Recent comments in /f/Africa

Erisian wrote

People don't realize how fragile an internet connection is because they're used to never being without it.

Being in an area prone to really bad storms I am well aware of just how fragile everything is -- it's not uncommon to see lots of flooding and power/internet outage for days and weeks at some spots. I wonder what the push-back we would see from the major ISP's if more people started taking these technologies seriously.


ziq wrote

I was really into meshnets when I had to rely on Wardriving (well warwalking) and diy signal boosting antennas to get online. I spent years struggling to find a working connection everyday, climbing to the highest hill and pointing my antenna at the village in the distance hoping I'd hit an open wifi with 1 bar.

People don't realize how fragile an internet connection is because they're used to never being without it. If the infrastructure started to fail as capitalism continues to collapse, meshnets would become big I bet. I'm surprised they're not already big in countries when the state shuts down connectivity whenever there's political strife.


Erisian wrote (edited )

I am too! When I tell people we need to 'decentralize' the internet, they look at me like I'm a fool.

"Uhhh, the internet is already like that, that's why there are multiple companies," while they forget about the fact that pretty much 90% of all internet traffic goes through Google's DNS servers and it's tough to avoid it.

It's probably because the internet is a great tool for ignoring reality, because who needs to worry about the future when we can ironically post memes about it. Though on the other side it's also the best tool we got for seeing reality as it is.


Erisian wrote

Wiki article.

A mesh network (or simply meshnet) is a local network topology in which the infrastructure nodes (i.e. bridges, switches and other infrastructure devices) connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients. This lack of dependency on one node allows for every node to participate in the relay of information. Mesh networks dynamically self-organize and self-configure, which can reduce installation overhead. The ability to self-configure enables dynamic distribution of workloads, particularly in the event that a few nodes should fail. This in turn contributes to fault-tolerance and reduced maintenance costs.

Mesh topology may be contrasted with conventional star/tree local network topologies in which the bridges/switches are directly linked to only a small subset of other bridges/switches, and the links between these infrastructure neighbours are hierarchical. While star-and-tree topologies are very well established, highly standardized and vendor-neutral, vendors of mesh network devices have not yet all agreed on common standards, and interoperability between devices from different vendors is not yet assured.

Essentially, a mesh network is a network that uses individual nodes connected to other nodes in a non-hierarchical fashion. There are meshnets that function over the open internet and then there are meshnets which function through physical routers and switches.

Most networks these days use a "hub and spoke" (also called "star") topology. Basically, every device (the spokes) goes through a central point (the hub) to talk to another device. For example, if you use Skype to talk to another person, the PCs are the spokes and Skype's server is the hub.

With mesh networking, every device is connected to every other device with a direct line - there's nobody in the middle. Some P2P or bittorrent is an example of this because there's no central server involved.

You could start with as little as just a handful of routers connected to each other and all you have to do is add more routers to increase the range and efficiency of the network. The more nodes the network has the less likely it is to be taken down.