Wireless Mesh Networks
Wireless technology offers considerable cost-reductions in the areas where it’s impossible or impractical to deploy wired solutions. However, a high-performing wireless infrastructure is not trivial to design and deploy, and professional-grade wireless equipment is a considerable investment. Available wireless topologies include point-to-point wireless systems, which provide connections between two fixed locations. Low-capacity bridges are typically used for one or two outlying cameras; high-capacity links are ideal for backhaul of other wireless networks. There are also point-to-multipoint wireless systems, which deliver network connections to multiple remote locations from a central location. These systems may offer a cost effective solution if tall assets (towers or buildings) are available; however, the central “base unit” creates a single point of failure if this unit becomes inoperative, the whole network goes down.
There also are multipoint-to-multipoint (wireless mesh) systems, which deliver multi-hop connectivity to extend the reach of the system. Redundant links eliminate single points of failure associated with conventional wireless networks, while multiple paths overcome line-of-sight issues. The choice of the technology will depend on your particular deployment; you should consider pros and cons ahead of time. Wireless mesh is often the most attractive choice for professional video surveillance, because it provides the required throughput, redundancy and multiple paths to ensure reliability of video transmission. The flexibility of mesh allows it to be deployed in any of the above scenarios â€” point-to-point for backhaul, point-to-multipoint, or “true” mesh for complete redundancy. Some deployments start as point-to-multipoint, later to be reconfigured into a mesh topology, when security needs call for ubiquitous coverage.