How Mesh Networking Will Change Our Perception of the Internet
Even though it seems the internet is ubiquitous, there are still many places where wireless connectivity is nonexistent, especially in rural areas. Only 40% of the world's population currently has an internet connection, as the poorest communities still lack connectivity. Here are ways that mesh networking is helping resolve this issue.
Mesh Networking Technology
The concept of mesh networks is not new, but this solution has been gaining attention in recent years to expand internet usage in Africa, where connectivity is still a big problem. Currently, standard household wireless networks use routers as hubs for all devices. In a mesh network, however, every device is interconnected, allowing each device to communicate to the mesh, even between devices that are not directly connected.
This transmission method requires a certain protocol, but as long as all devices are connected to the same mesh, they can all interact with each other, regardless of router configurations. As a result, the signal strength between neighboring nodes is better than through a wi-fi connection, allowing for faster data transfer.
Benefits of Mesh Networks
Many businesses are now aware that wired connectivity is more reliable than wireless technology. Placing nodes physically close together connected by a wire yields better performance than two nodes separated by distance and wireless connectivity. When a wireless connection is spotty, repeaters can be used to improve performance, but the signal is still much stronger in a mesh network.
The mesh network does not rely on the condition of any repeater, as one failed node does not bring down the entire mesh. In a regular wireless network, however, if a single device fails, it can impact the entire network. Here are the various types of scenarios in which mesh networks are useful:
- communities with free wi-fi hotspots
- places where wi-fi isn't available such as parks
- rural areas without internet infrastructure
Qualcomm has developed an innovative new platform that allows automated devices such as bulbs and thermostats to communicate with other devices within a mesh network. Mesh networks are much less costly than standard networks, especially for communities where connectivity is shared by individuals.Also Read: Energy Efficient Power Converter for IoT Devised By Researchers