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WLAN Mesh for automation networks

28 September 2020

With the new firmware 2.6, the WLAN 2100 wireless module from Phoenix Contact now also offers WLAN Mesh operating mode in addition to Access Point and Client modes.

WLAN Mesh can be used to create autonomous, self-organising ad hoc networks that do not require a central infrastructure like WLAN access points.

Easy planning, minimal installation and expansion effort, and flexible adaptation to changing general conditions are just some of the features that are characteristic of a WLAN mesh network. It is layer 2 transparent, which means that industrial automation protocols such as Profinet and Profisafe can also communicate via the mesh network. The mesh routing protocol is not dependent on the physical transmission medium. This means that cable connections can be used in the mesh network in addition to wireless connections. As is typical with WLAN, WPA2 security and AES encryption protect communication against manipulation and interception.

WLAN Mesh is used in automation applications where the usual star network structure of WLAN is unsuitable – for example because multiple automation devices need to communicate with each other directly via wireless or because it would not be possible to reach a central access point directly.

The WLAN Mesh function is also available on older WLAN 2100 modules by updating the firmware. The firmware can be downloaded free of charge from the Phoenix Contact eShop in the Downloads section at http://www.phoenixcontact.com/product/2702535.


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