What is Thread? How Does It Fit Into Matter?

If you're busy reading up on Matter smarthome devices, you may have come across mentions of something called Thread. But what is it?

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If you are considering buying a Matter smart home device, you will most likely have come across multiple mentions of something called Thread. If you are wondering what Thread actually is, and how it fits into the overall setup, then here is an explanation that will clarify things, and help you decide if Matter is the right smart home network for you.

Thread is a low-power, mesh networking protocol designed for connecting all of your smart home devices. It is a self-healing network that can scale to support hundreds of devices.

What is a self-healing network?

A self-healing network is one that can automatically identify and repair problems without human intervention. 

Thread is a self-healing network because it is a mesh network. This means that every device in a Thread network can communicate with each other directly, and can also act as routers to relay messages between other devices. If one device in a Thread network goes down, the other devices can simply route around it to maintain communication.

In addition, Thread networks are constantly monitoring their own health and performance. If a device detects a problem, it can automatically notify other devices in the network so that they can take corrective action. For example, if a device detects that it is losing connectivity to its neighbors, it can move to a different channel or try to find a new route.

Some practical examples of Thread’s self-healing capabilities

  • You have a smart light bulb in your living room and a smart thermostat in your hallway. Both devices are connected to your Thread network.
  • One day, the smart thermostat goes down because of a power outage. Oops!
  • Don’t worry though. The smart light bulb detects that it has lost connectivity to the thermostat. So, it automatically reroutes its traffic through another device in the network, such as a smart doorbell.
  • Here’s the cool thing - you are still able to control the smart light bulb using your smartphone app, even though the thermostat is down!

This is just one example of how Thread's self-healing capabilities can help to ensure that your network is always reliable and available.

The benefits of using Thread with your smart home devices

Thread is a good choice for smart home devices because :

  • It is reliable, secure, and easy to use.
  • It is energy-efficient, which means that it will not drain your batteries as quickly as other wireless protocols.
  • Thread works by creating a mesh network of devices. Each device in the network acts as a repeater for the other devices. This allows devices to communicate with each other even if they are not in direct line of sight.
  • Thread devices are connected to a central hub connected to the Internet, so your smart home devices can be controlled remotely, via a smartphone app.
  • Thread is a secure network, which means that your data is protected from unauthorized access.
  • Thread uses a variety of security features, including encryption and authentication.
  • Thread is scalable and can support hundreds of devices.

Examples of Thread devices

To show you how much support Matter and Thread are getting, here are some examples of Thread devices:

If you are looking for a reliable, secure, and easy-to-use way to connect your smart home devices, Thread is a good option. It is supported by a variety of manufacturers, so you should be able to find Thread-enabled devices that work with your existing smart home setup.