As the name suggests, a mesh network is a web of pieces woven into each other. Every piece is called a node. Mesh technology, mesh network, meshnet or wireless mesh network (WMN) is a telecommunications network comprised of nodes organized in the form of a mesh. A telecommunications network includes interconnected nodes connected by telecommunications links used to send messages between the nodes. To put it simply, we can say that a mesh network is made up of a group of devices that work as a single Wi-Fi network.
It can be said that the main router connects directly to a modem. It means that it’s not just a router that is a source of Wi-Fi; instead, there are many sources around us called points. More points equal better Wi-Fi coverage. The points are connected with a wireless network, and if they are within range, they can communicate with each other, and there is no need for a router or switch.
The difference between Traditional Network and Mesh Network
When using a traditional network, your device (phone, laptop, etc.) is connected to a single router, and all communication happens via that one router. If you are far from the router – the source of the network – your signal gets weaker. Using a mesh system, you will access multiple Wi-Fi points around you. Then, the signal never gets weak like in a traditional network.
Advantages of Mesh Networks Over Traditional Networks
· One of the best advantages of a mesh network over other networks is flexible coverage. You can always add more points to improve the coverage.
· Whenever a point is out of work for any reason, communication is not interrupted because it is routed through another point. The only thing is that if the router or main (primary) point is down, the whole network stops working.
· Another significant characteristic of mesh networks is that since all points are connected, there are several paths for the data toward the destination. So, it will look for the best way to reach its destination.
Applications of Mesh Network in the Hospitality Industry
Due to its vast availability, a mesh network can have various applications in numerous industries. Generally, mesh networks can be used in outdoor resorts, when you cannot run wire, in changing environments, and when you need high availability.
· In outdoor resorts, mesh nodes are placed on top of each building;
· When you cannot run wire, mesh enters every floor and provides extra backhaul;
· In changing environments like in RV parks or in marinas, airports, hotels, truck stops, etc. where many people need Internet connection;
· And when you need high availability, the network never fails you. It doesn’t go weak and can provide full coverage in your environment.
One of the most common usages of mesh networks in hospitality is providing stable Internet access for the staff and the guests. Mesh network uses multiple paths; therefore, there are fewer outages compared to traditional networks. Also, congested links can be routed around. All these characteristics decrease the support cost and effort and will lead to higher customer satisfaction. In this case, not only the guests but also the staff will be satisfied.
Since technology is penetrating all aspects of our lives, we need to move hand in hand to gain more benefits and stay updated. Properties all over the globe can make use of high-tech devices to improve customer satisfaction. Considering the fact that our lifestyle is changing almost every day according to our changing needs, you as a property owner or a member of the hospitality industry should also keep moving forward. For example, smart locks are replacing old mechanical locks; smartphones have already replaced the older cells; hybrid cars are taking over the market and many more.
In the hospitality industry, you can use various technologies to streamline the guest experience. Mesh network is one of those technologies that help you provide:
· High-speed networks for your guests (which reduce confusion in check-in, check-out, communicating with the staff while staying in the property, etc.),
· manageable and secure connection for both staff and guests,
· a fully integrated solution creating a wireless network structure and user access from a single system,
· full coverage regardless of where you are in the property,
· an upgradable system that supports adding new coverage areas or adding capacity or new RF technologies to the existing nodes,
· improved connections among staff, and
· facilitated internal procedures in your property.
All these will lead to higher customer satisfaction and eventually more revenue.
How to Set up Mesh Network
You may think it is not very easy to set up a Mesh Network, but if you have set up a Wireless Distribution System(WDS) on your property, you can set up a Mesh network. One of the steps is to design your network based on your usage and needs. You need to decide on the coverage and what to cover. Another thing is to think about node placement.
To see a list of the best Wi-Fi Mesh network systems for 2021, see here.