This network layer is influenced by the design of ZigBee, but does not implement it directly.
Which is better?
ZigBee is a much more robust, feature-rich set of protocols, with many different vendors providing compatible chips.
RF24Network is cheap. While ZigBee radios are well over $20, nRF24L01 modules can be found for under $2. My personal favorite is MDFly RF-IS2401.
Similiarities & Differences
Here are some comparisons between RF24Network and ZigBee.
- Both networks support Star and Tree topologies. Only Zigbee supports a true mesh.
- In ZigBee networks, only leaf nodes can sleep
- ZigBee nodes are configured using AT commands, or a separate Windows application. RF24 nodes are configured by recompiliing the firmware or writing to EEPROM.
- Leaf node: A node at the outer edge of the network with no children. ZigBee calls it an End Device node.
- Relay node: A node which has both parents and children, and relays messages from one to the other. ZigBee calls it a Router.
- Base node. The top of the tree node with no parents, only children. Typically this node will bridge to another kind of network like Ethernet. ZigBee calls it a Co-ordinator node.