Most IoT devices work by sending their data to a few central servers—the cloud. These servers process and store the IoT device data and allow remote access and configuration.
For example, take a smart thermostat. It continuously sends temperature data to a central server. This server stores the data. If a user wants to view the data, they connect their personal computer or smartphone to that central server. They don't connect directly to the IoT device itself. When they want to change their thermostat settings, they send this change to the central server, which then relays it to the IoT thermostat.
The following diagram illustrates this concept:
In the preceding diagram, note that all communication goes through the server. There is never direct communication from the smartphone to the IoT device.
Using a central server has several advantages. It allows the IoT device to do much less processing. The server can further process that data and format it into graphs and such. The server...