The what and why of Firetide wireless mesh technology

Oct 15, 2014

2014-10-15 Wires.jpgIn today’s technological environment, wireless Internet access is something that is frequently taken for granted. Oftentimes, access to a wireless network is an ability that is simply expected for a range of activities. Sometimes, though, creating the infrastructure for such access is easier said than done.

Firetide can help establish this access through its wireless mesh network technology. But what does this exactly mean?

What is wireless mesh?
According to a Firetide white paper, wireless mesh network systems are a way to expand the capabilities of a previously established data network by leveraging radio technology. Ethernet, for example, is the data networking system most often seen today. When the capabilities of an Ethernet network need to be extended, Firetide can build out the platform with wireless mesh technology.

“A Firetide wireless mesh network functions exactly like an Ethernet switch,” the white paper explained. “Ethernet packets which arrive at any port on the mesh are delivered to the destination port across the mesh backbone.”

Such an approach can be utilized in a range of settings. For instance, a number of municipalities have adopted Firetide wireless mesh to build out a network for public safety and transportation surveillance. In this way, an existing network can be expanded to allow for a wireless surveillance network to help law enforcement fight crime or manage city traffic.

On the other hand, the technology can also allow for expanded wireless Internet access in recreational settings. One Firetide deployment saw a network established within a marina to enable boaters to connect with the Internet.

Why utilize wireless mesh?
Pramod Akkarachittor, Firetide’s product management and strategy leader, recently explained the purpose and benefits of wireless mesh infrastructure technology to Network Product Guide editor-in-chief Rake Narang. Akkarachittor noted that wireless mesh is able to solve a variety of issues, and that the U.S. is currently at about 10 percent adoption of wireless infrastructure.

“While our mesh products are an excellent solution for environments where video surveillance is required, the mesh infrastructure is a foundation for additional network-based applications,” Akkarachittor explained. “This single infrastructure is used to support multiple applications simultaneously for homeland security and public safety, transportation, municipal servi​ces and industrial applications.”

In addition, Firetide’s wireless mesh technology is an industry leader in security. The solutions utilize end-to-end AES 256 bit encryption to ensure that the network remains protected.

“With Firetide’s encapsulation and encryption scheme, we are able to maintain the integrity of the data end-to-end without comprising on the performance,” Akkarachittor noted.