802.11b networks (28 Aug 2002)

Assorted (but unsorted) links:

Coderman is talking (a little) about P2P radio networks:

Wide spread internetworked wifi hot spots + decentralized peer networks + strong crypto == sweet ass high speed unrestricted digital networks. The possible applications of such networks are extremely exciting (IMHO).

The Freenet team were discussing this idea last year, not really anything to do with Freenet, but as a general point. I don't think this idea is really going to take off until there is a certain density of clueful people with 802.11b in a given area. However, this may already have happened in several places.

Personally, I have far too little experience with 802.11b. The only time I've ever found an AP was in a hotel in Guildford and even then the AP was configured not to do anything. So I could pretty much SNMP walk it, ping it and little else .

However, I agree totally with Coderman that it could be insanely cool.

Much of the work on P2P wireless routing has dealt with getting packets to gateways over a number of hops. Basically a 2 tier network where packets are always going to, or coming from, a gateway. This is a much simpler problem than P2P routing over a network where the nodes will be moving.

Now, one of the cool things that wireless networks do well is broadcast. I mean - it really is a broadcast and the bandwidth needed is independent of the number of nodes that are reached. Most routing protocols are designed for a wired world where broadcasting to n nodes requires n packets. I'm sure there are some cool routing protocols for this which don't require nodes to know their GPS position, thou I'll have to think some more about it.

(and, of course, true broadcast makes DC rings worth considering for some problems)