Created by NYU associate professor David Darts, the PirateBox is a DIY system that lets you share files and talk to others in your vicinity by setting up a local wireless network. After starting the project in 2011, Darts and company recently launched version 1.0 of PirateBox and its new official website.
PirateBox has a file-sharing system, a uPnP media server, a chat room and an image and message board. To make a PirateBox, all you need is a wireless router, a storage device that you can connect to the router and the PirateBox installer. You can also add a portable power source to your PirateBox if you wish. After you’ve set it up, join PirateBox’s wireless network as you would any Wi-Fi network, and you’ll be able to share and talk anonymously with anyone else that joins the network. Here’s David’s demo video of a very old version of PirateBox:
Despite its PirateBay-inspired name, the PirateBox isn’t just for people who want to share or acquire sensitive information. As stated in its FAQ, musicians have used it to give away songs at live venues, emergency workers have used it distribute first aid information and teachers have used it to share files with their students. Go to the PirateBox website to find out how you can make a little Internet of your own.