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Building Wireless Community Networks, Second Edition by Rob Flickenger

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Fun with IP

Once your network project is in place, you may find that it will quickly grow beyond your expectations. What begins as a simple point-to-point link across the street might need to quickly expand to accommodate friends and neighbors, as they find out about “the network.” As the network grows, the complexity of managing it grows as well. But then, this is the fun part. Here are some novel innovations that community groups are using to extend their projects into fun new areas. While they are not directly related to wireless networking, these ideas can enhance your wireless network.

Running Your Own Top-Level Domain in DNS

If you’re using private address space for your wireless network and it grows to a respectable size, you will probably want to start offering local services (such as web servers and music streamers). But simply using IP addresses is no fun. Consider the ease of setting up your own top-level domain (TLD). Normally, zone entries in named.conf look something like this:

zone "oreillynet.com" {
        type master;
        file "data/oreillynet.com";
};

This is an entry appropriate for an authoritative DNS server for the oreillynet.com subdomain. The actual top-level domains (i.e., .com, .net, .org, .int, etc.) in use on the Internet are delegated only to the mysterious 13 known as the root DNS servers. Even though your DNS servers won’t be consulted by the rest of the Internet, it can be handy to set up your very own TLD that works only on your wireless network.

For example, suppose ...

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