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NYC Mesh Overview

What is NYC Mesh?

NYC Mesh is a community network offering fast, affordable, and fair access to the Internet for all New Yorkers.

By joining NYC Mesh, members can connect to the Internet while simultaneously helping to create better internet access for their communities. NYC Mesh works to promote digital equity in undeserved communities, working to ensure low-income families, recent immigrants, minority communities and people with disabilities have access to affordable, reliable and fair internet access.

As a community network, members take it upon themselves to maintain and grow the network. NYC Mesh's maintenance and expansion is primarily supported by a dedicated team of volunteers which anyone is welcome to join. This means that in addition to accessing the Internet, you can also make friends, meet neighbors, and learn valuable technical and computer skills by participating in our active community, either in-person or online. We regularly host face-to-face meetups, and you can join our Slack chat. Both are great places to ask questions and otherwise connect with our active community.

About this Wiki

The NYC Mesh Wiki is a central source for technical, instructional and organizational information. Here, we explain recommended hardware we use, document installation procedures, list our hosted services and collect organizational practices and knowledge. This website is not a networking tutorial, so readers are expected to have some basic familiarity with computer internet working concepts to take full advantage of the material we present here, but we do strive to provide links to good educational resources for newcomers where it makes sense to do so.

There are a couple of different ways that you can make use of this website.

  • Like a book: You can read the entire website "front to back." Use the navigation menu to proceed from one section to the next, in order. This will give you a good idea of how our network works and how you can help us improve and maintain it.
  • Like a reference: You can skip directly to a section that interests you, or use this website to look up answers to specific questions that you have. This comes in particularly handy during an install or when troubleshooting issues.
    You can use the search bar at the top of the page to jump to a specific topic.

Moreover, this website itself is part of the community network and is maintained by volunteers. That means you can help us improve it by adding missing information, clarifying confusing points, or even just fixing typos you notice while you're reading. To edit the wiki, please follow the guide <here>.

Who should read this wiki

This wiki contains information about the technical implementation of the NYC Mesh network itself, along with ancillary information about the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of various NYC Mesh volunteer teams. Before reading this website, please read our FAQ page. Many common questions are answered there, and this documentation is mostly written with the assumption that readers are already familiar with the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Once you have already read our FAQ, then you should consider reading or referring to this website if:

  • you want to help expand the network by physically installing new nodes,
  • you have computer networking experience and want to help improve the network's performance or security,
  • you plan to volunteer to monitor or otherwise maintain the network and have questions regarding the configuration of various hardware and software components, or
  • you are interested in knowing details about how NYC Mesh functions that are not already covered by the FAQ.

You should not read this wiki if:

  • you want us to connect your apartment, house, or building to the mesh. Instead, please go to our Get Connected (join request) form where you will be put in contact with one of our install teams.
  • there is a problem with your connection and you need assistance from an NYC Mesh volunteer technician. Please use our Request Support form to open a trouble ticket to get help with problems you cannot fix on your own.
  • you are a member of the press seeking the latest news about NYC Mesh. We publish press releases specifically for journalists on our main website's Press page.
  • you are a member of the general public and are simply curious about our work. We would recommend visiting our main website or reading our our FAQ page, returning here if you would like more detail about a certain topic.

We are always excited to welcome new volunteers who want to help us continue providing affordable, fair, and fast Internet connectivity to our fair city and so we hope you find this guidebook useful.