5 Best Free IoT Platforms to Use in 2024

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Key Takeaways:

  • Explore top 5 free IoT platforms for effective IoT device management, data collection, visualization, and analysis.
  • Start your IoT project with a free trial plan or build your IoT solution with a 100%-free open-source IoT platform.

As the demand for Internet of Things (IoT) platforms increases, so do the prices of these platforms, making it difficult for companies to decide what IoT solution will work best for their business.

However, a number of free IoT platforms could be a viable option for companies initiating their IoT projects, offering them a testing ground before investing in a more comprehensive custom IoT software solution or committing to a particular platform-based paid IoT service.

Typically, premium paid plans with advanced features are more appropriate for extensive commercial use. However, some open-source IoT platforms are also free for commercial use but charge for support.

Open-source free IoT platforms have the same core capabilities as other Internet of Things software, connecting, managing, monitoring, and controlling IoT devices, as well as providing comprehensive IoT data analytics functionality. IoT management platforms enable communication between devices within an IoT network, allowing for accurate data collection and analysis. This data can be used to create additional insights, trigger alerts, and automate tasks.

Below, we review the five popular free IoT platforms you might consider for your business.

5 Best Free IoT Platforms

Blynk

A low-code IoT platform Blynk enables businesses and developers to build comprehensive web and mobile IoT apps for their connected hardware projects.

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This IoT platform provides an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that enables users to create real-time dashboards, control widgets, and log data. In addition, Blynk supports a wide variety of hardware components, including single-board computers, microcontrollers, and Raspberry Pi. This IoT platform also provides users with a library of API wrappers to connect their projects to third-party hardware and cloud services.

Blynk IoT offers a free version meant for exploring the platform. However, the free version doesn’t have the same advanced features and scalability as paid plans. However, the free version gives users an overview of the platform and its features so they can decide if one of the paid plans is right for them.

The free plan includes:

  • 2 devices and 5 users
  • 3 device templates
  • Free widgets
  • 5 data streams per template
  • 1-week historical data storage

A screenshot of Blynk.Console web application

Source: Blynk Documentation

Kaa

The Kaa open-source enterprise IoT platform enables organizations to develop, deploy, and manage connected devices and systems. Kaa is one of the best IoT cloud platforms, which uses microservices architecture, representing independent building blocks that can be mixed and matched to create your own IoT solution.

Using a highly modular and customizable Kaa IoT platform, developers can create tailored solutions for a wide range of use cases and industries. Kaa also supports various communication protocols and data formats, so it’s compatible with numerous types of hardware, including gateways, sensors, industrial programmable logic controllers, machines, smartphones, and wearable devices.

The easiest way to get started with Kaa is by signing up to the Kaa IoT Cloud. A free plan allows you to connect and manage up to five devices and gives access to the entire set of Kaa features. The company also offers paid enterprise-grade plans.

The starter plan includes:

  • Up to 5 devices
  • 14 days free trial
  • Multi-user access
  • Community support channel in Gitter
  • All Kaa Enterprise features

A screenshot showing Kaa's smart metering dashboard

Source: Kaa

Mainflux

The Mainflux Lab’s IoT platform is an open-source and patent-free IoT platform written in the Go language and published under the Apache 2.0 license. This means that companies can use it in their commercial products for free. Organizations can use Mainflux as IoT middleware to develop complex IoT solutions.

Mainflux is built as a set of microservices containerized by Docker and orchestrated with Kubernetes and presents itself as a scalable, high-performing, and secure free IoT platform. Mainflux supports various network protocols, including MQTT, HTTP, CoAP, and WebSocket. It also includes software development kits, built-in application programming interfaces, and gateways. The platform enables companies to build and deploy IoT solutions for various use cases, including smart home automation, smart cities, and industrial automation.

Mainflux offers three paid support plans. Prices for Mainflux’s managed cloud edition start at $500 per month.

The free plan includes:

  • Free hosting on any compatible platform running on Linux or Docker
  • Community support

A screenshot of Mainflux IoT platform's dashboard

Source: Mainflux Labs

OpenRemote

An open-source software solution, the OpenRemote IoT platform lets users connect and manage various IoT devices and sensors, collect and analyze data as well as create automation and control systems. OpenRemote provides a user-friendly interface, offers real-time data visualization, data analytics, and automation features, as well as enables integration with other platforms and systems.

The OpenRemote platform is highly customizable and scalable, which makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, including smart homes and cities, agriculture, IoT device management, and energy management.

The free solution has:

  • A100% free open-source IoT platform with unlimited capabilities
  • An active community of users and contributors

However, it offers a paid technical support service.

A screenshot of OpenRemote's mobile UI

Source: OpenRemote

ThingsBoard

ThingsBoard IoT platform is an open-source platform that companies can use to manage and monitor their IoT devices and data. With this IoT platform users can connect, collect, store, and analyze data from various IoT devices, such as sensors, gateways, and controllers.

ThingsBoard offers a user-friendly interface for managing devices, setting up rules and alarms, creating dashboards, and visualizing data in real time. ThingsBoard also allows for extensive customizations, offers advanced security features, and integrates with various cloud platforms. The platform supports many industries and use cases, from agriculture and smart cities to transportation and industrial automation.

The ThingsBoard IoT platform is free to use. It offers a free community plan with basic features as well as paid editions with advanced features. Users can host the platform on their own servers or use ThingsBoard’s cloud service.

The free community plan includes:

  • Unlimited services and assets
  • Unlimited software updates
  • Ability to contribute
  • Community support

A screenshot of ThingsBoard's smart office template

Source: ThingsBoard

The Bottom Line

Selecting the right free IoT platform is essential for a project’s success, as choosing the wrong platform can doom it to failure. However, with so many options on the market, it can be difficult for users to determine the best free IoT platform for their organizations.

Therefore, companies could start exploring free versions of popular IoT platforms and switch to a paid plan later or build their IoT solutions on a 100%-free open-source platform to save their budget.

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Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist
Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer and editor based in the Boston area, with expertise ranging from AI and machine learning to cybersecurity and DevOps. She has been covering IT topics since 1999 as an investigative reporter working for several newspapers in the Boston metro area. Before joining Techopedia in 2022, her articles have appeared in TechTarget, MSDynamicsworld.com, TechBeacon, IoT World Today, Computerworld, CIO magazine, and many other publications. She also writes white papers, case studies, ebooks, and blog posts for many corporate clients, interviewing key players, including CIOs, CISOs, and other C-suite execs.