three projects to create a government-less Internet by taking advantage of wireless mesh networking. Wireless mesh networks are networks that don't require a centralized authority to create networks. These can provide an alternative way to communicate and share information during a crisis such as a natural disaster or civic unrest.Last week we told you about
Many of you followed-up by telling us about several other interesting projects, such as P2P DNS to Tonkia. Most importantly, there are at least four other projects that should have been on our original list.
Daihinia is a commercial project that provides software that essentially turns Windows PCs into wireless repeaters. The company's software makes it possible to use a desktop or laptop with a normal wireless card to "hop" to a wireless access point while out of range of that access point.
There's no Macintosh version, but it's being discussed.
Digitata is a sub-project of open_sailing's Openet, which we mentioned in the previous installment. Digitata is focused on bringing wireless networks to rural areas of Africa. The group is creating open source hardware and software, including its own own IP layer for mesh networking called IPvPosition (IPvP).
Freifunk (German for "free radio") is an organization dedicated to providing information and resources for mesh networking projects. Its website has a list of local mesh networks all over the world, from Afghanistan to Nepal to Seattle.
One of its main resources is the Freifunk firmware, a free router firmware optimized for wireless mesh networking. Users can replace the standard firmware on their routers with Frefunk's firmware, enabling them to build mesh networks with cheap off the shelf hardware.
wlan ljubljana and nodewatcher
wlan ljubljana is a wireless mesh network in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In addition to providing its users with Internet access, it appears to also feature a local network.
wlan ljubljana is working with volunteers in other cities in Slovenia to create more local networks, and has created its own firmware package for routers called nodewatcher. Like Freifunk, nodewatcher is based on the embeddable Linux distribution OpenWrt. nodewatcher is designed to be easy to use for a non-technical user.
Here are a few more resources:
- The Connective, a knowledge base dedicated to mesh networking and building a citizen-owned Internet.
- A list of mesh networking protocols like B.A.T.M.A.N.
- A Reddit thread discussing the above link.
- A Reddit community dedicated to creating a darknet.
- Wikipedia's list of wireless community projects, many of which are mesh networks.