Mesh topology is one of the four basic topologies of network communication. This is a point-to-point connection. That means, each devices in the network connects to each other device directly. Mesh topology offers speedy connection between devices due to dedicated communication channel.
Dedicated channel means that no other devices can share or access a link that connects 2 devices. This link or communication channel enable data privacy or security along with speed of communication.
Each device requires (n-1) connections or links, where n is the number of devices in the network. That is if there are 5 devices, then each device requires 4 connections to connect dedicatedly to other 4 devices. That is a total of n(n-1) number of links. In our example of 5 devices, the number of links required is 20. There are 3 types of transmission modes in which a link can transmit data. This is in case of Simplex transmission mode, that is, if the links can only transmit data to one end. However, if the links are duplex, then total number of required would be half, that is 10. So in case duplex connection, the formula would be (n(n-1))/2
Usage of Mesh Topology:
This topology is generally used as a part of a hybrid topology. It is not used as standalone in a broader case due to the disadvantages. It is rather used in cases where limited number devices will create a network.
Advantages of Mesh Topology:
- Dedicated links offers speedy communication
- As a link only connects two devices, the data privacy or security is well maintained
- It is easy to identify a faulty link and fix that
- Robust connection, problem in one link doesn’t affect other links.
Disadvantages of Mesh Topology:
- Dedicated links means dedicated cabling, that is a lot of cables
- Requires dedicated I/O ports in each device to connect links for each other device
- Requires more space due to cabling
- Expensive due to cables and ports
You can read more about mesh topology in the wikipedia page.