What Is the AWS IoT Core?


Quick definition: The AWS IoT Core is a platform that allows connected devices to communicate with AWS cloud applications and each other. It gives you the tools you need to process, manage, and use the data coming from your devices. It also provides the infrastructure you need to deploy your own cloud native applications that communicate with and control your devices.

AWS calls their IoT Core the “backbone of IoT deployments.” It brings your devices and applications to the cloud and opens the door to using other AWS tools like: 

  • AWS Lambda
  • Amazon Kinesis
  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon SageMaker
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • AWS CloudTrail
  • Amazon QuickSight
  • Alexa Voice Service


Basically, Amazon Web Services provide the infrastructure you need to build and launch your IoT projects. Whether you’re deploying a small batch of products or millions of devices, AWS IoT Core is your gateway to store, process, and manage your data in the cloud.

What communication protocol does the AWS IoT Core use?

Using the AWS IoT Core doesn’t lock you into a single communication protocol. You can choose between MQTT, MQTT over WebSocket and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Usually you would use the MQTT variants for lower protocol overhead and power consumption but based on the application and use case you may also use HTTPS.

What makes the AWS IoT Core secure?

Over the years, millions of IoT devices have been compromised and swept into botnets, where hackers use their computing power to attack corporations and bring down entire networks. And if you can’t keep your IoT communications secure, your devices could become a threat to your customers. IoT security isn’t something to take lightly. But thankfully, with the AWS IoT core, you have a little less to worry about.

The AWS IoT Core secures your communications using Transport Layer Security (TLS) v1.2 and end-to-end encryption. The IoT Core never allows data exchanges without authentication, and you can easily fine-tune permissions per device.

How does the AWS IoT Core process data?

The AWS IoT Core uses a rules engine to decide what to do with the data your devices transmit. You can configure these rules to determine how your data gets filtered, routed, transformed, and used by other services. You can also establish actions that trigger based on those rules. The IoT Core integrates seamlessly into AWS’s cloud services, so you can directly use incoming data for analytics, AI, and your dashboards.

With AWS IoT, you don’t need to worry about scaling your MQTT broker. If you are beginning to reach capacity, the AWS IoT service scales up with your business, so you never have to add additional servers to process more data.

You can also deploy AWS IoT in multiple regions, so your data stays locally in the US, Europe, or wherever you deploy. This means your data doesn’t have to travel through a central server—the server is where your devices are.

Using device shadows, the AWS IoT Core even lets you see and manage your devices when they’re offline. You can change their state in the Core, and the next time device goes online, it will apply the change.

How does emnify work with the AWS IoT Core?

The AWS IoT Core is one of the leading platforms manufacturers use to manage and operate their devices and applications in the cloud. As a communication platform for IoT, emnify integrates cellular connectivity with the AWS IoT Core in two key ways.

When you use AWS IoT in multiple regions, traditional operators still route all your traffic through their home network. emnify is cloud native, so we simply route your traffic through the closest AWS region.

The IoT Core delivers data to other cloud services for processing, analysis, and storage. emnify integrates this with your connectivity metadata, so you can detect, for example, when a connectivity issue is causing a missing sensor reading.

Our platform gives you all the tools you need to manage your connectivity and data consumption. Using our REST API, you can easily control and monitor your devices’ connectivity through the applications and platforms you already use.

Learn more about the AWS IoT Core and emnify. Or, talk to an IoT expert to get started.

Get in touch with our IoT experts

Discover how emnify can help you grow your business and talk to one of our IoT consultants today!