Mesh Networking

What Does Mesh Networking Mean?

Mesh networking is a type of network topology in which a device (node) transmits its own data as well as serves as a relay for other nodes. Routers are used to provide the best and most efficient data path for effective communication. In the event of a hardware failure, many routes are available to continue the network communication process.


Techopedia Explains Mesh Networking

There are two types of mesh networking topologies:

  • Total Mesh Topology: This kind of topology is in effect when every node in the network is connected to all the other nodes with direct links. This provides greater redundancy, because if any node fails, the network traffic can be directed using other nodes. Each node accesses the working nodes in close proximity and finds the best route for efficient and reliable communication.
  • Partial Mesh Topology: This kind of topology is in effect when some nodes are connected with all the other nodes using direct links, while some are just connected to one or two nodes only. This is less expensive to implement compared to total mesh topology, but has less redundancy.

A mesh networking layout is not commonly used because of high costs related to cabling, devices and its complex infrastructure. However, wireless mesh networks are very popular among wireless networks and their users. This is because, by definition, a wireless network does not need cabling or any other physical infrastructure other than an access point.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.