The Internet of Things: Advantages vs Disadvantages

MCopper
3 min readFeb 26, 2019
Internet of Things (IoT)

According to the article written by Ranger, “What is the IoT? Everything you need to know about the Internet of Things right now”, the Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. Note that the term IoT mainly refers to devices that are not usually expected to have an internet connection, and that can communicate with the network independently of human. For example, a computer is not an IoT device but a smartwatch is an IoT device.

Advantages

In the article, “8 ways the Internet of Things will change the way we live and work”, Scott indicates the application of IoT in 8 places: home and office, cities, manufacturing, vehicles, transportation, health care, energy and agriculture. We can see that IoT can make our life and work more convenient and efficient. The following figure from Ranger’s article shows that IoT are applied widely in our daily life.

For consumers, the IoT “makes their environment — their home and offices and vehicles — smarter, more measurable, and chattier”. Ranger also indicates that enterprise use of the IoT can be divided into two segments, industry-specific and cross-industries, and all of them make the production process more efficient. In particular, some IoT devices could help manufacturers quickly know the evaluations about their products from the consumers so that they could improve the quality of their products appropriately. For me, the most important application of IoT is healthcare provider. IoT devices makes taking care of patient more easily and can let doctor know if a patient is in any emergent situation on time. To some extent, IoT could replace people to take care of patients.

Disadvantages

The two main issues about IoT is security and personal data collected and stored by IoT. As indicated by Ranger, “hackers are now actively targeting IoT devices such as routers and webcams because their inherent lack of security makes them easy to compromise and roll up into giant botnets”. The main problem here is that the bugs in IoT themselves make them be easily attacked. Another disadvantage is that attack towards IoT may bring danger to the real world because IoT is the bridge between the digital world and the physical world. In my opinion, the most important concern about IoT is the use of personal data IoT collect and store. “IoT data can be combined with other bits of data to create a surprisingly detailed picture of you”. Some companies could make money from selling your personal data collected by their IoT devices and you may not even know about that.

We know that 5G is closely related to IoT since IoT is built upon the 5G network. In the article, “If 5G is So Important, Why isn’t it Secure?”, we can see that the current administration in U.S. do not pay much attention to the security issues involved in the 5G network itself. Admittedly, IoT devices could be more fast and efficient as the 5G network develops. However, if 5G itself is not secure, it is reasonable to think IoT is not secure as well. We need to consider the security issues first before walking into the world of IoT.

--

--