Decentralised ad-hoc wireless mesh communication

Irdest is building tools for the next internet

Build resilient networks

Whether against an oppressive government or a natural disaster, centralised infrastructure is vulnerable to censorship and direct attacks. irdest makes it much harder to shut down a network because all participants in it become part of the way data is routed

An extensible architecture

Each network is a collection of many devices, communicating via many different technologies and applications. Third party applications can interact with a irdest network without having to solve a lot of hard problems around mesh communication

Free and open-source software

irdest is not owned by a single company or legal entity. All code is licensed under a free software license, meaning it will remain open and free to use, study, and adapt for anyone, forever

What is irdest?

Irdest is a research project that aims to create tools for the next internet. These tools allow devices like laptops and smartphones to create dynamic mesh networks over Bluetooth and direct WiFi connections, rather than relying on internet access via a mobile network. This decentralised and open network extends across any irdest-enabled device, so that if two people aren’t close enough to each other for their devices to connect directly, data can be sent via other devices in the middle, without those devices being able to read or change the messages passing through it.

The main component of Irdest is Ratman, a decentralised and peer-to-peer packet router. Ratman provides applications with a simple API to interact with a mesh network, without having to solve a lot of complicated routing problems, or configuring large amount of software. In the backend Ratman connects to other Ratman instances via network channel specific drivers, which allows the network to grow easily across network boundaries.

What is a mesh network?

In traditional network infrastructure there is a centralised point between you and the Internet: your Internet service provider (ISP). Whether you’re using a mobile network tower or a broadband connection, your access to the Internet is controlled by a central authority. This means that a entity can monitor or censor your internet traffic.

In a mesh network there is no network owner. Instead, every user’s devices link together directly to create a new network where data can flow without regulation or control.

To create these connections, devices can use a variety of methods, such as WiFi and Bluetooth, or plain network cables to create links with other irdest users around them.

The network that is created by irdest can serve two purposes: to connect you with people around you to run applications specifically made for irdest, or to act as a tunnel to the traditional Internet.

Want to learn more?

Check out the downloads section of the website to see how to setup and use Irdest software.

Do you have questions about the project or want to talk to us about irdest? Check out the Community page to learn how.

If you have trouble setting up the Ratman server, check out the Learn page to find user manuals, and documentation on both code-internals, and irdest protocol descriptions.

Funding & Partnerships

The Irdest project does not work alone, and we are always looking for collaboration opportunities. Please don’t hesitante to contact us!