Sick of government spying, corporate monitoring, and overpriced ISPs? There’s a cure for that.
JOSEPH BONICIOLI mostly uses the same internet you and I do. He pays a service provider a monthly fee to get him online.
But to talk to his friends and neighbors in Athens, Greece, he’s also
got something much weirder and more interesting: a private, parallel
He and his fellow Athenians built it. They did so by linking up a set
of rooftop wifi antennas to create a “mesh,” a sort of bucket brigade
that can pass along data and signals. It’s actually faster than the Net
we pay for: Data travels through the mesh at no less than 14 megabits a
second, and up to 150 Mbs a second, about 30 times faster than the
commercial pipeline I get at home. Bonicioli and the others can send
messages, video chat, and trade huge files without ever appearing on the
regular internet. And it’s a pretty big group of people: Their Athens
Wireless Metropolitan Network has more than 1,000 members, from Athens
proper to nearby islands. Anyone can join for free by installing some
equipment. “It’s like a whole other web,” Bonicioli told me recently.
“It’s our network, but it’s also a playground.”