The People's Open Network is a mesh network. This makes it different from what most people imagine to be "the Internet," though it is compatible with and can perform the same functions as traditional internet.
The mesh is a decentralized network of computers (or nodes). A mesh is useful because there is no single point of failure. If an individual node goes down, the mesh network will still work. Also, because there is no central node that needs to exist for the network to function, the ownership of the network is shared between all the nodes.
In the peoplesopen.net mesh network, nodes are wireless routers (like MyNet N600s). Normally, these routers are configured to connect a LAN (your local network) to the WAN (the internet) using your Internet Service Provider's (ISP) infrastructure.
In a mesh configuration, the routers also talk to each other, creating a third, intermediary network that we call the MAN (mesh area network). This MAN connects nodes that are physically near each other. If you'd like to get a node suitable for the People's Open Network, you can buy a compatible, off-the-shelf router and flash it with the appropriate firmware by following our guide.
Or, if that seems too complicated, come by one of our meetings and we'll help get you setup with a router so you can join the network.