Posted by Deliverator on May 2nd, 2007
Brainslayer, the one man band behind DD-WRT, an alternative firmware project for wireless router, recently announced some pretty cool news. As of today, he is integrating OLSR into DD-WRT and making it available for all devices capable of running it. OLSR is a mesh routing protocol that allows one to easily deploy large wireless networks with a minimum of fuss. A (greatly) simplified explanation is that you can throw out a bunch of wireless access points and they find each other and figure out how to route traffic on their own so that everyone can talk to each other and the internet, regardless of whether a particular node has its own individual DSL connection. OLSR has been used successfully to build some very large networks, perhaps most notably the Freifunk community wireless network in Leipzig, Germany. This network currently has over 500 nodes connected to the internet and each other using a standardized platform of inexpensive Linksys WiFi routers (available for $50-60) running OLSR using their own custom firmware, based on OpenWRT. The node map for their network is REALLY impressive and I so want to have it as a poster!
I greatly prefer DD-WRT to OpenWRT, so it is nice to see that OLSR is being integrated into DD-WRT as a standard option and made easy to configure with its own configuration page in the web page based admin tool. DD-WRT is available for a wide number of inexpensive and even FREE devices and I can’t help but think that this is going to make it much easier for neighborhood and community wireless network to succeed.