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How the mesh works

Many people have picked up on the Meraki Mesh idea, but people seem to be confused as to what a Mesh Network actually is. Here is the Wikipedia definition of a Mesh Network:


Mesh networking is a way to route data, voice and instructions between nodes. It allows for continuous connections and reconfiguration around broken or blocked paths by “hopping” from node to node until the destination is reached. A mesh network whose nodes are all connected to each other is a fully connected network.

The truth is that the Mesh Network is not really a Mesh but a Mobile Ad-Hoc Network. This means it has the properties of a mesh, but it's mobile! For those who are interested, here's the link to how this works from wikipedia:

ExOR Wireless Network Protocol

This should explain the basics of how this works, which is what Wikipedia is really good for. The Routing protocol that is being used is SrcRR, which what was used in Roofnet. This is an open-source protocol, and can be used in anything that has an Atheros Radio.

The nice thing about the Meraki Hardware is that it makes it accessible to people who want a finished product. It could be possible to mesh with the Linksys WRT54G using Optimized Link State Routing, but then there's the problem of forcing the radio into Adhoc mode because Broadcom has a more closed design than Atheros. It also could have been done with Netgear WGT634Us and the new Linksys WRT150N, but these devices are twice as expensive.

Also, I find myself warming a bit to the Dashboard. It doesn't allow people to configure custom spash pages per node, which would be nice functionality, nor does it allow for very much customization of the spash page. I think that this will be added down the road by Meraki since a lot of
people seem to be asking for this. Also, I find that it's an interesting project working with a group of people who have admin on the nodes.

We're definitely learning as we go along, and that's what makes this interesting.