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ZigBee is an open global standard for wireless technology designed to use low-power digital radio signals for personal area networks. ZigBee operates on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification and is used to create networks that require a low data transfer rate, energy efficiency and secure networking. It is employed in a number of applications such as building automation systems, heating and cooling control and in medical devices.
ZigBee is designed to be simpler and less expensive than other personal are network technologies such as Bluetooth.
ZigBee is a cost- and energy-efficient wireless network standard. It employs mesh network topology, allowing it provide high reliability and a reasonable range.
One of ZigBee's defining features is the secure communications it is able to provide. This is accomplished through the use of 128-bit cryptographic keys. This system is based on symmetric keys, which means that both the recipient and originator of a transaction need to share the same key. These keys are either pre-installed, transported by a "trust center" designated within the network or established between the trust center and a device without being transported. Security in a personal area network is most crucial when ZigBee is used in corporate or manufacturing networks.