Mesh networks?? MESH NETWORKS!!

So recently I was toying around with OpenWRT wireless settings and I came across a configuration section which I hadn’t paid much attention to before: the wireless mode.

Previously, I’d either set it to Access Point or Client mode and sometimes Monitor for some Aircrack fun. But there was another option which I hadn’t tried before: 802.11s.

Now I knew that 802.11 covers the IEEE specification for wireless LANs. 802.11a/b/g/n/ac are all common household terms for plain ol’ WiFi. But ‘s’ I had not encountered before. A quick Google search revealed that it was a standard for mesh networks. I’d heard about mesh networks before, but never looked into how they work or tried to implement one.

I took a quick look, and it would appear that devices on a mesh network:

  • Operate on the same channel
  • Have static IP addresses
  • Have “mesh identifiers” set up, which specify the name of the mesh network (and thus which nodes should connect to one another)

Information regarding security I’m not so clear on yet as typical wireless authentication methods won’t work if there is no ap/client relationship. Over the next few weeks I hope to research this further, experiment with it and hopefully find cool ways of implementing this.

The beauty of the mesh network is that everyone is interconnected. A device which is out of range of a node with internet access only needs to be in range with another node which is, or another node which is in range of another node which is, and so it continues. More to follow as I start playing. 🙂

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11s