Just started reading about mesh networks for wireless 802.11b access. This Locustworld stuff is pretty amazing/interesting.
Open source/ free software - linux based <surprised ?>
Load it on most any PC with 64 Meg memory and one of a selected list of wireless 802.11b adapters (only works with those having linux drivers) and you get both a) a wireless access point serving 802.11b clients and b) a mesh network.
The mesh network is a network of these boxes. They dynamically seek other mesh boxes out and connect. Network changes are recognized dynamically. Any client attached to the mesh can get to the internet through any internet connection that is connected to any mesh node. And a mesh node can funnel internet requests to its directly connected internet connection, or pass such requests on to other nodes in the mesh.
Software free. (did I say that already)
Preconfigured boxes about $400 or so.Weatherresistent boxes designed for outdoor use $430 + antenna.
In basic models, one MeshAP can service the mesh and serve as a wireless AP simultaneously on a single 802.11b card. Add a second card or add an ethernet connection to a dedicated AP such as D-link or Linksys, and one radio serves wireless clients while another one serves mesh traffic. Might be useful for a mesh with many clients and few internet access connections.
Monitoring and modification all via the internet
Apparently you can upgrade the software via the internet also.
Look atfor more info. In the tradition of Linux, it is somewhat difficult to find answers to your questions and good synopses. But I can suggest the following: firstname.lastname@example.org/msg01451.html
Main LocustWorld Americas site:
I am now looking at my PCs and those of my family to find out which has a wireless card that is supported. I downloaded the software and it seems to boot just fine (bootable cdrom) but no wi-fi adapter working.
If you are using this I would like to hear from you. If you know of other great sources of info, please post them also.