Mesh Networks 101

References

If you're interested in contributing to Project Phoenix, or starting your own community mesh network, this post should help get you on your way. These links were compiled from the personal research on the topic of our Director of Technology.

Getting Started

If you're not aware of what a mesh network is, take a look at these links to gain a basic understanding of the typology.


Mesh Networking Protocols

These are fundamental protocols that should be reviewed before moving forward. We would recommend checking out B.A.T.M.A.N-ADV which is a fantastic example of what's currently possible.

Advanced Resources


Hardware

We have only noted hardware we’ve used while involved with Project Phoenix. As we continue to evaluate options, we will update accordingly.

Linux compatibility

Resources to help with determining specific hardware and driver support in the Linux kernel. Rule of thumb, if you have a semi-modern system with 802.11b,g,n,ac,ax support you will be able to configure a node. We've done so with Raspberry Pi Single Board computers.

Ubiquiti Airmax

This equipment is projected to be used for P2P links between Level 2 (Carriers) and Level 1 (Supernodes) nodes.

NOTE: Unfortunately, Ubiquiti has locked down the ability to upload custom firmwares to their Nanostation devices. We've spent some time attempting to bypass the firmware signature check with no luck. Feel free to reach out if you know a workaround.

MikroTik

Firmware

The majority of firmwares that are in use are cross-platform (ARM, MIPS, x86, x86_64, Etc.)



Other projects

To avoid re-inventing the wheel, these projects provide fantastic documentation that has come in handy when designing the network.