Reticulum is the cryptography-based networking stack for wide-area networks built on readily available hardware. It can operate well both on fast links, and on links with very high latency and extremely low bandwidth. With Reticulum you can build wide-area networks with off-the-shelf tools. It offers end-to-end encryption, initiator anonymity, autoconfiguring cryptographically backed multi-hop transport, efficient addressing, unforgeable packet acknowledgements and much more.
No kernel modules or drivers are required. Reticulum runs completely in userland, and can run on any system that runs Python 3.
Reticulum is very well suited to built secure, versatile and advanced networked applications that can run even in extremely resource-limited situations. This includes hardware such as 1200-baud packet modems (OpenModem, for example), data radios, LoRa-based radios (RNode, for example), or even ad-hoc WiFi or ethernet networks.
Reticulum is a complete networking stack, and does not use IP or higher layers, although it is easy to utilise IP (with TCP or UDP) as the underlying carrier for Reticulum. It is therefore trivial to tunnel Reticulum over the Internet or private IP networks. Reticulum is built directly on cryptographic principles, allowing resilience and stable functionality in open and trustless networks.
Networks For The People
The primary motivation for designing and implementing Reticulum has been the current lack of reliable, functional and secure minimal-infrastructure modes of digital communication. It is my belief that it is highly desirable to create a cheap and reliable way to set up a wide-range digital communication network that can securely allow exchange of information between people and machines, with no central point of authority, control, censorship or barrier to entry.
Almost all of the various networking systems in use today share a common limitation, namely that they require large amounts of coordination and trust to work, and to join the networks you need approval of gatekeepers in control. This need for coordination and trust inevitably leads to an environment of central control, where it’s very easy for infrastructure operators or governments to control or alter traffic, and censor or persecute unwanted actors.
Reticulum aims to require as little coordination and trust as possible. In fact, the only “coordination” required is to know the characteristics of physical medium carrying Reticulum traffic.
Since Reticulum is completely medium agnostic, this could be whatever is best suited to the situation. In some cases, this might be 1200 baud packet radio links over VHF frequencies, in other cases it might be a microwave network using off-the-shelf radios.
For much more information, please have a look at the Reticulum Manual.