Mesh networking technology allows people in remote areas to access the internet in an affordable fashion. While the technology has yet to reach its full potential, it essentially creates peer-to-peer networks using mobile phones, so that people don’t have to pay costly ISPs or worry about connectivity issues even when internet lines are down.
Additionally, since mesh networking relies on decentralized nodes in a network, there’s no single point of failure and no centralized authority that can shut it down.
Let’s take a look at the top three mesh networking companies right now and what they’re working on:
3. Rightmesh (RMESH)
Rightmesh is a using mobile apps to build new P2P mesh applications. They claim to be devising a “reliable software solution” that will be easily integrated with existing hardware (mobile phones). This will allow them to bring “last mile” connectivity using the WIFI and Bluetooth functions currently found on most mobile phones today.
RightMesh is building on the Ethereum blockchain to assign an identity to each node and will incentivize users to take part in the network (sharing their internet with others) through the RMESH token. Rightmesh hopes to provide a solution to net neutrality, censorship, and the billions of people around the world that are still unconnected.
2. SmartMesh (SMT)
SmartMesh is a company with a lofty goal: to use their blockchain-based technology to enable and secure the Internet of Things (IoT).
With built-in blockchain light nodes, SmartMesh extends to both the Raiden and Lightning Network protocols. This allows the company to enable digital payments and transactions without relying on the internet.
SmartMesh will incentivize users with the SMT token to create and take part in decentralized mesh networks that can self-configure and repair. This will mean faster and more secure connections that are uncensorable and unstoppable. The connection is constant even when there is high traffic or an emergency situation and all types of smart devices can connect without using the internet.
SmartMesh claims to be able to use “blockchain to break through the Internet boundary into the IoT (Internet of things) and IoE (Internet of Everything) era.” Although, as we’ve seen with IOTA and other projects so far, this is not an easy feat.
1. Open Garden (OG–coming soon)
Open Garden’s focus seems to be more local. Rather than concentrating on fixing problems in the third world or enabling the Internet of Things, Open Garden is about “the internet of us” — allowing neighbors and friends to hop on each others’ internet and stay connected.
The team at Open Garden believes that the internet belongs to everyone, which is why they want to decentralize it through mesh networking. Their FireChat application won the SXSW Innovation award in 2015, as a messaging device that uses peer-to-peer mesh networking to connect people and mobile devices without using an internet connection.
We’ve seen so much potential for blockchain technology already and some pretty incredible use cases. But it seems that when combined with other existing technologies, the results can be truly life-changing.