Digi vs. Digi-Key: Who's Who and Where to Buy

Jayna Locke Jayna Locke, Senior Marketing Manager, Digi International
August 20, 2020

People often ask if Digi International is related to Digi-Key Electronics. Does Digi own Digi-Key? Does Digi-Key own Digi? Are the two companies in business together in some way? Both are Minnesota-based companies with similar names, so they must be somehow connected… right?

We thought we would clear up some confusion.

Digi vs. Digi-Key

Digi International and Digi-Key Electronics have a strong business relationship. From a simplistic point of view, Digi International makes stuff and Digi-Key sells stuff.

But Digi also has a vast customer base and supports the development and deployment of IoT and IT solutions for many different applications for financial institutions, corporations, retail stores, government entities, municipal transit agencies, first responders, health and medical services, agricultural enterprises, manufacturing facilities, and industrial enterprises such as green energy and oil and gas companies – whenever an enterprise of any kind is seeking a full solution of IoT products and services.

Additionally, Digi offers extensive services, application development and support for enterprises that are building products or deploying solutions.

Let’s look a little more closely at each business model, and then we’ll talk about where to go when you need IoT products and solutions.

What Does Digi International Do?

Digi Logo
Digi develops and manufactures networking and IoT hardware, software and SaaS solutions, and also offers development and integration services for organizations that need support to design, build or deploy their solution. Digi has offices throughout the world and has customer deployments in every corner of the globe.

Digi Products and Solutions 

Here’s a drive-though of Digi product and service offerings.

Digi Networking and IT solutions

Digi IX20 industrial router

  • Enterprise routers and extenders – Highly secure, reliable cellular devices for connectivity in indoor environments such as offices, retail businesses, branch networks, kiosks, pop-up stores, indoor digital signage, schools and medical facilities. These products integrate Digi Remote Manager®, a SaaS service that acts as the command center for your network, enabling device configuration, security, monitoring and management.
  • Industrial routers – Rugged, secure, reliable cellular devices in a range of speeds for a vast variety of applications that may be subject to challenging environmental conditions such as temperature extremes, moisture and vibration. These product lines are deployed in everything from outdoor digital signage, kiosks and ATM machines to water/wastewater management, manufacturing and supply chain applications to agriculture and remote industrial applications such as energy, oil and gas and mining. Like the enterprise product line, Digi industrial routers can be managed with Digi Remote Manager.
  • Transportation routers – Secure, reliable, high-speed LTE and LTE-Advanced industrial routers purpose-built for passenger and freight trains, municipal transport such as bus and light rail, emergency vehicles and traffic management applications. Like the industrial product line, Digi’s transportation routers are designed with rugged enclosures to withstand vibration and challenge environments. These solutions come in a range of speeds to support varying needs, and can be managed with Digi Remote Manager.
  • Infrastructure management – Network and asset management solutions including console servers, serial devices and USB connectivity devices for IT and administrative teams. These solutions include the Digi Connect IT product line for out-of-band management of network and server equipment, serial servers for a range of connectivity use cases and the Digi AnywhereUSB® Plus product line for connecting and managing USB peripheral devices anywhere on a Local Area Network (LAN) without a locally-attached host computer.
  • Additionally, Digi has a subsidiary – Opengear – that specializes in IT and network management solutions for highly resilient and reliable networks.

Digi XBee Industrial Gateway

  • Gateways – Connectivity for networks that include sensors, RF products such as XBee modules, or devices that communicate with a range of network protocols, such as DigiMesh and Zigbee® mesh networks that need to connect to cellular WAN or Ethernet. Digi gateways integrate Digi Remote Manager for management of the entire network.


Digi Embedded Systems

  • Digi XBee® modules, gateways and tools – Modules and solutions for developers who are designing and deploying wireless products. These include both cellular and RF (radio frequency) modules supporting a range of protocols and power requirements, as well as configuration and testing tools and resources. This product line is truly an entire ecosystem designed to support development teams, with everything from pre-certified modules to code libraries and award-winning development tools to high-performance gateways. Digi XBee devices integrate Digi Remote Manager for configuration, monitoring, management and firmware updates.

Digi ConnectCore 8M Nano module based on NXP i.MX8

  • System-on-Modules (SOMs) – Ultra-compact, highly integrated and secure wireless solutions for development of demanding, high-performance applications in medical, industrial, transportation and industry 4.0 applications. Digi SOM solutions are built on the latest processors, such as the NXP i.MX 8M Nano, NXP i.MX 8X, NXP i.MX6UL and NXP i.MX6, and integrate Digi TrustFence® for development of highly secure connected IoT applications.
  • Single Board Computers (SBCs) – Compact, cost-effective off-the-shelf SBCs designed to provide both flexibility and fast time-to-market, eliminating the traditional risk, effort, and complexity of custom board designs. Digi SBCs integrate with Digi XBee modules and offer a range of connectivity options including Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth, and integrate the Digi TrustFence security framework.

Digi ConnectCore Development Kits for IoT developers

  • IoT development kits – Kits that supply everything you need to set up a development environment for prototyping and testing wireless applications, including boards, modules and accessories for integrating RF, cellular and SOM solutions into product designs. Developers can find additional resources such as the Digi XBee GPS Daughter Board for testing GPS and location services, as well as vast resources such as code libraries and software in Digi XBee Tools.

