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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. Our 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)