Building a Wireless Mesh Network

Software and Hardware Platform

Choice of software

Software-wise, I am amazed by the amount of wireless mesh communities out there, each with their own community specific software. There are also non-community-based software that allows users to freely create their own wireless mesh network. Generally, these software are based on Linux and are meant to run on commercial routers. However, the support for desktop computers or Raspberry Pi is limited.

In the end, I settled for OpenWRT and Debian as my platform. I will be putting together the software and configuration to turn (supported) commercial routers and Raspberry Pi into wireless mesh nodes.


Choice of hardware

After choosing the target platform, the selection of hardware is easier and focused. The routers will need to support OpenWRT and the necessary kernel modules. For the computers, they will need to support Debian and equipped with the necessary wireless adapters.

For a start, I settled for the following hardware:

Model SoC CPU (MHz) Flash (MB) RAM (MB)
TP-Link TL-WR703NAtheros AR9331400432
TP-Link TL-MR3020Atheros AR9331400432
GL.iNet 6416Atheros AR93314001664
Raspberry Pi 2 Model BBCM2836900-1024

With the software platform and hardware decided, it is time to delve slightly deeper into the whole wireless mesh network mojo.