A mesh network (also known as mesh wifi) is a network where devices—or nodes—are linked together, creating a branch off of other nodes or devices. This network is developed to send and route data between devices efficiently. In WiFi systems, mesh networks are a group of devices that act as a single Wi-Fi network.
It’s applied to homes and businesses to help clients have multiple Wi-Fi sources in different areas instead of just a single router. Additional Wi-Fi sources on a mesh network are referred to as points.
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What is a Mesh Network?
Compared to a traditional Wi-Fi setup that follows a physical network, mesh Wi-Fi often follows a logical Wi-Fi network, where all devices act as a group and provide a single Wi-Fi network. It follows a full-mesh network topology, where each point is connected directly to the other points.
Mesh Wi-Fi technologies provide better coverage in wide spaces since the linked devices broadcast Wi-Fi over the covered area. You’ll also have the option to add more points if you want to extend your Wi-Fi coverage.
These points can be connected wirelessly or through Ethernet connections. Advanced mesh Wi-Fi systems often work wireless. As long as each point is in range of one other, they can communicate without a router. It allows for efficient and fast data routing.
Wired mesh Wi-Fi systems work with all points directed to a central switch connected to a router or modem via a LAN cable. This allows the points to verify the wired connection and route data over the Ethernet.
What’s the Difference Between Traditional Wi-Fi and Mesh Wi-Fi?
On a traditional Wi-Fi network, users must connect their devices via a single Wi-Fi router, with all data being directed to that router. When the device is moved further away from the router, it directly affects its signal and the internet connection.
Mesh Wi-Fi, on the other hand, has multiple points over a specific area, which means it will have better coverage and won’t affect the device’s internet connection since it eliminates dead points—places where Wi-Fi signals are low to none.
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Benefits of a Mesh Network
Having a mesh network on a house or business have the following benefits:
- Increased range – Mesh networks are designed to transmit signals over a greater distance. It provides better coverage for Wi-Fi networks and eliminates the chances of dead points.
- Greater stability – If one point goes down in a mesh network, communication is automatically rerouted to the nearest working point. However, in some systems, if the primary point goes offline, it will affect the entire mesh Wi-Fi system.
- Security – If one point is compromised or attacked by a hacker, it can be easily replaced and won’t harm the entire network.
- Efficient power usage – Each point in a mesh network won’t have to put out the same signal, especially when near the primary point.
- Simpler network topology – Compared to other network topologies, mesh networks are easier to work with and require fewer devices or infrastructures than different network configurations.