Telecommunications, computing, and internetworking technologies often have an enormous amount of jargon associated with them. This jargon makes it possible to speak precisely and quickly to others who are in-the-know, but can also drastically increase the learning curve for newcomers. We offer this page as a quick reference guide for common terms, acronyms, and other abbreviations that NYC Mesh technical teams use on a regular basis.


︎︎︎Antenna    Antenna, router and radio are often confused- see our FAQ
︎︎︎AP    a wifi Access Point
︎︎︎ARIN    American Registry for Internet Numbers- where you get your ASN
︎︎︎ASN    Autonomous System Number that identifies your network on BGP for peering. NYC Mesh’s number is AS395853


︎︎︎Backhaul    very high bandwidth connections, usually point to point.
︎︎︎BGP     This is the routing protocol of the Internet. We use it to connect at an IXP
︎︎︎BMX6    An ad-hoc mesh protocol we use. (BatMan eXperimental 6)
︎︎︎BuB    “Bottom up Broadband” The beneficiaries of the networks actively participate in the planning, deployment and maintenance tasks.


︎︎︎Captive portal    a web page that is shown before connecting to the Internet normally
︎︎︎Cjdns    Caleb James DeLisle’s Network Suite. Encrypted IPv6 mesh protocol.
︎︎︎Clearnet    the regular internet as opposed to the hidden web (Tor, I2P, Freenet)
︎︎︎Commons    The commons include public libraries, the Internet, parks and roads and some mesh networks. Guifi has a “Wireless Commons License”.
︎︎︎CPE    Customer premises equipment (e.g. a LiteBeam, NanoStation, home router). ISP jargon


︎︎︎Dark fiber    fiber cable that is not connected.
︎︎︎DHCP    or “Automatic” setting will automatically try to get you an IP address and subnet mask


︎︎︎Ethernet cable    The cable we use that has 8 wires for carrying data and power


︎︎︎FFTF    Fiber From The Farms Broadband Initiative – Guifi term for BuB
︎︎︎FNF    Free Network Foundation


︎︎︎Guifi    The largest community owned network, based in Catalonia, Spain


︎︎︎HNA    Host and Network Association information used by mesh protocols


︎︎︎IPv4    the most common version of the Internet Protocol (IP), An IPv4 address consists of four octets e.g.
︎︎︎IPv6    6th version of Internet Protocol. Designed to replace IPv4. (e.g. 2001:db8:0:1:1:1:1:1)
︎︎︎ISP    Internet Service Provider
︎︎︎IXP    Internet Exchange Point, where internet networks come together to peer or exchange traffic between their networks. (An IXP is a network and not really a “point” or a building)




︎︎︎LIR    local Internet registry, an organization that has been allocated a block of IP addresses by a regional Internet registry (RIR)
︎︎︎LuCI    (pronounced Lucy) Lua Unified Configuration Interface, the web interface in OpenWRT


︎︎︎MANET    Mobile Ad-hoc NETwork


︎︎︎NAT    Network address translation- a method of remapping one IP address space into another
︎︎︎node    WiFi router or other routing devices in a particular location on a network


︎︎︎OLSR    Optimized Link State Routing Protocol (popular mesh protocol)
︎︎︎OpenWRT    Open source Wireless Receiver/Transmitter (WRT) software
︎︎︎OSPF     a popular dynamic routing protocol


︎︎︎Peering     An agreement between two networks to connect and exchange traffic without charge
︎︎︎P2P    Point-to-point connection between two antennas
︎︎︎P2MP    Point-to-multipoint connection (e.g. between one sector antenna and multiple smaller antennas)
︎︎︎POE    Power over ethernet (how Ubiquiti routers get 24 volt power)



︎︎︎Radio    The wireless receiver/transmitter part of a router  ︎︎︎Router    Antenna, router and radio are often confused- see our FAQ
︎︎︎RIR    Regional Internet registry


︎︎︎Sector antenna    a directional antenna designed to connect to many other antennas. Typical “sectors” are 90 degrees or 120 degrees
︎︎︎ SSID    Service set identification- the Wi-Fi access point name
︎︎︎Supernode    This is a large install, typically with a fiber connection and many sector and point-to-point antennas





︎︎︎WAP    Wireless Access Point
︎︎︎WDS    Wireless Distribution System, A mesh protocol we use
︎︎︎WISP    Wireless ISP
︎︎︎WNDW    Wireless Networking in the Developing World – essential book
︎︎︎WRT    Wireless Receiver/Transmitter software (WRT)