In a recent blog, we discussed the possible advantages of deploying mesh networks in enterprise settings. Coincidentally, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced its new initiative, Wi-Fi Certified EasyMesh, just a few days prior. Mesh networking and the new EasyMesh standard are currently used predominantly for residential deployment, but many companies, venues and even cities are experiencing great benefits deploying mesh networks. For professionals looking into mesh networking for their office spaces, we have put together an overview of this new standard.
What is a mesh Wi-Fi network?
In spaces that are difficult or impossible to wire, like in older building made of brick or stone, mesh networks make an excellent solution. Multiple nodes connect to each other and to an access point, or multiple access points, and serve as a single network. The signal is carried as far as the last node can transmit, extending it further than the average access point. The system is easily expandable or contractible, because the nodes intelligently connect and find the fastest route for data.
Advantages of Wi-Fi EasyMesh
This new initiative is truly geared towards improving user experience. Mesh networks offer key advantages such as easy installation, reduced downtime and reduced bandwidth bottleneck. The Wi-Fi EasyMesh standard amplifies these benefits by eliminating one large disadvantage. Each time the Wi-Fi signal jumps between nodes, up to 50 percent of throughput can be lost. This results in a very slow, network. The solution is adding multiple access points.
EasyMesh allows users to pick access points from multiple vendors. By broadening the scope, users can select their favorite vendors or a budget-friendly price point without worrying about the products not working together. In addition, by introducing a standard, future innovations in this area will be interoperable. This is great news as more IoT devices continue to hit the market.
Disadvantages of Wi-Fi EasyMesh
While Wi-Fi EasyMesh does come with advantages, most technology experts recommend that you stick with one manufacturer. Multiple product features are lost when networks are made up of multiple vendors. This is especially true of support features. If you are experiencing issues with a network comprised of multiple vendors, it will be more difficult to find the source of the problem. However, with a single-vendor network, diagnostics are much easier.
Companies will not be forced to enact EasyMesh in their products, but given the fact that the Wi-Fi Alliance acts on behalf of its members - companies like Cisco and Netgear, we imagine some businesses will begin to embrace the new standard. Because the standard does not dictate how a signal is broadcasted, how transmissions are prioritized and so forth, changes to mesh technology are expected to come now too. This may lead companies to focus more on producing smarter routers, which will mean greater innovations for users.
Finding the Right Solution for Your Network
Our number one goal here at Hummingbird Networks is to understand our customers’ projects as though they are our own and to suggest the best solutions. With the flexibility mesh networks afford, we may recommend one for you. Feel free to contact us with questions or to learn more about mesh networks.