In a mesh topology, each network device is connected to every other network device. The most common use for a mesh topology is in the design of Wide Area Networks (WANs).
The most common communication connectivity device used in a mesh network is a leased or dedicated line such as a T1, frame relay or other high bandwidth connection.
Mesh networks have distinct advantages:
- Fault tolerant: Since each network device has multiple connectivity routes, the device can reroute if a failure on the primary route is down.
- Quickest route selection: Mesh networks are typically designed with intelligence, so the quickest path across the network can be chosen when sending data.
Mesh networks also have disadvantages:
- Expensive: The cost of providing multiple connectivity routes to each network device is sometimes prohibitive.
- Complex: As you add network devices to a mesh network, you increase the number of network connectivity routes. This can lead to issues with the network design if not properly planned.