META MESH is building a wireless mesh network in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What is a mesh network? Most of us have a home Internet connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Verizon or Comcast. To communicate with each other, all our network traffic must go through these ISPs — even if the person to whom we are sending an e-mail lives across the street. This centralized way of networking presents many security and privacy problems.

A mesh network cuts out that centralized middleman. Instead of traffic having to go to a big server hundreds of miles away, a mesh network’s traffic is routed by the shortest and fastest possible path.

META MESH is building a network of wireless routers to make this model of networking a reality in the Pittsburgh area. That network is aptly named PittMesh. We don’t use expensive equipment to make this happen- in fact we’ve designed our network so that anyone can join it with consumer-grade, off-the-shelf Wi-Fi hardware available at any electronics store. When you join the PittMesh Nework, you not only gain access to all the resources and anonymity that an “off-the-grid” network affords, but you expand the network, allowing others to connect and expand the network even further.