WiFi router networking?

The Doctor drwho at virtadpt.net
Fri Sep 18 10:17:33 PDT 2015

On Wed, 16 Sep 2015 10:46:17 -0700
Nymble <nymble at gmail.com> wrote:

> > Has anyone heard of an idea to use individual WiFi routers to communicate in a mesh net?  
> Yes .. but usually using proprietary routing or 802.11s.

Most of the projects out there are using OLSR (http://www.olsr.org/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page).  A few are using the Babel protocol (https://github.com/jech/babeld).

n.b., there is a difference between using a mesh networking protocol to distribute routes, and using IP forwarding to actually push the packets around.  The two together are required.

> > (Or, at least differently than it may have been done before.)   If you look at a map of WiFi routers (www.wigle.net) in any given area, you will see that the vast majority of routers are physically close to many other routers, certainly close enough to communicate with each other, and ultimately over a long distance.  A crowd-sourced communication system, one that

Most wireless mapping software out these doesn't see interfaces in ad-hoc mode, only infrastructure mode.  Thus, Wigle may not be the best way of mapping mesh networks in the greater context of wireless access points.

> wouldn't necessarily go through the Internet backbone.  Conceptually related to the Bittorrent system.    I just  found this:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Direct <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Direct>

Wi-Fi direct is useful for short range comms.  We've had a lot of trouble making it work over longer ranges.  Wireless radios designed for use in infrastructure mode (including emitted power and duty cycle) are more reliable in the field.

> A better Wi-Fi P2P solution is: http://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-aware <http://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-aware> 

Another standard.  Yay.  Time to find the docs and start reading...

> It’s new, but hopefully we’ll be seeing rapid incorporation into products.  For a change, the specifications are free and worth a browse.  The P2P discovery model is intentionally blinded to a degree by the use of truncated hashes of the ‘service names’ (6 octets).  P2P data exchanges are possible pre-association (no connection overhead).  

There are other discovery models in use.  It'll be interesting to see how they compare.

The Doctor [412/724/301/703/415] [ZS]

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