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#216218 - 02/01/11 11:50 PM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: Blast]
Eric Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Your "old" Airport Extreme (at least the one you linked to) can also share data from any USB device connected to it - without needing a computer (well other than for initial setup).

You can set permissions on a USB drive (or thumbdrive) so that everything is read only and then basically share the drive. Pretty easy to do in the Airport Setup utility. You can also create what are essentially write only drop boxes for people to provide info that you can review and make public as you see fit.

Good idea but any wifi based system will be somewhat range limited unless your neighbors decide to extend your network with their wireless routers.

- Eric
_________________________
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton


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#216222 - 02/02/11 12:16 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: Blast]
Frisket Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 640
Im not an expert so yeah grain of salt i guess. The major issue with Wifi networks is range from my experience. Houses visually close have barely showing wifi signal. How many of your neighbors have laptops and ways to run them for more then 2 hours on batt power? Also most people do not plug in laptops or desktops during storms for fear of frying them.

It is a good idea to start with before the hurricane hits but during the storm actually hitting it would become a moot point. Also i would simply suggest setting up a web server using a old computer with a linux distro made for the job and making it open to your neighborhood via a password handed out. I think that would be simpler and more reliable considering the limited and more complicated ways of setting up a network for your entire neighborhood.

Another idea would be getting everyone to purchase a 1 gig or so pen drive and getting it updated at meetings there for no reliance on internet.
_________________________
Nope.......

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#216223 - 02/02/11 12:27 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: Blast]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA


Edited by JohnN (02/02/11 12:29 AM)

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#216227 - 02/02/11 12:35 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: Blast]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1379
Couple of years ago on a tech forum I read of a person who was attempting to setup a neighborhood wi-fi network in his trailer park. Long story short, though the person was well versed in network technologies and had invested in some good equipment, he ran into quite a few issues in terms of range etc. In the end, he ended up creating a couple of centralized wi-fi hotspots under a picnic shelter type of setup and he found that the residents of the park actually enjoyed gathering around and under the shelter (depending on weather) with their laptops and being able to surf the net and at the same time enjoy some company and conversation with each other.

I would think this type of setup is more technically easier to setup in a centralized backyard of someones's home or local community meeting place then setting up a whole neighborhood wi-fi network in an age where most people struggle to find the Start button on their OS desktop. In a post disaster situation, it would also probably promote more of a community togetherness. As with anything, rules and polices would need to be established in terms of allotted connection time, hours of operation etc. To help save on bandwidth, a caching proxy server such as Squid could be easily implemented on an old laptop or pc.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#216233 - 02/02/11 02:10 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: Blast]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
See http://www.iServer.pro for software that let's you make your Mac a bulletin board for all to use.

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#216236 - 02/02/11 02:31 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: MarkO]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: MarkO
Yes if your neighbors have power to their computers and the notion to see what networks are available during an emergency. Not sure what the likelihood of that is.


Don't forget most phones have WIFI capability. Phones would be easy to recharge with a very small solar panel, 12V auto, emergency charger, etc.

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#216244 - 02/02/11 03:46 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: Blast]
MarkO Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 137
Loc: Oregon
I don't think that's true. I don't think there are many phones that can reach out and see local networks.

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#216247 - 02/02/11 04:20 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: philip]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
$999 for a fifty-person license? Ouch. I like my neighbors but not THAT much!

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#216249 - 02/02/11 06:02 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: Blast]
Frisket Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 640
The major issue with trying to set somthing up for that large of a amount of people is making sure everyone has the required tech to access it. You cant simply assume that everyone in the neighborhood has a high end smart phone with wifi abilities nor can you even expect them all to have a computer let alone a laptop a laptop with wifi abilities or a wifi adapter for desktop.
_________________________
Nope.......

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#216250 - 02/02/11 07:33 AM Re: Setting up a neighborhood WiFi network? [Re: MarkO]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: MarkO
I don't think that's true. I don't think there are many phones that can reach out and see local networks.


I know Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid have this abiltiy and I'm pretty sure all current smart phones do as well. But if most people in the area have phones more than a couple of years old that may be a problem.

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