Wi-Fi vs RF Temperature Monitoring Systems – Pros and Cons

If you’re looking to install a new temperature monitoring system or upgrade your current solution, you may be faced with the dilemma of choosing a Wi-Fi temperature monitoring system or one that requires RF (independent radio frequency).

To help you decide on the right temperature monitoring solution for you, we’ve put together a useful guide of the pros and cons for both.

Wi-Fi: The Pros

Local signal RF receiver not required

As the sensor is sending data via the site’s Wi-Fi to the monitoring system, there is no need for a local signal RF receiver.
Does not use the site’s network

The temperature monitoring system will not use additional ethernet connection sockets, just the site’s Wi-Fi.

Local server not required

Wi-Fi temperature monitoring systems are mostly cloud-based, so there is no need for a local server.

Wi-Fi: The Cons


All buildings have Wi-Fi blackspots, where coverage is less than perfect. These deficiencies can cause issues with accuracy and reliability for your temperature monitoring systems.

Time-consuming for IT resource

Full support from your IT department will be required to fix any issues with connectivity and boost coverage to prevent any deficiencies in black spot areas.

Your IT team will also need to be able to deal with issues quickly, when your system loggers are in alarm condition. When they are busy or under pressure, there may be extended periods of time when you don’t have real-time knowledge of the storage condition of your valuable products and samples.

Security issues

To prevent a security risk, the Wi-Fi needs to be compatible with the latest encryption standards.

There are several different methods of Wi-Fi encryption and organisations insist their suppliers meet these requirements. Some organisations insist on WPA3 and Radius Server Authentication. Some Wi-Fi loggers may work on less secure networks, but this does not mean it will meet the requirements of a security conscious organisation.

Encryption algorithms are continually cracked, even WPA-2 is vulnerable. Ensuring your system always complies with the latest encryption standards is vital.

Not designed for battery-powered products

Wi-Fi is not designed for battery-powered products where expectations of a battery life is in excess of a year. For example, a mobile phone has Wi-Fi, but only lasts a couple of days. That is why most Wi-Fi-based loggers suggest connecting them to the mains power supply and only update “live” temperature every 4 hours or more.

RF: The Pros

Dependable real-time continuous monitoring

RF systems use multiple sensors to monitor a wide range of environmental parameters. The ultra-responsive wireless loggers make continuous sensor measurements at 15-seconds intervals providing absolute reliability.

RF systems are resilient against data loss. The loggers retain sensor measurements with a 7-day memory. Data can be stored indefinitely on a secure site server not on a shared cloud service.


RF systems are fully compliant with regulations and industry best practice.

With Contronics’ RF temperature monitoring systems, issues with encryption do not occur, as an independent radio frequency is used.

RF systems have low installation costs and offer great flexibility at an affordable budget.

Automatic alarm

Automatic alarms can be configured to alert staff of any issues.

Contronics install RF signal receivers to cover the whole site. If anything goes wrong then the site gets automatic alarms through InfoPoint – our user dashboard – which our support will help to resolve. Contronics engineers are fast to react and can be onsite the next day, if notified by midday.

InfoPoint – user dashboard

Our InfoPoint has an interactive user display with visual and audible alarms. Users can quickly access information without the need to log in. Alarms can be investigated and cleared with a username and password.

RF: The Cons

Requires signal receivers

Unlike Wi-Fi sensors which do not require any receivers, RF requires at least one or two receivers per site.

Reliant on network connectivity

The receivers are reliant on network connectivity. There is a risk of system failure if the signal receiver becomes faulty or is inadvertently switched off.

However, the risk is small, as an alarm will sound if a network failure occurs, loggers have a 7-day memory and any missing data is automatically populated to the system once connectivity is restored.

At Contronics, we recognise the current constraints of using Wi-Fi to continuously monitor temperature effectively, so recommend using RF for resilient real-time monitoring.

For advice on reliable RF systems, contact our expert team on 01260 298383, email sales@contronics.co.uk or fill out the form below