Mesh Network to Improve Smart Home WiFi
More and more mesh networks are being used in smart homes due to its self-healing characteristics made possible by the network’s structure and composition.
WiFi coverage is one of the most important aspects to consider when designing a smart home as IoT devices rely on connectivity. Bad WiFi is not only a source of frustration, but can also complicate a process that is supposed to simplify the lives of consumers. However, WiFi coverage has been improving as a result of whole home mesh networks. In this article, we will explain what a mesh network is as well as why more and more people are using it in their smart homes.
In order to better explain what a mesh network is, it is important to understand the concept of a topology. A topology describes the virtual layout of interconnected devices on a computer network. These layouts can be organized using many different structures. Traditionally, a star topology, the same topology utilized by Bluetooth networks, was most commonly found in smart homes. A star topology is a centralized network, meaning that all of the devices are connected to a single access point. However, mesh networks are considered decentralized because the nodes connect directly to each other. This allows for peer-to-peer (P2P) or point-to-point communication, eliminating the need to have a central access point. This means that all the traffic from the network can be distributed rather than being managed by one single entity.
The mesh network itself is comprised of many interconnected nodes that have the ability to establish links between themselves and other nodes. These nodes are connected in a fluctuating web, enabling the devices themselves to act as routers and forward the network traffic to other nodes. As a result of this structure, data can travel between the nodes until it reaches its final destination. The mesh network can be arranged in a full or partial topology. The mesh network is full when each node is directly connected to all other nodes in the network, while a partial mesh network refers to an arrangement in which nodes are only connected to other nodes that they share the most data with.
More and more mesh networks are being used in smart homes due to its self-healing characteristics made possible by the network’s structure and composition. If one node fails, the network can reroute the traffic to a different node without disruption to communication. Devices in a mesh network also have the ability transmit signals much further than star typologies allowing more devices to be connected over a wider area. While the costs can be steeper, it is worthwhile to consider mesh networks as a viable option for smart homes as they may bring us closer to creating a more connected world.
At SURE Universal, we have developed a complete software-defined platform that supports any wireless protocol as well as the topology it utilizes.