This seems to be the main question Hams have after getting a Mesh system working. I even had the question myself. I had the question because the information around the internet comes in bits and pieces. It was like being on the internet while participating in a scavenger hunt for pieces of a puzzle.
So here I’ll try and make it simple for you. A Mesh Network is created by changing the firmware on standard home internet routers. Once the firmware is change, you change on how the router works. It can only be bridge to extend a network (Mesh), or an Access Point connected to a Mesh Network.
That is demonstrated in my blog " Wireless Video Over Mesh Network "
Now for the answer you’ve been waiting for. A Mesh Network is a network that you build yourself. In essence it is its own internet network. Depending on what you would like to do with your network. You might need some additional hardware. Like a Server, or a Cloud system for file transfer.
To prove that mine worked, I chose to do streaming video through the Mesh Network. As demonstrated in my blog " Wireless Video Over Mesh Network ".
Now that you have that basic concept and understanding. Here is a list of some items that Hams have done with Mesh Networking.
- Text Chat
- Voice Chat
- VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) Voip would be a phone system. Like Cisco phones at the office.
- Remote control link between house and Ham Shack.
There was a Ham Group in Texas that supported a marathon by using a wired camera through a mesh network. Which brings me to my next point.
Why a Mesh Network? Hams have the license ability to use part of the WiFi frequencies. Because it falls within their license rights.
This allows for Hams to experiment with power output and Antenna systems. Legally extending the range of a Wifi Mesh network. In the case of the Ham Group in Texas. They extended the range between each router to 10 miles.
I hope this answers some of your questions about Mesh Networks. And maybe even give you some ideas of your own.
Thanks for reading.