IoT vs M2M

With new launches and updates coming out daily, it’s easy to be confused about the subsequent slang and buzzwords. Today, many people are discussing “IoT” and “M2M”. More often than not, technicians use the two terms interchangeably when in actual fact, they are completely different things. In this weeks blog post, we’ll be discussing the two technologies and helping you understand the difference before committing in your business.

Comparing Internet of Things and M2M​

The terms IoT and M2M are not interchangeable. The two technologies differ in many ways, making it vital to differentiate between them. While they may share the same features, to enable connectivity, they are different in how they go about achieving that goal.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) The Internet of Things defines the network environment made up of internal and external softwares. It contains software, sensors, network connectivity, and electronics – all serve to enable these projects to collect and exchange data. IoT is a set of technologies that enable a range of devices to be connected to one another via the internet. It builds on the principles of machine-to-machine comms and extends them dramatically. Whilst the concept of using the internet to connect devices has existed for over 2 decades, IoT demonstrates a significant boost in comms speeds, as well as network capabilities.

Machine to Machine (M2M)

Machine-to-machine (M2M) messaging refers to the process where remote devices can communicate with one another. The devices often use specific information or terms located on specific devices attached to one marketplace. M2M communication enables data transfer between devices without any human intervention. The instructions are exchanged via an intelligent software agent. Any equipment utilizing M2M does not need the internet. From ordering supplies and logistics to payments and delivery, M2M tech allows for seamless and effortless comms, especially in banking systems and facility management.

Where they Differ


M2M requires a direct connection between any two devices. In comparison, an IoT system typically connects to a more intricate network that give devices more power and sophistication. IoT relies more on connecting physical objects to the network, while M2M is primarily a device cross-connecting platform.


The IoT network infrastructure uses advanced tools and sensors to collect data from various source, ultimately making your life easier. In contrast, M2M networks primarily target single devices using short-range comms.


The two networks completely differ in their scalability. Since IoT is designed to connect “things”, it’s scaled with greater agility compared to M2M.

M2M networks are traditionally used in small scale projects. It’s not easy to scale and since they lack internet connectivity – integrating into existing systems can be a challenge.


Machine-to-machine communication does not share data with other applications. It just takes measurements and collects data. However IoT devices collect data from a range of machines, apps, and systems to ultimately provide a more efficient experience. While an IoT device has internet capabilities, M2M doesn’t always need to be connected.

Still not sure which is best for your business?

We’re here to help. Get in touch with a member of our sales team and we’ll talk you through the best options for your business. It doesn’t matter if you work in healthcare, manufacturing, or somewhere in between. Every business needs top tier technical solutions if they want to thrive in the current climate. By choosing Polytech as your solutions provider, you’re signing up for efficient, quality consulting and services…every single time.

Get a free consultation


    Knowledge & News

    See our latest news below

    Let our team take the stress away- call us on 0330 350 3448