Zigbee vs ESP32 for automation system

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 29, 2015
Hey. I am aware of Zigbee devices but havent done much with them. On the other hand, I have done quite a bit of programming on the ESP32 modules.

I have ran into an issue for my ESP32 automation system:

#1. The library that I use for MQTT communications (PubSubClient) does not support publish qos, which means that there is no guarantee that the sent message will be properly received

#2. In the building where I am implementing my automation system, there are a lot of testing of the wireless devices going on therefore 2.4ghz signal is horrificly bad in there. My phone wont even connect to the 2.4ghz wifi unless I stand within 2 meters from a router. This results in various difficulties to connect my esp32 devices to the network. I have temporarly solved the problem by creating an access point on my raspberry PI, however that has limitations and allows me to connect only 7 remote clients at a time and I need more than that!.

How would Zigbee compare to an ESP32 in a simmilar application? SInce zigbee operates in a different frequency band, I would not have any frequency problems. I am wondering whats the communcations and messaging like on the zigbee. Is it simple and straightforward? Is it 100% guaranteed to transmit and receive a message? Will I be able to easily integrate the zigbee network with my raspberry PI that runs a server,database and controls the whole automation system? I would assume I would need to connect the coordinator device to raspberry PI and control remote nodes that way. Lets say I want to retrieve some information from node 5, I would tell my Raspberry PI that I need node 5 information, then It would send a message to coordinator and then the coordinator will finally talk to node 5. This is my current understanding.

Please share your knowledge and experience with zigbee devices so I determine whether its worthed wasting my time and effort


Joined Oct 7, 2019
2.4ghz signal is horrificly bad in there
Zigbee comes in several flavors. The 2.4ghz is very common. The 900mhz versions might work well in your environment. Depending on what country (700 or 800mhz)
There are low and high power versions.
Zigbee is mesh network which is much better.
I think in Zigbee you can slow down the communication and do better.
Antenna is very important. I could to 10 miles, line of sight, outdoors in rural locations. In doors plus noise, I do not know.
I want to retrieve some information from node 5
With mesh network you can ask node 1 to get data from node 5 and the data might have to come through node 7. My guess is that Zigbee is much better for small amounts of data where delay is ok and speed is not important.
I went with 2.4ghz PC network because there is a router every where, and I wanted the PCs to also communicate directly with the microcomputer.
Remember the antenna!