Digi Software and Services

Digi Remote Manager - IoT device managementDigi Remote Manager® – Digi Remote Manager (Digi RM) is Digi’s hosted cloud-based solution for remote monitoring and management of deployed Digi devices. This solution provides the complete visibility into the health and status of all devices from a single command center. The platform also provides the ability to configure and manage many devices at once, establish edge compute functionality, and automatically monitor and remediate device security, via a sophisticated configuration management feature.

Digi TrustFence® – The Digi TrustFence security framework is incorporated into Digi solutions as a multi-layer methodology to mitigate security risks and thwart new and evolving security threats. It enables developers to easily integrate device security, device identity, and data privacy capabilities into product designs. 

SmartSense by Digi – SmartSense is a division of Digi International that provides complete monitoring solutions including sensors, gateways and cloud reporting tools, to organizations that rely on temperature management to ensure their products remain in compliance for public and safety. The enterprises that utilize SmartSense solutions include grocery stores, restaurants, retail chains, school business cafeterias and other food service organizations; hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other medical services; and every type of organization along the supply chain where temperature-sensitive products are transported and managed, from growers to trucking fleets to warehouses. 

Digi Wireless Design Services – Digi WDS offers complete prototyping, design, coding, certification and release-to-manufacturing services to help organizations get to market faster, with fewer board spins. From design rescue and recovery projects to design and certification consulting to full end-to-end ideation, design, prototypting, engineering, integration and custom product development, the Digi WDS team can support IoT projects at any level needed.

Digi Professional Services – The Professional Services team supports Digi customers who are preparing for deployment. The team provides everything from site surveys to application development and Python coding to on-site deployment services.

In summary, Digi International delivers a full range of products and services to support customers in building and/or deploying IoT and IT solutions.

How to Buy Digi Products and Services

Digi offers products and services in two ways:

Through the Digi Sales Team: Digi sales team members guide customers in the selection of specific Digi products and services to meet their specific needs. These customers tend to have mid-to-large sized deployment needs, and often work with our field application engineers and sales engineers to assemble, configure and deploy the complete solution. To inquire about help with your next IoT project, you can reach out to the Digi team from our Contact Us page.

Through Digi Distributors and VARs: Digi has defined relationships with distribution partners such as Digi-Key Electronics. Digi only partners with trusted VARs and distributors who we trust to provide a high-quality customer experience for those seeking Digi development products, kits and tools, Digi IoT solutions such as cellular routers and gateways, and Digi IT and network management solutions. Distribution partners such as Digi-Key can also integrate Digi Remote Manager for ongoing device management, firmware updates, network visibility and security. You can find the availability of any Digi product, kit or related accessories through our distributors by finding the product on Digi.com, then going to the Part Numbers and Accessories tab, then clicking the How to Buy button.

Contact Digi when you are starting your planning process, and we can help identify the right solutions for your project.

What Does Digi-Key Electronics Do?

Digi-Key Logo
Digi-Key Electronics is based in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and is one of the largest global distributors of electronic components, with more than 10.6 million components available online and over 2.4 million in stock and available for immediate shipment. Since it was founded in 1972, Digi-Key has been an important resource for those seeking to design, build and deploy products with electronic components. Today Digi-Key employs over 4000 people globally, hosts 43 regional websites and provides support in 16 different languages.

Digi has a highly trusted business connection with Digi-Key because of their unwavering commitment to customer service, their rock-solid business model and excellent supply chain. When our customers go to Digi-Key to place orders for Digi products and solutions, we know they will obtain fast service and will be satisfied.

In fact, we place such faith in our trusted partnership with Digi-Key, that we have awarded them the prestigious Digi Global Distributor of the Year Award three years in a row!

Where to Buy IoT Products and Services

Digi product page on Digi-Key
So – what do you do if you are looking for IoT solutions, IT equipment and peripherals? You can’t go wrong with shopping at DigiKey.com. Sure, we want you to shop from the Digi page on DigiKey.com for routers, gateways, SOMs, SBCs, RF modules, networking equipment and USB-over-IP products. But Digi-Key can offer an enormous range of equipment, peripherals and components, with worldwide shipping, and they are a go-to resource if you are needing to place an order for electronics to get them drop-shipped quickly.

Come to Digi when you are planning a large project, such as development of wireless products for a smart city bike rental, municipal transit fare collection or smart car charging stations – or a deployment of IoT or network management solutions. It could be cellular routers or console servers for an office building, a digital signage network, a traffic management upgrade or other smart city deployment, or an industrial-class IoT solution for a remote network in demanding conditions, such as an agricultural, solar energy or tank monitoring project.

Your Digi sales team will recommend everything you need for a complete solution, including all components and peripherals, security methodologies, remote monitoring for your deployment, and the solutions needed for reliability, failover and out-of-band management. When you need additional support for design or deployment, they will ensure you get connected with the right Digi team for that support.

Digi sales and support teams have the expertise to help define the project needs, identify the complete solution and all components, support your entire planning, procurement, development, site survey and deployment process, and ensure that you achieve your goal, whether it is on-time, on-budget deployment, or rapid time-to-market.

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