Monday, April 10, 2006

Mesh Networking for the Campus

Mesh networking is great solution for campus with cabling problems and no line of sight for traditional wireless solutions. Many rural campuses have buildings spread out over long distances, separated by hills and other obstacles, and don't have some local DSL provider that can connect all the buildings. Even if DSL or cable is available, the top speeds will not approach those required for seamless file sharing.

Mesh networking creates a mini version of the Internet, but without wires. The traditional wireless network is a hub-and-spoke model. The access point is connected to the wired network and all the wireless mobile units connect to the nearest access point. Mesh networking goes one step further by allowing all the access points, and even the mobile devices, to create connections between them. This means that a network can be expanded for miles beyond the last connection to the wired network. One just keeps adding wireless access points. The size of the network can keep growing as long as no single access point is overwhelmed by all the traffic it has to handle.

Below is a link to an article on mesh networks for the office.


Mesh Moves Into the Wireless Office - Computerworld: "Wireless mesh networking products are emerging that ease installation but must overcome throughput limitations and interoperability problems."

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