There are many ways to build networks and many technologies you can use. This module is an introduction to the idea of how mesh networks work and how they are different from other kinds of networks. Understanding mesh networking is important for designing your network, and for talking to people in your neighborhood who may want to support or be involved with your project.
Read and discuss the ideas below, then use Name that Network to explore the different properties of networks. The questions and activities in the slides will help everyone think about different network structures.
By exploring different networks structures, you will get a sense for how to think about network design and how different designs are useful in different situations.
Time required: 30 minutes to review and discuss the text. 45 minutes for the presentation and activities.
Printouts of Name that Network (optional)
Read and Discuss
Read and discuss the information below. To further explore the characteristics of different types of networks, go through Name that Network.
Networks can have a hierarchical or mesh structure.
Mesh networks route differently than non-mesh networks.
Routers are devices that determine how information moves across the network.
Mesh-enabled routers can dynamically talk to each other, allowing them to flexibly route traffic within the network.
Any mesh device can be the hub or central point in the network – or the network can have no central point.
Any mesh device can form the edge of the network, able to extend its reach and form new connections.
Mesh networks are strengthened and expanded as the user base grows.
To further explore the characteristics of different types of networks, go through Name that Network.
Once you have an understanding about the basics of mesh, try putting your knowledge into practice with the Every Network Tells a Story module. For more technical information on how Commotion works and forms a mesh network, Learn about Wireless (coming soon).
- In this case, hierarchical refers to the tree-structured client and master relationship between devices in traditional networks.
- The number of links required to reach a destination node on the network.
- In mesh networks, many nodes can connect to many nodes. In traditional designs, one node may connect to one or one node can connect to many.
- A type of network in which nodes can connect as peers and dynamically route traffic across the network.
- A device that determines how messages move through a computer network.