Low cost wireless routers are revolutionizing the way people connect to the Internet. The ease of deployment on the one hand, and the freedom in the ability to connect on the other hand, have made these wireless routers ubiquitous. Wireless mesh networks extend the connectivity area of mobile devices beyond the limited range of a single access point. These networks can be easily deployed inside a building, campus, on a large geographical area or at a disaster site without requiring every access point to be physically connected to the Internet. They are also very affordable when implemented with off-the-shelf low cost wireless routers. This thesis is an effort of several years towards making mesh networks a reality. The first part of the thesis introduces the architecture of the first high-throughput 802.11 wireless mesh network that provides seamless connectivity to mobile users using off-the-shelf low cost routers. The second part of the thesis explores the realm of newly enabled mesh networks applications, presenting the architecture and protocols of the first robust Push-To-Talk service for wireless mesh networks
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