Thread is a low-power wireless mesh networking protocol, based on the universally-supported Internet Protocol (IP), and built using open and proven standards. Thread enables device-to-device and device-to-cloud communications. It reliably connects hundreds (or thousands) of products and includes mandatory security features. Thread networks have no single point of failure, can self-heal and reconfigure when a device is added or removed, and are simple to setup and use.
Thread mesh networking guide
Along with Routers and End-Devices, Thread introduces a new type of device, the Router Eligible End Device (REED). The REED is able to change its role between a Router and an End-device, based on the needs of the mesh network.
Downgrading and Upgrading
A REED can dynamically Downgrade itself to an End-node or Upgrade itself to a Router, dependant on the needs of the network. So, if a REED has no connection to an End-Device, it can Downgrade itself to an End-Device to minimize network overhead. Similarly, if a REED is the only node in reach of a new End-Device wishing to join the network, it can dynamically upgrade itself to a Router. This is done automatically, meaning that Thread self-optimises to decide which devices need to be Routers and which need to be End-Devices.
A Thread Leader
A Leader is a Thread Router that manages the network by circulating configuration information amongst all Routers in the network. Leaders are dynamically self-elected from any Router in a network. This behaviour allows for maximum network resilience.
A Thread Border Router
A Border Router is gateway device, responsible for connectivity between the Thread network & the internet. Multiple Border Routers are allowed, to improve redundancy, throughput and lower latency.
Thread networks are able to partition and self-heal. When network connectivity breaks down, each partition dynamically elects a new Thread Leader and connectivity continues uninterrupted.