The AWS IoT Hardware Program helps AWS customers getting started with their next connected hardware project. AWS IoT Hardware partners provide products for the IoT Starter Kit, Powered by AWS, which are validated and ready to connect to the AWS IoT Services. With those kits, customers can feel confident that their project is secure and scalable from proof-of-concept to production.

Q. What is AWS IoT Hardware?
AWS IoT Hardware is a program for connected hardware vendors (semiconductor manufacturers, integrators and resellers) to support customers trying to conceive and build AWS connected devices.

Q. What can I do with AWS IoT Hardware?
Before this program, you would have to select a platform and figure out on your own if the AWS SDK could work on it, how to connect it to AWS and spend time getting the confidence that the hardware platform was the right choice for your next connected project. With an AWS IoT Starter Kit from AWS IoT Hardware APN Partners in the program all the testing and validation has been done upfront and you can focus on your connected use case.

Q. Which AWS services can be used with AWS IoT Hardware?
All AWS services, including Amazon Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazons Redshift and Amazon DynamoDB can be used with AWS IoT Hardware. AWS IoT Starter Kit host the AWS IoT SDK which enable bi-directional data communication with AWS IoT, and therefore has access to all the AWS services.

Q. Are AWS IoT Starter Kit secure?
Yes. Security at AWS is job zero. All AWS IoT Starter Kits provided by AWS IoT Hardware partners in the APN program leverage TLS1.2 encryption with client authentication to ensure the highest level of security and privacy.

Q. If I already have an AWS account, can I use the Starter Kit to send data to it?
Of course. All AWS IoT Starter Kits can, and should be connecting to your own AWS account. Follow the instructions provided by the AWS IoT Hardware partner to start receiving data in your AWS account.

Q. Where can I get one of the starter kits?
AWS IoT Starter Kits are most often available to purchase on with a few exceptions. In the list of all the AWS Starter Kits, Powered by AWS. You will find a link for purchase each specific kit.

Q. What protocols are supported by the Kits?
Most kits will use MQTT as the transport protocol to connect to AWS IoT, but HTTPS and HTTP/2 are also available with certain kits.

Q. What are different authentication mechanisms for AWS IoT?
Devices/Clients will be able to connect to the IoT service via 4 main authentication mechanisms: MQTT/HTTP via TLS 1.2 Certs (Recommended), HTTP via Sigv4, HTTPS via Cognito or IAM user.

Q. How does the AWS Connected Device SDK make the connection secure when the device does not support HTTPS?
The SDK provides transport level and payload encryption for secure communication. All Connected Device SDKs use the IoT service service to securely manage protocol translation. You can connect to the IoT service via MQTT/TLS 1.2 which is a constrained protocol and lower memory footprint. If you cannot use encryption, you will have to setup an unsecure connection gateway, ideally on EC2 or using Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, that will forward traffic to the IoT service via a secure channel. That said we want to emphasize that security is a fundamental pillar for the success of IoT.

Q. Is the AWS IoT SDK required to connect to AWS IoT?
AWS IoT supports standard protocols like MQTT and TLS 1.2 so you don't require the SDK to connect to AWS IoT. That said, AWS IoT is not for transporting the data securely only and offers added value features like the Device Shadow service. The interaction with added value services are facilitated by installing the SDK on the devices.