If you’ve ever been in a home that’s at least 3,000 square feet or one that has two stories or interior brick walls, then you might have encountered Wi-Fi dead zones. These dead zones are typically the result of your device being far from or out of range of the Wi-Fi router, or there are structures, such as walls, which block the signal. A wireless mesh network (WMN) or mesh cloud helps to fill in the gaps in the Wi-Fi coverage of your home. Once you have WMN installed, you’ll be able to enjoy a wireless internet connection no matter where you are in the house – even those areas that used to be dead zones.

What is a wireless mesh network?

A wireless mesh network or WMN is a type of local area network (LAN) that consists of connectivity devices, such as Wi-Fi routers, which function as a single wireless network. Data is transmitted through mesh networking, where the first mesh device is the router and all the other mesh devices are wireless access points, satellite modules or nodes. In a mesh network, some or all nodes are connected in a way that provides them multiple paths to other nodes. The node-to-node connection is a dedicated link which allows information to travel quickly and smoothly, i.e., without delays or failures, to connected devices, such as smartphones, smart TVs and tablets.

Whereas traditional Wi-Fi modules might require different credentials and SSID, nodes share the same credentials and SSID as they are part of a single wireless network. The simple and decentralized infrastructure allows each node to transmit data to the next node. And, in addition to sending and receiving data, nodes in a wireless mesh network are also sources of connectivity.

So, nodes scattered strategically inside your house become sources of connectivity, which provides an overlapping wireless coverage to the area. In other words, nodes expand internet coverage throughout your house with just a single router, which is directly connected to the modem and converts wired internet connection to Wi-Fi. The result is a strong and continuous Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home.

The best location to place your router is in the middle of your house. The nodes can then be spaced out on either side so that areas farther away from the router can have a usable signal. As long as they’re within range of each other, nodes can communicate without a router or switch. In this way, nodes allow for fast and efficient data routing. The more nodes you install, the farther the signal can travel and your internet connection will also be faster and stronger from any area of the house. You can manage your house’s mesh network via an app, which can monitor data speeds, prioritize devices, and address network issues. Through the app, you can control your network anywhere, anytime.

Wireless mesh network vs. traditional Wi-Fi networks

Wireless mesh networks and traditional Wi-Fi networks are similar in that they don’t need the use of cables. However, a traditional Wi-Fi network uses a single router which receives all communication from your phone, laptop and other devices, whereas WMN uses both a router and a series of nodes to expand Wi-Fi coverage. Since there’s only one device that transmits Wi-Fi signal in traditional Wi-Fi networks, strong and fast connectivity is limited to devices that are in close range. That is, you’ll get a weaker signal the farther away you move from the router. Wi-Fi signals can also be obstructed by walls, doors, floors, and furniture. With a wired mesh network, nodes basically work like routers so you still receive a strong Wi-Fi signal even when you’re far away from the router.

Applications of wireless mesh networks

Advertising, industrial, and public sectors commonly use wireless mesh networks. However, as the Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly becomes more popular, it is expected that the adoption of wireless mesh networks will also increase. Here are the top applications of wireless mesh networks: 

  • Monitoring home and controlling smart home systems greatly benefit from wireless mesh networks. With one or more access points, it is simpler and easier for homeowners to use their smart home system’s functions, such as turning the lights on or off. 
  • Accessing wireless broadband without the use of cables becomes possible with wireless mesh networks. With more nodes added to the network, internet connection covers more ground and becomes more reliable.
  • Reading electric and gas meters automatically is now possible with wireless mesh network nodes. Wireless mesh networks are used by data collectors to read power consumption meters instantly. 
  • Communication in the public service sectors, especially in law enforcement, fire department, search and rescue operations, and other public services. Wireless mesh networks allow people working in these sectors to communicate over huge distances, which makes WMN ideal for facilitating communication off grid.
  • Communications and reconnaissance in the military through the Combat Service Support Automated Information Systems Interface mesh network is high speed and high capacity. It greatly improves reliability and range of communication between soldiers, especially logistics and sustainment specialists supporting combat operations. Wireless mesh networks also allow response teams to retrieve up-to-date information.
  • Medical monitoring or patient surveillance is simpler and more dependable with the aid of wireless mesh networks. WMN assists doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in observing the patient’s health condition even when they are not physically present with the patient.  
  • Security systems using the wireless mesh network can monitor almost every point of entry or strategy in a building or city inexpensively. This includes license plate recognition systems, network surveillance cameras, video management software, and emergency response systems. 
  • Industrial monitoring and control through the use of embedded sensors provides data on procedure and manufacturing techniques. Wireless mesh networks also reduce installation costs and provide maintenance information.
  • Automotive monitoring via a wireless mesh network eliminates the need for wiring. A wireless mesh network also tracks and regulates a vehicle’s many functions better.
  • Environmental monitoring can be quickly done through the help of wireless mesh networks. Sensors that track or monitor water bodies, farmlands and other vulnerable areas as well as temperature, pollution, and humidity act as a relay. This increases both scalability and system failure resistance.


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