These apps are known as ‘Off-the-grid’ chat messenger app that works even without internet connection or 2G, 3G, or 4G network coverage, somewhat like the Walkie-Talkie app for iOS and Android. These app allows you to communicate with each other within a range of up to 100 – 200 meters, it works by broadcasting your encrypted data via the WiFi or bluetooth. If there is no direct connection between A and C, the app will bounce the message from A to B to C. In short, it is a P2P (peer to peer) software without a central server like WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and Facebook Message. Three good reasons for using ‘Off the grid’ aka Mesh Network chat. These chat apps can also be used as a walkie talkie.
Note: Mesh Network works when 2 or more smartphones are within range of each other. The distance or coverage depends on the smartphone’s signal strength, it varies from one model to another. Approximate distance is 100 feet between 2 smartphones.
Ideal Situation For Mesh Network Chat App
- Group camping or jungle tracking in a remote area where there is no reception.
- During a disaster, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake and etc.
- Mass protest where there is a possibility the government will cut off the internet.
- When your monthly mobile data plan expired.
- During a natural disaster such as earthquake, flood, thunderstorm and etc when all networks and electricity are down.
- In an airplane when you and your friend are not seated together.
- End of the world, during a Zombie apocalypse or in a war zone.
↓ 01 – FireChat | Google Android & Apple iOS
FireChat introduces a new way to chat: “off-the-grid”. Now you can chat with people around you – even if there is no Internet connection or mobile phone coverage. Whether you’re on the beach or in the subway, at a big game or a trade show, camping in the wild or at a concert, or even travelling abroad, simply fire up the app with a friend or two and find out who else is there.
FireChat enables a new type of communication: “firechats”. These live and anonymous discussion groups can gather as many as 10,000 people simultaneously. You can create your own firechats about anything that interests you – whether it’s the NY Yankees, Game of Thrones, League of Legends or Italian food. Get FireChat and start bringing people together.
- Instantly chat with anyone around you,
- Works even without any Internet connection or mobile phone coverage,
- Use the “Nearby” mode for off-the-grid communications, up to 200 feet of your location,
- Multihop capabilities extend the range of peer-to-peer communications,
- See what people are talking about all over the country in the “Everyone” mode,
- Create your own ‘firechats’ for live discussions with up to tens of thousands of simultaneous users
- Choose your own unique username and avatar
- No significant impact on battery consumption.
↓ 02 – The Serval Mesh | Google Android
This software allows you to easily make private phone calls, send secure text messages and share files in caves, in subways, in the Outback, in Australia or Africa, in Europe or the United States — even when cellular networks fail or are unavailable. You can also keep using your existing phone number on the mesh, which is really important in a disaster when people are trying to get back in contact with each other.
↓ 03 – ZombieChat | Apple iOS
ZombieChat is a peer to peer post-apocalyptic communication tool for when the zombies take over the planet. When the world goes dark and the cell towers stop working, ZombieChat carries on. Send and receive text and picture messages to people nearby on your iPhone and iPod Touch. Survivor Beacons notify you when there are other ZombieChat survivors near you. How does it work? It creates a peer to peer network with nearby devices using Bluetooth, peer to peer WiFi and infrastructure WiFi. No sign up required!
↓ 04 – Signal Offline Messenger | Google Android
Signal is a Wifi Direct based offline messaging app. Signal allows you to communicate without internet or local network in range of upto 100 meters. Messaging could be one-on-one or in a group. Messages sent via signal app are delivered in secure way. In short signal allows you to send audio,text,photo and video messages to users around you over wifi direct.
Chat with your friends and colleagues without wasting your data plan. One can use signal messenger in any instance where internet is not accessible, such as Cruise ship, wild life safari, foreign trip with family or when you run out of your data pack.
- Instantly send messages, audio and photos to anyone around you over wifi direct
- Send messages one-on-one or to entire group.
- Works without any form of internet or local network all it needs is another signal.
- Share files such as images & video as is. [As taken by camera and no re sizing or re scaling is applied]
- Old chats are stored in database and are accessible anytime.
- Full material design support. Signal comes in different colors.
- Signal is walkie talkie that works without internet.
- Communication via signal is secure.
↓ 05 – Vojer | Apple iOS
Vojer keeps you connected to your mates nearby without 3G/4G or Wi-Fi coverage. Vojer delivers messages from your phone directly to other person’s phone. No intermediate servers, websites or bottlenecks en route. Vojer doesn’t access your address book or request extra permissions except those required to operate – WiFi, Bluetooth, Microphone and Photos (if you choose to share photos).
- Share Photos and Text
- Send and Receive High Quality Voice
- All Vojer messages sent and received are encrypted.
↓ [ Coming Soon ] – Briar | Google Android
Briar is a messaging app designed for activists, journalists, and anyone else who needs a safe, easy and robust way to communicate. Unlike traditional messaging tools such as email, Twitter or Telegram, Briar doesn’t rely on a central server – messages are synchronized directly between the users’ devices. If the Internet’s down, Briar can sync via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, keeping the information flowing in a crisis. If the Internet’s up, Briar can sync via the Tor network, protecting users and their relationships from surveillance. Secure messaging, anywhere
- Peer-to-peer encrypted messaging and forums
- Messages are stored securely on your device, not in the cloud
- Connect directly with nearby contacts – no Internet access required
- Free and open source software