February 17th, 2020 10:54 am

What the Heck is an Outdoor Wireless Mesh Network, and Do I Need One?

office park using wireless mesh

When you need a distributed wireless network across large areas, wireless mesh is the answer. These wireless cabling systems are common in areas that need access for security cameras, access controls, emergency services as well as control automation.

Basically, wireless mesh networks make your outside wireless network faster and stronger.

Creating a wireless mesh network, however, is not something you can just go out and do. It takes a different skill set than wireless systems inside your home, and a very specific understanding of designing wireless for large outdoor spaces.

Let’s look at how they work.

How Wireless Mesh Networks Work

Wireless mesh networks effectively share Internet connectivity by connecting nodes. The more nodes that are installed, the further the signal can travel.

The unwired access points create a web of wireless interconnections between themselves and the wired access points (nodes). These wired access points act as a wired portal into the network. The interconnections the signals to choose the shortest or fastest routes back to their wired portal onto the wired network.

What is especially cool is that if one or more mesh points in the network fail, the nodes are intelligent enough to reroute themselves back through the other connections to other access points.

What does this mean?

  • Say your laptop is in the broadcast range of four nodes. That means you’re tapping into four times the bandwidth of one traditional wireless router.
  • As you probably know, the further away from your router you are, the shakier your wireless. That is because distance plays a huge role in wireless signal strength. Halving the distance between your computer and the nearest wireless node makes your signal strength four times as strong.
  • Nodes can also provide Internet connectivity to wired devices within the networks. Through a technology called Power Over Ethernet (PoE), the node can provide power to stand-alone devices like surveillance cameras without having to plug the camera into an electrical outlet.

If you’re installing a security system for the perimeter of your building, consider a wire mesh network. Give us a call today to discuss the best options for you.