LoRa

LoRa radios are very long-range (multiple miles/km) using small antennas and very low power. In exchange for this, they give up speed; the longest-range LoRa modes operate at only around 300bps.

My lorapipe program aims to provide some nice Unixy interfaces to LoRa.

See also XBee SX; those radios are similar, but offer hardware meshing and some additional nice properties.

I have written quite a bit about LoRa; see my blog series about LoRa.


Meshtastic is a Mesh Network consisting of low-power, long-range (many miles/km), small communicators. These are little battery-powered boxes that can optionally link to a phone with Bluetooth or Wifi. The communicators form an automatic mesh and can share text messages or GPS coordinates. All traffic on meshtastic is end-to-end Encrypted.

XBee SX radios are very long-range (multiple miles/km) using small antennas and low power. They are typically faster than the similar LoRa technology, though sacrificing some distance.

This started out at a post on my blog. This edited version is intended to be kept more up-to-date.

When things are difficult – maybe there’s been a disaster, or an invasion (this page is being written in 2022 just after Russia invaded Ukraine), or maybe you’re just backpacking off the grid – there are tools that can help you keep in touch, or move your data around. This page aims to survey some of them, roughly in order from easiest to more complex.