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Wireless Internet Redistribution System (WIRDS)

Instructions for setting up your own wireless mesh with a captive portal are located in the Setup Instructions.

We will be using freifunk firmware and chillispot captive portal on linksys WRT54G routers.

Project Goals:

  • Create a scalable wireless mesh network capable of delivering an internet connection to a large residential, commercial or education building for less than $50 a month and less than $500 in initial costs.
  • Create a method for adding and removing users from the network.
  • Create documentation that would allow the project to be replicated in multiple scenarios.

Project Quick Summary


The Problem

  • Many commercial and education buildings have only one connection to the internet.
  • Many residential buildings have only one broadband internet subscriber.

The Solution

  • Document the configuration process for building a network consisting of 8 inexpensive wireless devices.
  • The documentation will allow the network to be recreated and deployed in many different places where wireless is needed.

Why use linksys WRT54G routers?

  • Very common, easily purchased for $40 to $50 used.
  • 2 large antennas allow these routers to cover a good sized area.
  • Compatible with freifunk firmware to allow customization.

Accomplished Tasks

  • Purchased all 8 routers and domain
  • Built a functioning captive portal system
  • Created a functioning 8 node mesh network and integrated captive portal authentication
  • Instructional website nearly complete
  • Present project at CSUMB capstone festival

Project Planning

For project planning information see

Project Planning Fall 2006

Project Lab Spring 2007

Project Abstract

example of a wireless mesh

The WIRDS.NET project seeks to provide a methodology for distributing a single internet connection across an entire building for less than $500. The project consists of a mesh network (with 8 nodes), a user access control system (captive portal), and a website with information. The project has successfully configured and deployed 8 routers, forming a single wireless network which flooded an entire building with wireless signal. The project utilizes the website at to show how to build a wireless mesh network with custom firmware on WRT54G Linksys routers. The website is a collaborative wiki where users can learn and post their own experiences.