Choosing a LoRa Gateway for your Project
LoRa is a great wireless networking choice for IoT projects. It's combination of long range and low power is ideal for sensor-based projects sending small amounts of data over time. LoRa coverage can send data packets over ranges of miles/kilometers rather than feet/meters in open sky - you can read more about choosing which wireless networking to use in our linked post at the end of this article.
When you're working with LoRa P2P, you will need to establish your own network, which means you need to have a gateway. The LoRa gateway will be your access point to the Internet, similar to a WiFi router and modem. Most gateways will establish an Internet connection through Ethernet, WiFi or Cellular Data.
If you're using LoRaWAN (LoRa Wide Area Network), you may already have coverage due to large-scale deployments by Network Service Providers or other individuals with LoRaWAN gateways in your area. The beauty of LoRaWAN is that any gateway within range can accept your data packet and communicate with your endpoint.
Here are some of our favourite gateways for project work.
Note: This post is a guide with our opinions about the products and is not intended to make a decision on your behalf. When you select a gateway to purchase, make sure it works in your region and is compatible with the equipment you intend to use it with.
If you want to use LoRaWAN, then you need a gateway with at least 8 channels. Most of the gateways listed on this page will do it. The Helium ones have the added bonus of allowing you to mine some HNT.
The Things Indoor
For tinkerers or people working with a tight budget, this is a cost-effective gateway. However, it will only connect to The Things Network, which is an IoT ecosystem built for LoRaWAN.
Laird Sentrius RG1xx
This all-purpose gateway is fairly cost-effective and has some nice debug options for looking at the gateway traffic. It does not provide any OS-level access though.
MultiTech Conduit MTCDT Series
These gateways are very configurable and provide full access to Linux OS, so they're a great developer's tool - but they're not really meant for a "production" network.
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