(Cross-posted from Internet of Things Stack Exchange)

I want to ask how I can simulate an IoT device or a network of IoT devices, if i don't have a single piece of hardware? Is this possible in any way at all?

To give you some context, for the sake of a project I want to demonstrate; that a group of IoT devices are communicating or working in a network.

And most importantly - they are exchanging data between themselves.

I might be a bit broad or too general with the overall description, but that is because I don't have too much knowledge of IoT

Credit to the kind suggestion of a mod here, I will provide you with a rough sketch of the system architecture I have in mind ..

Think of a network of IoT devices, belonging to a smart home or a similarly local system. It's not too big but it there are several devices .. say 10 devices

Right now I have no hardware in mind as I plan to do just a simulation for the sake of obtaining some observations or results

My only requirement is; to be able to demonstrate activity happening in an IoT network virtually i.e using no hardware, for the moment

I am a Computer Engineer, but consider me an absolute beginner in IoT. The closest thing I have worked with is making/soldering a custom Arduino board from scratch several years ago and some C code to program the microcontroller on it (possibly for LEDs or something, don't remember too well)

I would really appreciate any resources or programming libraries that can help me achieve this.

1 Answer 1


Try: CISCO packet tracer ver 8. It has a full IoT simulating capabilities (e.g., lambs, ceiling fans, clever windows, etc.) Relatively easy to set up your first project. Huge disadvantage: It uses Wi-Fi protocol only (802.11x), hence, it does not support point-to-multipoint (or hop-to-hop) topologies (at least not easily). NS-2, NS-3, free, academic, does everything you could imagine, like simulations, running experiments, collecting & analyzing results, and many-any others. The learning curve is rather difficult.

The same applies to OMNET++.

Contiki(-ng) operating system (Only For RPL Protocol), comes with a solid, reliable simulator (Cooja). You can also run multiple experiments, point-to-multipoint, with big parameterization capabilities. Again, learning how to use it might be difficult at the beginning.

Bottomline: It really depends on what you want to do...

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