Mesh networking is a way to route data, voice and instructions between nodes. It allows for continuous connections and reconfiguration around blocked paths by "hopping" from node to node until a connection can be established.
Mesh networks are self-healing: the network can still operate even when a node breaks down or a connection goes bad. As a result, a very reliable network is formed. This concept is applicable to wireless networks, wired networks, and software interaction.
A mesh network is a networking technique which allows inexpensive peer network nodes to supply back haul services to other nodes in the same network. It effectively extends a network by sharing access to higher cost network infrastructure.
Mesh networks differ from other networks in that the component parts can all connect to each other.
An MIT project developing the "$100 Laptop" for under-privileged schools in developing nations plans to use mesh networking to create a robust and inexpensive infrastructure for the students who will receive the laptops. The instantaneous connections made by the laptops is claimed by the project to reduce the need for an external infrastructure such as the internet to reach all areas, because a connected node could share the connection with nodes nearby.
Many hope Mesh networks will allow for boosted Wi-Fi signals and help bring wireless internet service to rural areas.
- MIT Roofnet A research project at MIT that provides software
- The Grid Ad Hoc Networking Project
- AUGNet Project The Ad Hoc UAV Ground Network is the realization of a MANET with ground-based and unmanned airborne nodes.
- Wi-fi boost plan for rural areas from BBC Technology News
- Wireless Mesh Networking from the O'Reilly Network
- A definition from SearchNetworking
- Mesh Networks: Disruptive Technology? from Wi-Fi Planet