A wireless mesh network (WMN) is a communications network made up of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology. It is also a form of wireless ad hoc network.
A mesh refers to rich interconnection among devices or nodes. Wireless mesh networks often consist of mesh clients, mesh routers and gateways. Mobility of nodes is less frequent. If nodes constantly or frequently move, the mesh spends more time updating routes than delivering data. In a wireless mesh network, topology tends to be more static, so that routes computation can converge and delivery of data to their destinations can occur. Hence, this is a low-mobility centralized form of wireless ad hoc network. Also, because it sometimes relies on static nodes to act as gateways, it is not a truly all-wireless ad hoc network.
Mesh clients are often laptops, cell phones, and other wireless devices. Mesh routers forward traffic to and from the gateways, which may, but need not, be connected to the Internet. The coverage area of all radio nodes working as a single network is sometimes called a mesh cloud. Access to this mesh cloud depends on the radio nodes working together to create a radio network. A mesh network is reliable and offers redundancy. When one node can no longer operate, the rest of the nodes can still communicate with each other, directly or through one or more intermediate nodes. Wireless mesh networks can self form and self heal. Wireless mesh networks work with different wireless technologies including 802.11, 802.15, 802.16, cellular technologies and need not be restricted to any one technology or protocol. See also mesh networking.