How to improve PirateBox ?

PirateBox is an interesting concept, but it had a lot of limitations based on the fact that the distance covered by a wifi connection is really limited. The mobile devices, able to cover a larger distance also have limitation due to the time needed to transfer any content.

In fact, you can’t imagine to grab content from someone you cross on the street because you might be out of signal before finished to transfer your file. More over due to the actual memory size of the portable devices you can’t imagine to share a lot of stuff on it.

So the idea is great, and the future could change all what I just said. But, today, the reality is that this system is not really usable as a real anonymous and unlimited sharing system.

To improve the system, I would imagine a network of PirateBox, this idea requires to have a larger number of devices but it would allow to share a large amount of data even on restricted memory cards. The idea is that each PirateBox would have a second wifi adapter to connect to another PirateBox. To get the list of its files and share it across this point to point connection. As each of the Piratebox is connecting to a second one we could imagine to build, dynamically a large piratebox network.

The file requests and data transfers would goes from a point to another point without keeping trace of these transfer out of the point to point exchange.

I assume there are some interesting research around this idea as the system has to build a dynamic network, avoiding cycles and optimizing the communications to make the network larger as possible, using a non centralized system to manage all of this.

Anyone to start developing a such stuff ?

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One Response to How to improve PirateBox ?

  1. Matthias says:

    Hi!
    Piratebox ist still under development for implementing features. There is a conecpt in discussion like you describes above.
    It is “easy” to implement you imagination- we already discussed this and I played around with software:

    * Configure you wifi card to a “mesh” network. Use the new s-standard or batman-adv ( http://www.open-mesh.org/projects/batman-adv/wiki ) to create a meshed network. Within the Boxes find each other and creating a Network on OSI-Layer2 .
    * IP Adresses wil be IPV6 only with fixed prefix – so no need for much configuration.
    * Use Forban ( http://www.foo.be/forban/ ) It finds other forban clients in the neighborhood and shares it files automaticly

    It may be the first possibility to achieve our imagination 🙂

    There are two flaws:
    * A bit complicated configuration for setting up foran, because you have to use tricks to install python and the “big” forban package (I’ll reUse mkPirateBox scripts)
    * Most cards can only hold up 1 Mesh or up to three AP — so you can’t access this Network via an WLAN device.. or you have to provide it using severall Boxes, extra WLAN Cards.

    Interested ? Don’t be shy and contact me 🙂

    Matthias

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