IoT Edge Definition

KZero Staff
Jul 27, 2023

What is IoT Edge?

Internet of Things (IoT) devices have enjoyed increased adoption both in consumer and commercial applications. These devices collect large volumes of data that must be processed to report to users or inform later actions.

Often, this data processing is performed in the cloud; however, this approach introduces latency and can require significant network bandwidth. IoT edge uses computational power at edge devices to preprocess, analyze, and filter data before sending it on to the cloud for more in-depth analysis.

How Does IoT Edge Work?

IoT edge moves some data processing from centralized cloud servers to the network edge. In this paradigm, there are three main types of computing systems:

  • Edge Devices: Edge devices are IoT devices that collect the data that must be processed. Examples include networked cameras, sensors, industrial systems, and consumer “smart” devices.
  • Edge Computing Systems: Computational power may be integrated into edge devices or deployed at nearby locations. These systems will locally process the data collected by edge devices to refine it before passing it on to cloud systems.
  • Cloud Systems: Edge computing systems perform the bulk of data processing, but cloud systems may perform some as well. They also offer other functions such as long-term storage, user interaction, or more advanced analytics.

IoT edge can be applied in any context where IoT devices are widely used and where large amounts of data may be processed. It is especially valuable if rapid decisions must be made based on processed data or if IoT devices have limited Internet connectivity. Healthcare, industrial IoT, and smart cities are three common applications of IoT edge.

Benefits of IoT Edge

IoT edge moves data processing from cloud systems to the network edge. Some of the benefits that it can provide to organizations using these systems include the following:

  • Decreased Latency: IoT edge places computational power geographically near the IoT devices that process data. By reducing the distance that data needs to travel, IoT edge decreases the time between an IoT device sending out data and it receiving instructions based on that data or that data being available to users.
  • Reduced Bandwidth Utilization: Edge computing devices can filter and compress the data produced by IoT devices before it is transmitted on to cloud systems. This preprocessing reduces the volume of data that must be sent over the network, which is especially valuable in contexts where IoT devices are connected via 5G mobile networks.
  • Improved Security: IoT edge processes data near the devices, and only summarized data is transmitted over the Internet to the cloud. By reducing the volume of potentially sensitive data sent over the network, IoT edge decreases the potential risk of data breaches or privacy violations.


Traditionally, IoT devices have sent data to centralized cloud servers for processing. IoT edge moves this processing to the network edge, where computational power is closer to the devices that are generating and using the data. This provides numerous potential benefits, including reducing network latency, bandwidth utilization, and the risk of data breaches.

KZero Staff

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