How would you communicate if you lost contact with the internet and phone networks but still had working smartphones? There are ways. Or apps.
Smartphones are equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Apps like FireChat and Bridgefy use these technologies to relay messages between users without the need of internet connections. Messages are routed from one user to the next, until it reaches its intended recipient. It may take time for a message to reach its target, and it may never happen, but it may also be your best hope in an emergency, unless you want to use human messengers.
An obvious drawback with apps like these is that when you most need them, you might not be able to download them. You have to prepare. You also should prepare your friends and family. Otherwise, you will be a communication island if disaster strikes.
Rescue workers, emergency personnel, and people working in remote areas can use these peer-to-peer mesh networking apps as a backup solution in their contingency planning.
Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters use these apps to communicate in ways that the government can’t as easily control:
”With the government keeping a close eye on social networks — homegrown and elsewhere — in an attempt to stifle dissent, these off-the-grid messaging apps have proven to be a blessing in disguise.”
(Photo by Markus Spiske at Unsplash)