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.
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.
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.