The Internet of Things will have an estimated 6.4 billion "connected things" by the end of 2016 according to technology research firm Gartner. Increasingly, mesh networking is emerging as an ideal design solution for interconnecting a large number of network devices, especially for smart home applications. Mesh networks rely on wireless nodes rather than centralized access points to create a virtual wireless backbone. Thus, mesh networks offer the ability to connect wirelessly devices and computers directly, without a phone company or ISP link. All mesh nodes cooperate in the distribution of data in the network, and mesh networks can relay messages using either a flooding technique or a routing technique. In a mesh arrangement, network nodes establish network links with surrounding nodes, enabling traffic to hop between nodes on several paths through the network. Mesh networks are said to be self-healing, self-organizing and scalable, merely by adding more nodes.