A mesh network is a network topology in which each point (or “node”) of the network is connected to every other node. Conventional networks, by contrast, employ a star or “hub and spoke” model in which each node of the network is connected to a central point, such as a router or a switch. In a mesh network, the connections between nodes in a mesh network can be wired, but more commonly they are wireless. Because content in a mesh network doesn’t have to go back to a central server before being delivered, speed is potentially increased, as well. Mesh networks are typically used in wireless situations; able to adjust and avoid broken paths using “self-healing algorithms” and dynamic routing; and self-configuring.
This bulletin is one of a series of papers from ECAR working groups designed to help institutional leaders learn about and understand the implications of emerging technologies in higher education. These technologies have been identified as the “Top 10 Confusing Technologies” in the ECAR report Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2015. Other papers and related resources are available at the research hub for Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2015.
CITATION FOR THIS WORK : Mesh Networks: ECAR-WG Technology Spotlight. Research bulletin. Louisville, CO: ECAR, March 9, 2016.