Mesh Network

A network in which the nodes typically discover each other and the routes between each other automatically.

Examples of mesh networks include Yggdrasil, Meshtastic, and Syncthing.

A basic description of mesh networking is at

Some of my articles about mesh networking include:

Probably everyone is familiar with a regular VPN. The traditional use case is to connect to a corporate or home network from a remote location, and access services as if you were there.

Most of us carry cell phones with us almost everywhere we go. So much so that we often forget not just the usefulness, but even the joy, of having our own radios. For instance:

I sometimes see people read about NNCP and wonder “This sounds great! But… what can I do with it?” This page aims to answer those questions.

This page describes some basic concepts of NNCP.

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.

The most widely-used form of Packet Radio, APRS lets stations transmit periodic position beacons, send messages, and other information and forms a self-organizing Mesh Network with the possibility of propagation by both radios and, less frequently, Internet.

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

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.

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.

Yggdrasil is a Mesh Network that is fully Encrypted and provides an IPv6 IP on the network to anyone.

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.

Syncthing is a serverless, peer-to-peer file synchronization tool. It is often compared to Dropbox. However, unlike Dropbox, there is no central server with Syncthing; your devices talk directly to each other to sync data. Syncthing has various effective methods for firewall traversal, including public relays for the worst case. All Syncthing traffic is fully encrypted and authenticated.

This page gives you references to software by John Goerzen.