Hygeian 4G vs WiFi or Ethernet for Reliability

Hygeian 4G vs WiFi or Ethernet

Share This Post

Why 4G is better than Wifi or Ethernet for Reliable Connection

Reliability is a top priority for any service claiming to be real time. Hygeian has partnered with Microsoft to provide a cloud service of world class standards. So, how does one decide how to get the data from site to the Hygeian server using a service that is of equivalent reliability? The choices are:

  • 4G
  • Ethernet through the router on site
  • WiFi through the router on site

In this article we examine the pros and cons of these three choices.


The Hygeian wireless temperature transmitters operate for up to 18 months on a set of new batteries, so they are unaffected by a power outage. They send their measurements to the gateway once per minute.

The gateway receives these measurements and compiles a payload which it transfers to the server once per minute. It has a built-in battery and charge management system ready to instantly take over during mains power interruptions. The gateway can therefore continue to operate for up to 9 hours even in a total power blackout.

But what happens to the internet connection in the event of a power outage?

Internet interruptions do occur from time to time even when the mains power on site is normal. The gateway will buffer data locally in the event of internet loss. This data is sent through after the internet is reconnected. This is called store and forward.

During periods of internet connection loss, temperature alarms cannot be sent out. The server detects loss of the internet connection and will alert your relevant personnel.

If everything on site is otherwise normal, the loss of internet connection is just an annoyance, but when there is a power outage on site, the situation becomes much more serious because the refrigeration stops, and foods, vaccines or medications can quickly deteriorate. If the internet connection is unaffected during power outages, then decisions can be made about the status of these products based upon real measurements.

If one chooses to use the local network as the internet connection, then all devices in that network must have an uninterruptable power supply to enable the system to continue reporting normally during power outages. This type of installation is extremely rare.

On the other hand, the Hygeian 4G connection uses a modem that is internal to the gateway and so it continues to operate provided the gateway continues to operate.

Recent natural disasters and emergencies here in Australia have shown that 4G is usually the last communications system to fail.

Strive for Five Requirements

Part of the Australian Government guidelines (based upon Strive for 5) for pharmaceutical fridges, requires that temperature values be visible even when the power is off to the refrigeration unit.  Mobile phones, tablets and laptops normally have batteries which can continue to operate these devices during power outages. If these devices use a 4G/5G connection to the internet, then they can continue to display these critical temperatures, provided the internet connection from the gateway to the server remains operational.

Flexibility on the installation location

Hygeian has standardised on using the Telstra network because it has the best coverage in Australia, especially in rural areas. Telstra’s 4GX allows the Gateway to be installed in any reasonable location in a building where a power outlet is available.

It is not necessary to have an Ethernet socket available in the location nor a WiFi connection. This helps significantly with installing the Gateway in the most optimal location for the temperature transmitters.

Internet connection managed by Hygeian

If one chooses the Hygeian 4G option, the system’s internet connection remains completely independent of the local area network, so there is no need to get approvals from the IT department or person managing the IT system and security on site. The SIM card will have been fitted and enabled. Its subscription will be active, and the gateway will already have been tested and proven to be working perfectly.

The 4G connection is included with your subscription and is fully managed, so this is one less thing to deal with.

Hygeian has clients who have initially chosen to use their Ethernet or WiFi connection, because their system is completely battery backed and continue to operate during power interruptions. Then at some stage, a computer with malware is connected to the network and once detected, the router shuts down the internet connection to protect the system. This scenario is avoided if the 4G option is chosen from the beginning.


In conclusion, we recommend that the 4G connection be chosen to ensure the system has the highest reliability and meets with Government guidelines.

Authors: Ian Schmahmann and Gordon Cornish

For more details on implementing the Hygeian System contact:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Do You Want To Streamline Your Business?

Get in touch with us

Streamline Your Business!

To arrange your free consultation with one of our experts please fill in the quick form below: