MESH NETWORK HAMNET

Discussion in 'Echolink/IRLP Tech Board' started by KD4YSH, Nov 22, 2014.

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  1. KD4YSH

    KD4YSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    How many people have a mesh network set up for your communication needs great way to transfer data, voip,and live video feeds, lets get some input on this area its great.
     
  2. KC2UGV

    KC2UGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    We're working on building city-wide mesh network, using 5GHz as our backbones, and 2.4GHz for client access. Not restricted to just amateurs though, so not entirely applicable.
     
  3. KD0WHU

    KD0WHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I never understood the benefit of this. Our club was trying to do that as well. Seems like a big waste of time and effort, mostly because it's usually done wrong. Every time you add a radio to a mesh network you cut your effective bandwidth in half due to polling and talking to other devices. By the time you add 10 nodes, you get a whopping 1Mbit. Why not just stick random access points around town and diversify the connections? Ubiquiti has made the "carrier class" equipment pretty affordable. Noise generator aside. Having all this equipment floating around town does nothing but raise the noise floor for everyone else, causing the other guys to just yell louder. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
     
  4. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    What are the security issues with this type of network ?
     
  5. KD0WHU

    KD0WHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any kid with a netbook / tablet and a little google-fu can break into the system in a matter of seconds. How's that for "security"? Mesh nodes inherently can't have security between them. They also don't allow for outside (read: unauthorized) connections. But spoofing them is pretty trivial. I've done it in about 3 minutes. WEP is broken out of the box, and unless you can run something like WPA2-AES on them (sacrificing bandwidth in the process), they're not secure at all. The whole idea is flawed from the start.
     
  6. KU7PDX

    KU7PDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mesh networking is extremely underrated for temporary applications like Field Day, where you may be running 3 or 4 tents with a centralized logging system. Software like Broadband-Hamnet makes this extremely easy and a perfect example of where mesh networking excels.

    For semi-permanent or long-distance broadband, point-to-point systems make a lot more sense. Also, we have an awesome 3 GHz allocation waiting to be used (and Ubiuqiti with the hardware)!
     
  7. K0RGR

    K0RGR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This looks like a fairly good discussion of the security on Broadband Hamnet mesh networks. http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/hsm...-what-if-anything-keeps-the-bad-guys-out.html We're amateurs so encryption can't be used - that's going to limit us somewhat.
    I doubt that there is any way to keep a really dedicated hacker out of any network that we as amateurs can create under Part 97. A recent effort by FCC to amend our rules to allow this kind of encryption created a firestorm in the ham community, so we are stuck with the results.

    But, I think there are still some factors in our favor. You can't connect to Broadband Hamnet directly from any old WiFi device, as I understand it. You still need a node to act as a gateway. A dedicated hacker could identify the network for what it is, download the code and load it on a supported device. No doubt, many will try, and some will succeed. We are protected from this by the same thing that prevents someone from buying a kilowatt and getting on 20 meters - absolutely nothing whatsoever, beyond the very mild threat of FCC enforcement action. That, and the cost and effort it takes to do it.

    Indeed, lack of encryption encourages people to eavesdrop on us. Don't ever put anything on a mesh network that you wouldn't put on a billboard in the center of town. Use firewalls, and never connect to your home network. Make certain that passwords are never sent in the clear.

    I think if I wanted a more secure network, I'd look at doing it on 902 MHz. Broadband Hamnet now supports this on Ubiquiti hardware. It's still security by obscurity, but it's a lot more obscure. No script kiddy is going to casually observe your network without knowing it's there in the first place.
     
  8. KU7PDX

    KU7PDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just like those that are unlicensed can buy a $30 transceiver from Amazon.com and cause havoc on our repeaters... It isn't any different.
     
  9. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    you cant have a secure network. by design, hamnet is open. and has been pointed out: it just decreases the signal to noise in that spectrum.

    if a group of hams want to create their own net thats cool and interesting. but by law its wide open and can't be used to transfer commercial content (99.9999999% of the internet).

    content distribution over such a network would be under greater legal scrutiny and would be a greater liability to the clearly identifiable network operators.

    create your own content and you're solid gold.
     
  10. KU7PDX

    KU7PDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of the cool things about being a ham though is that we don't have to stick with the channelized frequencies consumer wifi equipment uses! Go grab some Ubiquiti gear and set an agile frequency that isn't one of the channelized ones and you won't have the problem of random non-hams connecting (or at least to the same extent as a traditional voice repeater).
     

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