Research project for decentralised communication

Irdest is making the tools for the next internet more accessible

Build resilient networks

Centralised communication infrastructure is vulnerable to exploitation or attacks by natural disasters, oppressive governments, or gate-keepers of digital connections (i.e. internet service providers). Irdest side-steps existing infrastructure to allow network participants to take ownership of the infrastructure together. This also makes it much harder to censor or control.

Make use of an extensible architecture

An Irdest network can be composed of both devices and other networks, creating a network of networks; a new internet. With the Irdest client SDK third-party applications can interact with each other on an Irdest network, or on an alternatively managed network bridged via Irdest.

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. This means it is free for anyone to use, study, and adapt, forever.

What is Irdest?

Irdest is a networking research project that explores different technologies and ideas on how to build more sustainable, user-controlled communication networks.

Whether you are connected to the internet via your home ISP (internet service provider) or via a mobile phone network, powerful and complex organisations sit between you and your ability to communicate with other people.

As part of an Irdest network your home computer, laptop, router, phone, etc connect to each other directly, creating a dynamic mesh network. This means that the communication infrastructure that we collectively rely on to organise ourselves needs to in turn become collectively organised and managed. This approach is very different from the “internet service” you usually currently buy from a company.

A lot of decentralised networking technology already exists! A primary motivation for the Irdest project is to take decades of research in this field and make it more accessible to end-users and curious software developers alike.

With the Irdest SDK you can write applications that are native to a decentralised mesh network and don’t require a central server, or access to the internet to operate!

How does Irdest work?

At the heart of an Irdest network sits Ratman, a router application that runs on phones, computers, laptops, and other devices. Different Ratman instances can be connected over a wide range of connection types.

Communicating between Ratman instances works seemlessly, the same way as devices on a WiFi network can, with the added ability to link these networks over long distances or across the entire world.

Connections between Ratman instances can be created via local networks, long-range LoRa modems, peer-to-peer Wireless connections, or over the internet as a VPN-like network.

Applications using an Irdest network can discover and connect with each other by first connecting to a local Ratman instance. The range of possible applications using this technology is limitless.

For a more detailed explanation you should check out the “Concepts & Ideas” section in the user manual.

What next?

Go to the Download section of the website to learn more about available application bundles, packages, and installers.

We also recommend you read the user manual to familiarise yourself with some basic technical concepts currently required to operate an Irdest network!


Check out the Learn page where we collect community resources, manuals, and guides.

Is your use-case not covered by any manual or guide? Check out the Community page to learn how to get in touch with us.

Funding & Partnerships

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