2021-07-07 Mesh Networks

Just a link dump, for now… starting with blog posts by @jgoerzen:

What if you live offline and have a phone to bring to the next access point, like a coffee shop in town?

All the devices at the remote location could communicate with each other. The Android app is quite capable of syncing photos and videos using Syncthing, for instance. Then one device could be taken to the Internet location and it would transmit data on behalf of all the others – perhaps back to a computer at your home, or to a server somewhere. Perhaps a script running on the remote server would then move files out of the syncthing synced folder into permanent storage elsewhere, triggering a deletion to be sent to the phone to free up storage. When the phone gets back to the other devices, the deletion can be propagated to them to free up storage there too. – A Simple, Delay-Tolerant, Offline-Capable Mesh Network with Syncthing (+ optional NNCP)

More about all the tools and technologies out there:

NNCP, on the other hand, lets you relay messages over TCP, a radio, a satellite, or a USB stick. Email and Usenet, since they were designed in an era where store-and-forward was valued, can actually still be used in an entirely “offline” fashion (without ever touching an IP-based network). All it takes is for someone to care to make it happen. You can even still do it over UUCP if you like. – Recovering Our Lost Free Will Online: Tools and Techniques That Are Available Now

NNCP a an be used for browsing in that you have the remote download web pages and all their dependencies, then sync them. Here are some links from the NNCP website:

Anyway, something to think about for the slow net.


I forgot the details, but I was told about a project where offline PCs were installed in remote villages, equipped with wifi. A data-carrier-PC, also with wifi, was moved between the village and the city, where it could exchange data with the internet. The data-carrier-PC could be installed on regular buses or even on a bicycle.

– White_Rabbit 2021-07-08 08:46 UTC

Sounds fantastic!

– Alex 2021-07-08 09:02 UTC

ew0 suggested an interesting article in the Low Tech Magazine, How to Build a Low-tech Internet.

“WiFi-based Long Distance Networks”:

Although the WiFi-standard was developed for short-distance data communication, its reach can be extended to cover distances of more than 100 kilometres. … An example is the Akshaya network in India, which covers the entire Kerala State and is one of the largest wireless networks in the world. … Another example, also in India, are the AirJaldi networks which provide internet access to approximately 20,000 users in six states, all in remote regions and on difficult terrain. … An example is the link between Cabo Pantoja and Iquitos in the Loreto province in Peru, which was established in 2007. The 450 km network consists of 17 towers which are 16 to 50 km apart. The line connects 15 medical outposts in remote villages with the main hospital in Iquitos and is aimed at remote diagnosis of patients.

“WiFi-Based Community Networks in Europe”:

Despite the lack of reliable statistics, community networks seem to be rather succesful, and there are several large ones in Europe, such as Guifi.net (Spain), Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (Greece), FunkFeuer (Austria), and Freifunk (Germany).

“Delay-Tolerant Networks”:

Delay-tolerant networks don’t require an end-to-end path between source and destination. Data is simply transferred from node to node. If the next node is unavailable because of long delays or a power outage, the data is stored on the hard disk until the node becomes available again. While it might take a long time for data to travel from source to destination, a delay-tolerant network ensures that it will eventually arrive. … In such networks, conventional transportation technologies — buses, cars, motorcycles, trains, boats, airplanes — are used to ferry messages from one location to another in a store-and-forward manner. Examples are DakNet and KioskNet, which use buses as data mules.

I do remember the sneakernet – meet up with some friends, hook the disk drives up to laptops, watch some episodes, and then copy what you liked for later viewing. Good times! 😃

– Alex 2021-07-08 13:29 UTC

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