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Open Source Effort Will Deliver Low-Cost Wi-Fi For All

Wi-Fi diagram

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The nonprofit Manna Energy Foundation's Geeks Without Frontiers initiative recently announced the final development of an inexpensive, open source Wi-Fi software solution.

The group says the open80211s (o11s) technology will facilitate the development and deployment of large-scale mesh Wi-Fi networks for about 50% of the cost of a traditional network. Nodes and antennae will collaborate in self-healing mesh networks to extend connectivity and the Internet to a wide area. The software's security elements include Simultaneous Authentication of Equals to insulate against offline dictionary attacks, and Authenticated Mesh Peering Exchange to enable traffic encryption by multiple authenticated nodes.

By coupling open source code and high-level security, new o11s-based networks should be safer yet also substantially less costly to implement. The project's next phase is to finish current open source deployment of the upcoming IEEE mesh standard 802.11s, which is expected to be ratified in the fourth quarter of 2011.

From PC World
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