Can we please stop calling it mesh?

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I see many posts that ask about Wi-Fi "mesh" systems using Ethernet backhaul. This is not a Wi-Fi "mesh" system. It is a multi-AP system with maybe some central management.

Mesh systems use Wi-Fi to connect APs via Wi-Fi back to a "Root" node that has an Ethernet connection to the internet.

You do not need "mesh" hardware to build an Ethernet connected multi AP system. Any AP or router can be used as long as it is properly configured.
[Post updated to clarify that this thread refers to Wi-Fi mesh systems.]
 
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bbunge

Part of the Furniture
A mesh is similar to a web or a net in that it has many attached or woven strands.
WIFI or Ethernet connected mesh can still apply. I see nothing wrong with using the term for either.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
:D Maybe part of the problem is that companies like Asus, Netgear, etc. have jumped on the "mesh" bandwagon and are plastering it all over their advertising. These products usually have to ability to use wired and/or wireless backhaul. (I suppose even with a wireless backhaul that is still not technically a mesh system)

If a company like Asus promotes the term "AiMesh" even when using wired backhaul is it any wonder their customers use the same terminology, even if it's incorrect.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
IMO anything with "mesh" in the name means you get slow speeds because of how they work. The backhaul means you split the bandwidth 50/50 on each "leg" and that's going to get complaints. Wire the units and they should work just fine. If you're not going to wire things then have realistic expectations you won't be running at full speed on the remote nodes. If you're wiring multiple nodes then get an actual AP instead of messing around with this consumer grade junk.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Perhaps "mess " would be more appropriate.

No, that's just name calling... it would be more helpful to the user to explain what you mean.

OE
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
A mesh is similar to a web or a net in that it has many attached or woven strands.
WIFI or Ethernet connected mesh can still apply. I see nothing wrong with using the term for either.

While I appreciate the OP's technical point... and we all probably acknowledge and understand the marketing factor, I tend to agree that 'mesh' is sufficient, especially when the context is clear i.e. AiMesh, OneMesh, Orbi, etc. As for the technical point... maybe the term 'mesh' should be relaxed to include more than one type of interconnect or topology.

Me, I'll stick to using 'AiMesh' in proper case unless I'm feeling lazy.

Is a wireless AiMesh a 'mesh', but a wired AiMesh is not?

If a wired AiMesh fails over to wireless, has it just become a mesh?

I trust some can argue that AiMesh is not a 'mesh' no matter how it's connected. I will not argue otherwise... I simply want adequate WiFi coverage in my home... without wires... without a cloud account... without spending more than necessary... without becoming a network engineer.

OE
 
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ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
If you're wiring multiple nodes then get an actual AP instead of messing around with this consumer grade junk.
Says the person who joined a few hours ago and has spammed the forum with adverts for the Zyxel NWA210AX. :D
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
@ColinTaylor

Just because I'm not an Asus fanboy doesn't mean much. As to my NWA210AX preference it works w/o all the Asus hoops to jump through with better speeds and less bugs.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
@ColinTaylor

Just because I'm not an Asus fanboy doesn't mean much. As to my NWA210AX preference it works w/o all the Asus hoops to jump through with better speeds and less bugs.

Why do you want to make this thread about ASUS AiMesh in particular?

OE
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
ASUS AiMesh
I didn't mention that specifically.

Mesh is a marketing term not a technology.

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Setting up your channels for proper handoff between 2+ AP/routers gives you seamless handoff which is what consumers consider "mesh". The wireless backhaul of "pods" or "nodes" is a workaround to proper WIFI deployment to get extended coverage. In certain situations using a wireless backhaul can extend coverage to hard to cable locations but, isn't going to perform as well.
 

slvrscoobie

Regular Contributor
IMO anything with "mesh" in the name means you get slow speeds because of how they work. The backhaul means you split the bandwidth 50/50 on each "leg" and that's going to get complaints. Wire the units and they should work just fine. If you're not going to wire things then have realistic expectations you won't be running at full speed on the remote nodes. If you're wiring multiple nodes then get an actual AP instead of messing around with this consumer grade junk.
but most people have 2+gb capable mesh systems, for 100mbps connections. they'll never notice and as long as the speeds dont affect TikTok the kids wont complain any more about wifi
 

heaven

Occasional Visitor
I see many posts that ask about "mesh" systems using Ethernet backhaul. This is not a "mesh" system. It is a multi-AP system with maybe some central management.

Mesh systems use Wi-Fi to connect APs via Wi-Fi back to a "Root" node that has an Ethernet connection to the internet.

You do not need "mesh" hardware to build an Ethernet connected multi AP system. Any AP or router can be used as long as it is properly configured.
Do you have any links to the Mesh specification or is i just your personal feeling? I don't see how the type of backhaul connection applies here. In my understanding, the Mesh term is about how the nodes operate in this network, including the roaming. Which is quite different from having multiple routers. Same as you don't worry about how cell towers are connected with each other.
 

heaven

Occasional Visitor
but most people have 2+gb capable mesh systems, for 100mbps connections. they'll never notice and as long as the speeds dont affect TikTok the kids wont complain any more about wifi
There could be many devices within the local network. E.g. a NAS device running Plex media server, backup systems, surveillance system, multiple TVs, etc.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
2+gb capable mesh systems,
What does the ISP speed have to do with the performance of their network?

Your internal network dictates how all devices perform. If you want a smooth experience with all of your services then you need to have proper infrastructure to support it. The ISP speed will dictate the performance / resolution you're able to obtain from streaming services. Internal speeds matter if you/re hosting streams internally from a NAS or something similar to multiple devices.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
how cell towers are connected with each other.
This is a different can of worms completely as they use a hybrid of technologies to communicate back into the core network. Mostly each site / cell has a wired backhaul but, there's also different technologies being used such as microwave / point to point wireless.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
This is not a "mesh" system.

How it is called is a small issue. How it is used is a bigger issue. Average customer doesn't know technical details and most believe more is better. Millions use multi-AP Wi-Fi in small apartments for no reason. They all fell victims of aggressive advertisement and purchased a "mesh" system or the ISP technicians plugged multiple Plume pods because each one is extra fee per month. In my downtown apartment I use a single router and it's good enough. Someone around me has single SSID system with 6x radios (3x dual-band pods). Most apartments in the building are under 1000sqf.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
multi-AP Wi-Fi in small apartments for no reason.
The reason is saturation due to crappy configuration / lack thereof and using the auto DCS option hitting channels 1/6/11 and recalibrating all of the time due to neighboring signals. If the people setting up these systems i.e. provider techs took a couple of minutes to scan the surrounding signals and use a static setting in their equipment their customers would be happier and they would end up with less contacts to CS / trips to the premise to "fix" or swap equipment. Techs though aren't usually the best to rely on for this sort of extra mile service as they have a quota of jobs to get completed per day.

If systems being deployed were "smarter" when it comes to DCS opening them up to using other than primary channels you wouldn't see as much interference being introduced.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Terminology does matter, something I would think the Wi-Fi professionals in this community would agree with.
In addition to @sfx2000 's 11s reference, here's a more generic definition

Yes, marketing people have muddied the waters, as they have since the beginning of consumer networking and will continue to do.

This is precisely why I am encouraging the use of proper terminology here, so that readers can be educated about that they are buying.

And yes, most (all?) consumer mesh systems technically should not be called mesh because they do not conform to 802.11s. But all products sold as Wi-Fi mesh systems have two things in common; they have at least one module that is connected via Ethernet to the internet (root) and at least one module that by default is set to connect to the root (and other nodes) via Wi-Fi.
 

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