meshWhat’s a Mesh? Well it’s not to be confused with mess…but some Wi-Fi and general network configurations are just that: a mess.

A wireless mesh network is a communications network made up of Wi-Fi access points organized in a mesh topology. It is also a form of wireless ad hoc network. Wireless mesh networks are combinations of notebooks, desktops, smartphones, printers, routers, etc. all connected by radios found in the new type of Wi-Fi access points. In a mesh network topology, each of the network node, computer and other devices, are interconnected with one another. Every node not only sends its own signals but also relays data from other nodes. In fact, a true mesh topology is the one where every node is connected to every other node in the network.

A computer network can be set up using current Ethernet topology and physical wired connections or it can be connected wirelessly. Wi-Fi, although useful, has been hindered by signal strength issues and multiple logins as you move to different locations in your home or place of work. A wireless mesh network can help reduce those issues.

Access to this “mesh cloud” is dependent on the radio nodes working in harmony with each other to create a radio network. A mesh network is reliable and offers redundancy. When one node can no longer operate, the rest of the nodes can still communicate with each other, directly or through one or more intermediate nodes. A user logs in once with the proper credentials and then stays connected as they move throughout the facility. Expansion or contraction is easy. Just add or remove an access point.

So what do you need? You need a connection to the Internet via your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and they supply a cable modem, fibre and the like. You attach an access router to your ISP device. Then you can connect your access points in various locations around your home or office. Configuration, security, passwords, etc. can be done locally on the Wi-Fi router device or through the Internet.

This is all to say that a wireless mesh network is an attractive option these days and should be considered when setting up any network, big or small. The days of dragging cable, punching holes in gyprock and “enjoying” a fixed, non-movable network are just about over.

MESH…net, web, network, lattice, netting. You get the idea!