Never heard of it? It’s all around.
Multi-hop Mesh Networking, v;
Using connected devices within range of each other to create a network of connections to the Internet. A mesh network is a web of linked devices working together to provide the least expensive and strongest connection to the Internet. Basically, it is made up of nodes (like your smartphones, tablets and computers) that distribute data to and through one another to get to the Internet via the most stable route possible.
Recently, the app Open Garden — which has previously been able to achieve linking your various devices to a small, personal network — has expanded to the “multi-hop” part of the mesh networking world; this means linking your smartphone to your neighbors tablet and his or her neighbors smartphone to get the best possible connection to the Web. By using mesh networking and sharing data, users of the app create a crowdsourced network that can support connections at gatherings. If it becomes a popular enough practice, it could be used at conferences, farmers’ markets, festivals, and plenty more events to offer an inexpensive solution to wireless connectivity.
Right now, apps like Open Garden aren’t used en masse, which makes the network weaker. Once it (and possibly other apps that catch on) further penetrate the connected market, it’s possible that data and connection sharing will be become a more widespread way to access wireless Internet.