There are two types of mesh networks. The first is the true mesh network, while the second is the hybrid mesh network. In general, you can recognize a mesh network by the fact that every device on it has a minimum of two physical connections.
In a true mesh network, every device has a physical connection directly to every other device. In a hybrid mesh network, every device is connected to at least two other devices.
The existence of more than one connection per device grants continued operation in the event of a link failure. If one connection experiences difficulty, every device were still accessible from every other device, because information can flow across other connections, going around the malfunctioning link much the way a driver would take a small detour to avoid a block of street that is being repaved. Mesh networks use this concept of re-routing to accomplish this reliability, which is called fault tolerance because the network is tolerant of problems, or faults, that can occur in its physical configuration.
The true mesh can quickly grow into a cable nightmare as the size of the network grows. For this reason, the true mesh is kept to only small networks requiring high availability. It provides a higher degree of fault tolerance than the hybrid mesh topology because some sort of mesh topology is what keeps the overall high fault-tolerance of the Internet.
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