Wireless / Mobility

Wireless Mesh Networks

By Cory Dzbinski / Aug 01, 2019

Mesh network

Standard WIFI VS WIFI Mesh

Standard Wi-Fi networks typically have a single access point that has a spectrum of 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, or both.

A mesh network is a local network topology in which the infrastructure nodes (bridges, switches etc), connect directly, dynamically, and non-hierarchically, to as many other nodes as possible, and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data to and from clients. Mesh networks also use the same wireless spectrum, in the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz range.


Why are mesh networks better?

In mesh networks, the lack of dependency on one node, allows for every node to participate in the relay of information.

Mesh networks dynamically self-organize, and self-configure, which can reduce installation overhead. The ability to self-configure, enables dynamic distribution of workloads, particularly in the event that any other nodes should fail. This in turn contributes to fault-tolerance, and reduced maintenance costs.

Wireless mesh devices are set up to also natively broadcast the same SSID. This means that your mobile wireless devices will always stay connected to your mesh network, no matter where you move in the building. Moving away from one mesh device, and closer to another as you change rooms, now means that mobile devices no longer need to disconnect and reconnect to a new network. This is more reliable, and better at providing 100% up time.

The most defining feature of a mesh setup though, is its redundancy. By placing three or more mesh devices in your network within range of each other, you have assurance that if one mesh device fails your mobile devices will always still stay connected. If by chance one of the mesh devices fails, the other mesh devices in the vicinity will pick up the slack to keep the wireless connection operational, until the failed device is replaced.

How does mesh differ from a repeater?

Traditional Wi-Fi range extenders help to extend the coverage of your wireless network, retransmitting the signal it receives from your wireless router to a device such as your phone or tablet that may be further away. However, due to using the same frequency to both receive and then send that signal on, most Wi-Fi range extenders, at peak performance, can only use a maximum of 50% of the bandwidth to receive the data and 50% to resend it.

And on top of that, for every extra range extender that you use, you lose an additional 50% of your bandwidth. Although, it is possible to buy wireless range extenders that use different frequency channels to receive and resend, but this is where it gets costly and inefficient.

Another downside to using traditional Wi-Fi range extenders is that each range extender by default has a separate network ID (SSID). Meaning that in order to get the best performance, your wireless device will need to switch between the different wireless networks as you move around your home or office causing network dropouts and overall poor performance.

Some wireless range extenders do offer the ability to use the same SSID as your router but this can cause added performance degradation as well as the likelihood that some of your wireless devices will not automatically switch from your router to your wireless range extender’s network anyway.

Mesh Wi-Fi is the new standard

A wireless mesh network (WMN) is a system of multiple separate devices configured in a mesh-type structure, essentially blanketing an area with a single network ID rather than several.

When transferring data across this type of network, data moves from one device to another using the most efficient and shortest path until it reaches its destination. Utilizing a wireless mesh network ensures that there is always a connection present for devices no matter where you are in located within the office or your home.


Wireless mesh networks shine in applications where there are thick walls, multiple floors and general dark spots where a single wireless router refuses to send the signal. Benefits of a mesh network include easy scalability, improved performance and a stable Wi-Fi connection.


Contact AppSmart today for vendors that specialize in mesh networks.

Phone: 1-866-456-3211

Email: partnersupport@appsmart.com

Resources

PB Tech Global. “What Is a Wireless Mesh Network?” PB Tech, PB Tech Global, 4 May 2020, www.pbtech.com/news/1103/What-is-a-Wireless-Mesh-Network?qr=related_articles.