(also mesh network, wireless mesh network)
Mesh networking definition
Mesh networking is a decentralized network topology that allows multiple nodes (devices) to connect and communicate with each other directly or indirectly. Mesh networks enhance network reliability, performance, and coverage by using multiple paths for data transmission, self-healing, and self-organizing capabilities. They are particularly useful in environments where wired connections or centralized network infrastructures are impractical or cost-prohibitive.
Mesh networking examples
- Home mesh Wi-Fi systems: These systems use multiple wireless access points or nodes to provide seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout a home, eliminating dead zones and improving network performance.
- Community mesh networks: Grassroots initiatives that create community-owned networks to provide internet access to underserved areas or promote digital privacy and net neutrality.
- IoT mesh networks: Wireless mesh networks that connect IoT devices and sensors, enabling efficient data collection and communication in smart homes, industrial automation, and environmental monitoring.
Pros and cons of mesh networking
- Increased network reliability and resilience.
- Scalability and flexibility.
- Easier deployment in challenging environments.
- Higher initial setup costs compared to traditional networks.
- Potential network congestion due to multiple nodes.
Comparing mesh networking with other topologies
- Star topology: Unlike the centralized nature of star topology, mesh networks are decentralized, which makes them more resilient to failures and outages.
- Ring topology: Mesh networks offer better fault tolerance and scalability compared to ring topology, as they can dynamically reconfigure paths for data transmission.