and see what up.

I was also in the impression that the bridge woul also hemp me with my ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro Smart Lock as i try to hide everything inside the wall, or at least in the attic for later acces.

I really want to try to have a invisible build. Maybe I’m overeaching…

Not needed if you use one of the dongles as your coordinator.

You will have to flash the bridge to use ZHA or Z2M.

They’re cheap but the cool down period is crazy long, 2.5 minutes IIRC.

Worst motion detector I tested.

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that a long time.

I was going to respond something fairly long, but Hedda did a better (a lot better) responses than I would do. My post would have been mentioning similar points as Hedda above:

  • You likely only need one coordinator, for one strong zigbee mesh, so getting one SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus would be good enough.
  • Not at all recommended: SONOFF ZBBridge Smart Zigbee Bridge, plus you would not need this also since you already would get the 3.0 USB dongle plus.
  • Sonoff has another model of ZBMINI that would work better than ZBMINI-L. ZBMINI is older, requires neutral line, but works better in general.
  • These are not zigbee 8 x Sonoff S31 15A WiFi Smart Plug, and sonoff has a zigbee flavour of the S31

Based on the size of your place mentioned, and based on your list, you should be able to get a good solid zigbee mesh

And, since you are going to IKEA later, maybe other users here could comment:
We know the TRÅDFRI Signal repeater would work as zigbee repeater / zigbee router, but what about the TRÅDFRI Wireless control outlet (303.561.69)…?
Maybe those IKEA ones would be a good alternative to the zigbee version of the Sonoff S31 lite?

TRÅDFRI has a couple of zigbee buttons that are fairly stylish (than sonoff for sure). Could be interesting. And, no, you would not need any IKEA gateway. All zigbee devices ideally would be under the same mesh that is handled by your coordinator-to-be : the SONOFF USB dongle.

Is that a zigbee device? I thought those were wifi/bluetooth?

The only reasons I see for the bridge is if you want/need to stay within the Sonoff/eWeLink ecosphere, or if you absolutely have to have a wifi connected coordinator.

If aesthetics are important to you, Aqara sensors may be the better choice for the items that have to be seen.

They work fine as router, I have a few of them. They’re quite bulky though (but so is the Sonoff).


So now I know that Ikea Canada do not have signal repeater anymore.
So here my plan for the main level. The basement countain similar element of the same zigbee items present in there.

My outlet would be acting as repeater : ZigBee Smart Outlet 120VAC/15A - LivingWise – iTEKcanada Technologies Inc.

and the SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus would be in the basement

I have adjust based on the recommendation of this thread. Anyone beleive i overlook something ?

Looks like you’ll have at least one zbmini in every room. That should be plenty (assuming you really mean zbmini and not zbmini-L).

If you don’t have immediate need for the smart outlets, I’d spare the expense to for now. You can always fill in later if needed.

Also, some of the zbmini placements look like they could be three-way switches. If so, you probably won’t need a zbmini at each location of the three-way.

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Whoever you give access to ha can control them.

Tanxs everyone!

If already followed all the general tips on avoiding interference and the best practices then you bastically can just add more Zigbee Router devices later if find then that don’t have enough coverage. Again read:




As that is a mains-powered Zigbee device with neutral it probably acts a Zigbee Router but note that the protocol says “Zigbee HA” which means it does not support the newer Zigbee 3.0 protocol, that does however not matter if you do not care about security as in summery Zigbee 3.0 only offer a better security level. The chances of you Zigbee network getting hacked in are generally low regardless.

That SONOFF ZBBridge Smart Zigbee Bridge is officially only compatible with ITead’s own Zigbee devices (similar to most proprietary gateways/bridges/hubs), at least unless you hack the ESP8266 chip on it by flashing the TTL-serial to USB adapter with a custom Tasmota or ESPHome firmware, which will remove the proprietary gateway/bridge/hub software and instead allow configure it to act as a remote Zigbee Coordinator adapter, which again is not recommended due to it only having Wi-Fi and not a wired Ethernet LAN port so will likely not get the perfectly stable connection that the Zigbee Coordinator requires.

After it has been hacked the SONOFF ZBBridge Smart Zigbee Bridge can however alternatively be reflashed with Zigbee Router firmware which then makes for a pretty good Zigbee repeater device. See:


While the “IKEA TRÅDFRI Wireless Control Outlet” might relatively have similar performance as a router to the “SONOFF S31 Lite zb Smart Plug US Type Zigbee Version” plug both of those are known to offeer pretty poor Zigbee Router performance when compared to the “IKEA TRÅDFRI Signal Repeater” which has great Zigbee Router performance is today really only beaten by Zigbee USB adapters based on CC2652 chip reflashed with Zigbee Router firmware, however those are today much more expensive than buying a few “IKEA TRÅDFRI Signal Repeater” or even a whole bunch of “IKEA TRÅDFRI Wireless Control Outlet” plus.

Back to, when in doubt just add more mains-powered Zigbee products that act as Zigbee Router devices as more less powerfull devices are usually better than only a few very powerfull devices.

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