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Computers and Technology

Difference Between the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M)

The 21st century is full of new evolving technological concepts to understand. We get to hear newer and newer technological terms on a regular basis. It is because some of the other new terms are being added every now and then. In this regard, the two most commonly heard terms are IoT and M2M. Let us first understand each of the two terms in detail. 

Concept of IoT or Internet of Things

Internet of Things or IoT is a network of a wide array of communicating devices that are able to appropriately interact with each other with the help of communication media.

Some of the other new devices are added on a regular basis and are being integrated into the network which makes use of different IoT devices for its function.

These devices make use of the different types of sensors as well as actuators for the purpose of sending and receiving data over the internet.

IoT refers to an ecosystem where interconnected devices share data via a communication media known as the internet. To get the best out of this technology, it would be a great idea to get in touch with a top-rated IoT development company and hire their services.

Concept of M2M or Machine to Machine

M2M or Machine to Machine is very commonly referred to as Machine to machine communication. In this concept, two or more machines interact with each other without the need for any human interaction via a wired or wireless mechanism.

It is a technology that plays a significant role in helping the devices to connect with each other without the use of the internet. Machine to Machine communications finds a wide range of applications like tracking & tracing, security, facility management, and manufacturing.

Identifying the Differences Between IoT and M2M

We have now gained an idea about the Internet of Things and Machine to Machine. It has been observed that a considerable volume of people tends to use both these terms interchangeably.

It might be due to the fact that the technology used in IoT and M2M are similar where both are able to provide solutions for collecting, storing as well as exchanging data between various devices without the need for human intervention or supervision. But have a lot of differences between them on various terms, major of which are discussed below.


IoT is used in grand scale projects and comes with a want-it all approach. But on the other hand, Machine to Machine is a very simple device-to-device communication that is usually within an embedded software present at the clients’ site. Thus, it can be very clearly understood that both these technologies have a different approach.

Standards Used

Internet of Things integrates devices, data as well as applications across different or varied standards. But Machine to Machine consists of isolated systems of devices that make use of the same standards. Thus, the standards followed by the devices are different for each of the technologies, thereby creating a point of differentiation between the two.

Scalability Options 

Keeping the scalability options in mind, IoT and M2M tend to differ from each other. In the case of IoT, the options for scalability are inherent. It is quite convenient to add newer and newer devices into the network as per the requirements without much difficulty. It is because of the fact that IoT is highly scalable in nature. 

On the other hand, Machine to Machine has limited scalability options. In the case of M2M, it is quite difficult to add newer devices with the increasing requirements over time. So, speaking in terms of scalability, IoT happens to be much more scalable as compared to M2M and hence they differ on the basis of scalability options.


In IoT, the connected devices in the network have objects that are responsible for making the decisions. So, the degree of intelligence observed in this regard is almost negligible. But in the case of Machine to Machine, there is some degree of intelligence observed which differentiates between the two.

Connection Type Used

Another point of difference between IoT and M2M is based on the type of connection used. In the Internet of Things, the connection is through a network along with the use of different communication types. But in the case of M2M, the connection is point-to-point. Therefore, IoT and M2M tend to vary on the type of connection used in them.

Protocol Used in Communication

In the case of IoT, different internet protocols are used like HTTP, FTP, and Telnet. But in the case of Machine to Machine, the traditional protocols and communication technologies are used. So, there exists a clear difference between these two technologies in terms of the protocols used for the purpose of communication.

Usage of the Internet

Internet connection is immensely important in the case of the Internet of Things without which it cannot function. Internet connection is needed for communication between the devices based on IoT. Whereas in the case of Machine to Machine, the devices are not dependent on the internet.  


IoT connects a huge number of devices and hence the scope is quite large in this regard. But in Machine 2 Machine, there is limited scope for devices which is certainly a drawback of using this technology. Thus, because of the difference of scope between these two technologies, their applications as well as usages tend to vary, thereby creating a point of difference between IoT and M2M.

Open API Support

IoT readily supports Open API integrations, and hence it is quite easy and convenient to incorporate Open API integrations in IoT. But in the case of M2M, there is no support for the Open APIs which again creates a point of difference between the two.

Used Business Type

IoT can be readily used in business to business or B2B as well as business to consumer or B2C applications. But M2M is usually applicable to only business to business cases. Internet of Things has an extensive background of historical applications but Machine to Machine communication has a state of art approach with roots in M2M.

With all the differences mentioned above, it gives a clear picture that the two technologies IoT and M2M readily differ from each other on various points. Therefore, the differences between these two technologies help eliminate the confusion among the ones who consider both to be the same. 

Future of IoT and M2M

Both Internet of Things and Machine to Machine happen to be the key technologies in the business as well as consumer markets in recent times. For example, IoT is readily used in smart wearables, the cloud, big data, and a number of others. On the other hand, sensors, data & information, and several others are examples of applications of M2M. With the continuous evolution in technology, these two technologies also continue to develop and find a number of new opportunities in different places. It is of immense importance to properly understand the potential of each of the technologies and leverage their strengths in the right way for getting the most out of them. We have to wait and see these technologies develop further in the time to come.

Author Bio

Ritam Chattopadhyay is a seasoned writer with over half a decade of experience in professional content writing. Ritam’s expertise in content writing has enabled him to work with clients globally on different projects. Presently, he is working with SoluLab, a premium blockchain, AI, and IoT development company where he handles multiple projects as a content specialist.

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