I often get questions on how to connect remote devices and things so that the real-time status can be monitored or sales data can be sent to a cloud service such as tingco.
One common thing I see is that people often try and adopt the latest and greatest high bandwidth networks such as 4G. My advise is that you should always look at your application and check if you really need that bandwith for example. Often the answer is that it is sufficient with a much lower bandwith for example if you are sending alarms or payment transactions. For example a GPRS modem has a much lower cost than a 4G modem so by understanding your application you can potentiellay save a lot of money.
There is of course many factors to consider when selecting the mode of communication for a device or machine. These include cost, bandwith, latency, cable or wireless, range, global location etc. For example in one project we had a caravan of jeeps driving in Africa and then we could only rely on satellite networks such as Iridium and Inmarsat to get data from the vehicles. In other applications it might be enough with the good old serial RS-232 or RS-485 cable communication.
In order to help you when considering communication options for your new IoT and M2M applications I did an overview diagram showing some of the most commonly used modes of two-way communication. The diagram is an overview and is in no way a complete list of all options you have, and there is always variations of many of the modes of communication so take the diagram for what it is.