Wireless / Mobility

Wireless Mesh Networks

By Cory Dzbinski / Aug 01, 2019

Mesh network

Standard WIFI VS WIFI Mesh

Standard WIFI 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 WIFI range extenders help to extend the coverage of your wireless network, but there are some major disadvantages in using them.

Most WIFI range extenders at peak performance effectively cut your signal bandwidth in half at minimum. The job of a wireless range extender is to re-transmit the signal it receives from your wireless router to a device such as your tablet that is further away. Due to using the same frequency to both receive and then send that signal on, the range extender can only use a maximum of 50% the bandwidth to receive the data and 50% to resend it.

Also for every extra range extender that you use, you lose an additional 50% of your bandwidth. 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 WIFI range extenders is that each range extender by default has a separate network ID (SSID). Your wireless device will need to switch between the different wireless networks to get the best performance as you move around your home or office. This may cause problems using your wireless devices, from network dropouts to 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 WIFI is the new standard

All the benefits of a mesh network result in excellent performance and a very stable WIFI connection, even over large distances.

Mesh networks really shine in applications where there are thick walls, multiple floors and general dark spots where a single wireless router refuses to send the signal.

Contact AppSmart today for vendors that specialize in mesh networks.

Phone: 1-866-456-3211

Email: partnersupport@appsmart.com