Z-Wave and Zigbee help smart home devices communicate with each other. Smart devices need to connect to the internet to receive commands from apps and relay information. If a device is far away from the router, the signal can be weak, and the device may not get its instructions—or it may struggle to relay information back to the app.
So, many smart home devices, like the Samsung SmartThings Hub, Philips Hue, or Insteon products, use Z-Wave and Zigbee to make sure that each device has a strong wireless connection through a mesh network.
Instead of sending signals directly from the wireless router to a smart home device, like with Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Z-Wave play a game of leap frog. The radio signal will go from a smart hub to the nearest device and then “hop” to the next device (and so on) until it gets to the device that needs the information.
This means that the device gets the message loud and clear, no matter how far across your home the message has to travel. Since devices are interconnected, this type of network is called a mesh network.