RF vs IR

Posted on 2006-05-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Can someone explain to me the advantages and disadvantages of using radio frequency (RF) communications vs. infra red (IR) communications. Comparisons may include bandwidth, FCC regulation, interference, and eavesdropping.
Question by:jcangialosi4
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Are you building devices from scratch?  What type of range do you need?  Do you have any constricting requirements?

    Theoretically, there isn't a difference in bandwidth between RF and IR although you will find it easier to build RF devices with high bandwidth.  As you might have guessed, IR does not require FCC approval.  With IR, interference and eavesdropping can only be accomplished within line of sight.

    FCC rules for RF transmitters vary by frequency band and often read like, "you are limited to a field strength no greater than 250 micro-volts per meter at a distance of 3 meters from the transmitting antenna."  This makes it kind of hard for average folk to test their own compliance.  In general, the rule is, "thou shalt not interfere" with anybody else regardless of how low power your transmitter is.

    It's physically easier to interfere and/or eavesdrop in on RF because line-of-sight is not required.  If this is really a concern then there are anti-spoofing and anti-jamming techniques that you can build into the protocol.  For example, you can use frequency hopping as a defense.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    To add more.. IP is active in short distances. RF is not so..


    Featured Post

    Better Security Awareness With Threat Intelligence

    See how one of the leading financial services organizations uses Recorded Future as part of a holistic threat intelligence program to promote security awareness and proactively and efficiently identify threats.

    Join & Write a Comment

    I recently purchased a Bluetooth headset called the Music Jogger (model BSH10). The control buttons on it look like this: One of my goals is to use it as the microphone and speakers for Skype calls. In that respect, it works well. However, I …
    Today sees the launch of a new case study, focusing on BYOD technologies we have been working with for some time now.  But with the advent of 802.11ac wireless technologies and the story behind our landmark developments, we would like to share this …
    This Micro Tutorial will show you how to maximize your wireless card to its maximum capability. This will be demonstrated using Intel(R) Centrino(R) Wireless-N 2230 wireless card on Windows 8 operating system.
    Viewers will learn how to connect to a wireless network using the network security key. They will also learn how to access the IP address and DNS server for connections that must be done manually. After setting up a router, find the network security…

    729 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now