[Nottingham] WiFi mesh

Jim Moore jmthelostpacket at googlemail.com
Wed Nov 26 18:57:32 UTC 2008

Martin wrote:
> Folks,
> Anyone played with a WiFi mesh?
> How well do they work?
> And how many nodes can be handled?
> (Mad-cap idea #365426486463982989! :-) )
> Cheers,
> Martin
Short answer: as many nodes as you want - the OLPC project launched with 
a view to getting 100 /million/ kids around the world onto the Internet, 
all wirelessly. The only limitations to such a system are latency and 
the amount of power you can suck off the grid. A mesh is pretty much its 
own Internet, each node independent from all the rest yet dependent on 
the rest for data, which makes it perfect for African states and other 
Third-World nations because there is no need for a centralised data 
storage farm which would be vulnerable to attack (and yes, just about 
every state in Africa has some conflict or another at any one time, so a 
data farm's physical safety cannot be guaranteed). There is no central 
server (save perhaps a couple DHCP and/or index servers on different 
subnets, as many as needed - in the case of an African network, these 
servers can be located offshore or in a nearby friendly state where they 
are more easily defended) so the data has to be distributed across the 
network, much like how a Darknet* (ie Freenet**) works. For more info on 
Freenet, Google "Freenet" or "Ian Clarke".

*A Darknet is a local or VPN network in which only trusted 
servers/clients are allowed to connect. Systems like Freenet only 
require that a client be installed and the user log in to the system.
**Freenet uses a fully decentralised data storage setup, which means 
that each client requires a copy of the index. In short terminology, 
Freenet operates like a widely distributed RAID6 array, albeit every 
drive in the array has a complete copy of the parity data.

HTH (or confuses the hell out of you...)


Last night I played a blank tape at full volume. The mime next door went nuts.

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