What is mesh WiFi?
Mesh wifi networks solve a particular problem for small business: covering a relatively large area, more than about 1,000 square feet on a single floor, or a multi-floor office, with minimal costs while eliminating slow wifi networks. This is especially important where there’s no ethernet already present to allow easier wired network connections of non-mesh WiFi access points. The concept of mesh networks first appeared in the 1980s in military experiments, and it became commercially available in the 1990s. But hardware, radio, and spectrum requirements; cost; and availability made it truly practical for small businesses only in the last couple of years. That’s why we see so many systems hit the market all at once. Mesh networking treats each base station as a node that exchanges information continuously about network conditions with all adjacent nodes across the entire set. Mesh technology allows nodes that aren’t sending and receiving data to each other to still know all about each other while saving this knowledge in a cloud-based backend or firmware on each WiFi access point.
How is Ruckus making mesh WiFi better for small business?
Ruckus is fixing slow WiFi networks for Small Business by rolling out their Zero Touch Mesh feature as part of the latest Ruckus Unleashed 200.6 update. The update enhances their pre-existing SmartMesh wireless meshing technology, which is designed to create self-forming, self-healing mesh networks dynamically. Self-healing means that your mesh network will automatically adjust itself to fix slow networks and to make sure each member of the node can communicate with each other.
A mesh built for businesses, not homes
SmartMesh makes it simple to blanket every corner of your small business with reliable WiFi coverage by eliminating the need for cumbersome radio planning and expensive cabling to every wifi access point (AP). Now with Zero Touch Mesh, you can skip the mesh configuration priming process as Mesh APs already installed in their permanent locations will auto-discover, auto-provision, and auto-form a fast mesh network securely without priming.
Fast and easy improves your return on investment
Ruckus recently hosted an Unleashed AP configuration competition during a partner event. All participating contestants successfully configured their respective APs in under two minutes. Anyone can easily manage the unleashed network – no expert IT staff required. You can manage Unleashed networks from anywhere in the world with the free Unleashed Mobile app. The app’s dashboard displays all the essential information about your network while providing access to key administrative tasks and troubleshooting options. Unleashed 200.6 also makes it easier for you to troubleshoot wireless networks quickly. With the Unleashed (browser) dashboard or mobile app, you can now precisely pinpoint technical issues, such as why the internet is down, why a specific device is unable to connect to Wi-Fi, or why an AP has rebooted.
More than just a mesh
Beyond Zero Touch Mesh, Unleashed 200.6 adds a slew of new features and enhancements to provide you with more robust control over your wifi networks and to improve security. For example, with application rate limiting, QoS traffic shaping, and denial rules, you can now define policies to restrict Wi-Fi speed for users at the application level. Plus, you can easily rename any of your end-point or network devices which provides for easy network administration and documentation out of the box.
Additional Unleashed 200.6 key features and enhancements include
- Expansion of the Unleashed AP portfolio with the: C110 (Wave 2 wall plate AP with built-in DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem), E510 (embedded Wave 2 outdoor AP with external BeamFlex+ antennas) and the T310 (entry-level Wave 2 outdoor AP with integrated BeamFlex+ omnidirectional or sector antennas).
- Same WLAN support for multiple social media logins: Existing Social Media login methods (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft) can be used simultaneously on the same WLAN.
- RuckusChat WLANs: New social media WLAN type – RuckusChat – is now available.
- AP Ethernet port status: The Ruckus UI displays information on AP Ethernet port status, including link status and link speed.
- Unleashed Multi-Site Manager (UMM) Connectivity: Enables connectivity from UMM to an Unleashed Master AP behind a NAT firewall. Unleashed will initiate an SSH tunnel when the “Enable management by Unleashed Multi-Site Manager” option is selected, allowing TR-069 protocol traffic to traverse the firewall.