Sep 11, 2013

How could Mesh networks be used to address intrusion and monitoring concerns?

I was in the shower yesterday and heard a piece on Morning Edition about the use of mesh networks in response to concerns over outside entities monitoring activity. I didn’t catch the entire thing, but it seemed to imply that a mesh network would be a more secure alternative to a traditional network. Does this make any sense? I thought mesh networks were essentially a method of connecting devices on a network through something akin to a cellular communication network, hopping a device to another access point as needed. What would make a mesh more (or less) secure than any other network?


Wireless mesh networks can be configured for both outdoor and indoor applications. Outdoor wireless mesh networks are great in urban settings where there are a lot of obstructions (e.g. buildings) to provide a quality wireless backhaul for mobile connectivity, wireless video surveillance, or Wi-Fi. Most wireless mesh networking devices operate in the 2.4GHz, 4.9GHz, 5.3GHz, 5.4GHz, or 5.8GHz unlicensed wireless frequency bands.

How Wireless Mesh Networks Work

"Wireless mesh networks, an emerging technology, may bring the dream of a seamlessly connected world into reality.

Wireless mesh networks can easily, effectively and wirelessly connect entire cities using inexpensive, existing technology. Traditional networks rely on a small number of wired access points or wireless hotspots to connect users. In a wireless mesh network, the network connection is spread out among dozens or even hundreds of wireless mesh nodes that "talk" to each other to share the network connection across a large area.

Mesh nodes are small radio transmitters that function in the same way as a wireless router. Nodes use the common WiFi standards known as 802.11a, b and g to communicate wirelessly with users, and, more importantly, with each other.

Nodes are programmed with software that tells them how to interact within the larger network. Information travels across the network from point A to point B by hopping wirelessly from one mesh node to the next. The nodes automatically choose the quickest and safest path in a process known as dynamic routing."

I think one of the main things is that there isn’t a single choke point through which the entire network can be shut down due to multiple redundant pathways between individual nodes. You can find more detailed information HERE or HERE.

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