Networking mesh topology is a type of network architecture in which multiple access points are used to create a wireless network with improved coverage and performance. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about mesh topology, including its functions, advantages, disadvantages, and key considerations when setting up and maintaining a mesh topology network.
Functions of Mesh Topology
Improved Coverage – Mesh topology improves network coverage by using multiple access points to create a wireless network.
Scalability – Mesh topology is highly scalable, as new access points can be added to the network as needed.
Redundancy – Mesh topology is highly redundant, as each access point in the network can communicate with multiple other access points.
Advantages of Mesh Topology
Improved Coverage – Mesh topology improves network coverage, making it ideal for large or multi-story buildings.
Scalability – Mesh topology is highly scalable, making it an ideal choice for growing networks.
Redundancy – Mesh topology is highly redundant, making it a reliable choice for mission-critical applications.
Disadvantages of Mesh Topology
Cost – Mesh topology can be more expensive than other network topologies, as it requires multiple access points.
Complexity – Mesh topology can be more complex to set up and maintain than other network topologies.
Components of Mesh Topology
Access Points – Access points are used to create the wireless network in a mesh topology.
Network Interface Cards – Network interface cards are used to connect devices to the network.
Setting up a Mesh Topology Network
Planning – Planning is essential when setting up a mesh topology network, as access points must be strategically placed to provide optimal coverage.
Configuring Access Points – Access points must be configured with the correct security settings and network information to ensure proper operation.
Mesh Topology Maintenance
Checking Access Points – Checking access points regularly can help diagnose connectivity issues.
Replacing Faulty Components – Faulty components, such as a failed access point or network interface card, should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid further issues.
Encryption – Mesh networks should be configured to use encryption, such as WPA2, to protect network traffic from unauthorized access.
Access Controls – Access to the network should be restricted to authorized users only to maintain network security.
Troubleshooting Mesh Topology Networks
Diagnosing Issues – Common issues with mesh topology networks include interference, poor signal strength, and failed access points.
Resolving Interference – Interference from other wireless devices can be resolved by changing the frequency or channel used by the access points.
Considerations for Choosing Mesh Topology
Network Size – Mesh topology is suitable for small to large networks, as new access points can be added as needed.
Network Traffic – Mesh topology is suitable for high-traffic networks, as each access point can communicate with multiple other access points.
Budget – Mesh topology can be more expensive than other network topologies, making it an ideal choice for organizations with larger budgets.
Popular Mesh Topology Brands
Ubiquiti Networks – Ubiquiti Networks is a popular manufacturer of networking equipment, and produces a range of mesh topology devices for business and home use.
Google – Google produces a range of mesh topology devices for home use under the Google Nest brand.
Upcoming Mesh Topology Technologies
5G Mesh Networks – 5G mesh networks are a new type of wireless network that use 5G technology to provide faster speeds and improved coverage.
Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Networks – Wi-Fi 6 mesh networks use the latest Wi-Fi technology to provide faster speeds and improved coverage compared to previous generations.
Mesh Topology vs. Other Network Topologies
Ring Topology – In a ring topology, devices are connected to each other in a circular formation.
Bus Topology – In a bus topology, devices are connected to a single cable.
Star Topology – In a star topology, devices are connected to a central hub or switch.
Replacing Mesh Topology
If you’re experiencing slow network speeds or dropped connections, it may be time to replace your mesh topology network. Before replacing your network, be sure to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of other network topologies to find the best solution for your needs.
When replacing a mesh topology network, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that the new network is properly configured and set up for your needs.
Mesh Topology Placement
Mesh topology placement is critical for ensuring optimal network performance and coverage. Each access point in the network should be located within range of at least two other access points.
Access points should be placed strategically to provide optimal coverage, taking into account factors such as building materials, interference, and signal strength.
Mesh Topology Maintenance
Regular maintenance of your mesh topology network can help ensure optimal performance and reliability. Maintenance tasks may include checking access points, replacing faulty components, and configuring access points with the latest security settings.
In conclusion, mesh topology is a highly scalable and redundant network topology that provides improved coverage and performance compared to other network topologies. By understanding the components, advantages, disadvantages, and key considerations for setting up and maintaining a mesh topology network, you can create a reliable and efficient network that meets your needs. With a wide range of mesh topology options available from popular manufacturers, and new technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6 on the horizon, there has never been a better time to get started with mesh topology networking.