Android WiFi mesh

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eyal rashelbach

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Oct 12, 2018, 5:51:49 PM10/12/18
to Serval Project Developers
May I suggest to check WiFi mesh application available on Google play named Anfi.

Utilising Anyfi capabilities to automatically WiFi mesh can enable the phone to phone WiFi without root permissions.
And enable the communication wtitout extenal hotspot

Let me know what you think

Eyal.R

john whelan

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Oct 12, 2018, 6:37:59 PM10/12/18
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There are a number of different solutions depending on the requirements.

First different versions of Android have different WiFi capabilities.

Serval runs on quite early versions of Android.

For large groups in urban areas messaging with Firechat has been used very effectively without an internet connection.

Linphone can call smartphone to smartphone I fairly certain directly if not then with a local router using SIP. Siptosip again uses standard SIP protocols and can message as well again no internet connection is required.

For remote areas or not connected to the Internet Commotion can be used but it does need a couple of UNIX servers as well as a router or two.  Then you can set up an email server such as  Postfix and a telephone pbx such as Asterisk.  The servers can be lap tops or lighter and smaller are the Intel NUCs which have been used by some NGOs.  Configuring this lot is not so simple as it might be.

Commotion has been used in areas that have lost their internet access using a high external aerial to allow smartphones to interconnect and to allow slow internet traffic such as email to be sent over a satilitte connection.

Even adding a router adds a lot of functionality.  You end up with a Wi-Fi LAN so you can use SIP to phone or whatever messaging software you like.

Serval basically runs as a LAN but it's routers are reprogrammed to mesh together.  From a technical network point of view meshes are not the most efficient but they do get the job done.

Serval also can use radio to transmit over longer distances but the radio part means these repeaters can only be used in certain countries.

Often it's more about processes and procedures than the technical side.  What is the lowest version of Android to be supported?

Do I want messaging, email or voice?  The bandwidth requirements are different.  How soon must the message reach the receiptant?

How simple is it to set up and use?

Cheerio John

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Eyal Rashelbach

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Oct 13, 2018, 2:43:26 AM10/13/18
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First I would like to clarify, 
I'm just a simple user not related to any commercial business.

As for for your Q about simplicity, I found Anyfi on the Google Play test it and it's very simple, give it a try...

I wonder what is needed in SERVAL to recognize Anyfi as it's WiFi network in my Android ?

Paul Gardner-Stephen

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Oct 13, 2018, 3:26:21 AM10/13/18
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Hello,

Serval will use any connected wifi. If Anyfi sets your wifi to access point mode, and connect some phones running Serval Mesh to it, they should connect to each other (but not to Anyfi, since it doesn't know Anyfi).

Paul.

John Whelan

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Oct 13, 2018, 3:31:27 PM10/13/18
to ey...@rashelbach.com, Serval Project Developers
Different versions of Android have different capabilities.  The early versions would run Serval Ad Hoc mesh as the carrier.

Later versions would not permit Serval low level access to the wifi.

However Bluetooth is essentially wifi same range etc.  So you can on the connect simply specify bluetooth on devices with the later version of Android and more recent versions of Serval.  I understand it will mesh network using bluetooth.

Additionally you can use conventional wifi so either Portable wifi hot spot or straight wifi.  A device such as a TP-link TL-MR3020 can be used with wifi and it can run from a battery li-ion is fine.  Serval has software that can be installed on early versions of this device so these routers can mesh together.  The later versions have the firmware locked to comply with newer FCC rules.

Serval also has routers with radios so they can communicate over a longer distance all meshed together.

Be aware that running serval, wifi and bluetooth will drain your battery faster than if they aren't running.

Serval has been around a fair time these days and there are alternate methods of doing these things depending exactly what you are trying to do.

Smartphone to smartphone if both are internet connected or both on a LAN ie connected to the same router can use SIP which gives you free phone calls.  To use them over a longer distance router to router for example with commotion then you need something to resolve the ip address.

Cheerio John



Eyal Rashelbach wrote on 2018-10-13 1:28 PM:
In my Samsungs S7 or S9 or S6 the SERVAL ad hoc WiFi MESH is not available.

Hence I wanted to utilize the Anyfi MESH.

How can I use the AD HOC MASH without root ?

On Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 18:35 John Whelan <jwhel...@gmail.com> wrote:
Think about what you are trying to do.

Running Anyfi means effectively you are turning your device into a router thus two other Serval devices can use it to connect to each other. 

Normally you'd use a router to extend the range that can be covered.  Smartphones are not reknown for their high powered  wifi connections.

Other than that you can share an internet connection with it but Serval does not require this.

I'm missing the advantage it has.  Two Serval devices can talk to each other without anything else.  They don't need any other device.

Cheerio John
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