This page is an archive of the original crowdfunding campaign for this project. It may not be up-to-date with the latest updates and product availability. Return to the current project page.
Maxwell is powerful, secure, open-source mesh Wi-Fi made easy! Each node is a serious router with multiple high-gain antennas, up to three simultaneous MIMO Wi-Fi bands, and support for gigabit Ethernet backhaul. We even offer a weatherized node that’s perfect for outdoor use. Maxwell is not just powerful and reliable, though. It’s also perhaps the easiest mesh Wi-Fi system to set up: just place the nodes around your house, plug them in, power them on, and use an Ethernet cable to connect one of them to your broadband modem.
Open-source means you’re in control. You can
ssh into any router node, see
what’s going on with the config files, and run scripts. You can even modify and
build your own firmware. And since it’s based on OpenWRT—the world’s leading
open-source router software—you can take advantage of thousands of additional
packages that let you extend the functionality of your Maxwell nodes. From VPNs
to QoS to parental controls, the OpenWRT community has you covered.
Open-source also means security. With support for WPA3 encryption and the ability to ensure that your system is patched against the latest vulnerabilities, Maxwell helps you stay ahead in the cat-and-mouse game between those who write malware and those who push updates for router firmware. Plus there’s no phone app and no need to hand your mesh keys over to a third-party (we’re looking at you Amazon and Google). When it comes to privacy and security, less is sometimes more.
Maxwell scripts on each node gather information and feed it to a dashboard where you can monitor what’s going on with your mesh—either at a glance, using the super-cool graphical network map, or by digging into the details. What nodes are working? Are they connected to the Internet? What’s connected to what, on which Wi-Fi channels, and how strong is the signal? What’s the bandwidth between all of the nodes? What are the upload and download speeds, to and from the Internet, on each node? What’s the preferred routing path between each pair of nodes?
This ease-of-use extends to configuration as well. At the push of a button, you can easily set new SSIDs, replace your WPA keys, update your firmware, etc. And when you modify settings like this, your changes will propagate to the entire mesh!
|Easy Setup||Yes||Requires app||No|
|Expandable & Hackable||Yes||No||Yes|
|Private & Secure||Yes||Amazon controlled||Yes|
|Outdoor Node Available||Yes||No||No|
|Detailed mesh monitoring||Yes||No||No|
|Bandwidth||50 - 400 Mb/s||50 - 350 Mb/s||50 - 200 Mb/s|
|Coverage for three nodes||3500 - 4500 sq. ft.||3500 sq. ft.||3500 sq. ft.|
|Price for three nodes (Dual-Band)||$149||$249||$169.98|
The Maxwell source code is on GitHub and our documentation is available here. If you have a question, you can reach out to us using the Ask a technical question link on our campaign page. We look forward to hearing your feedback!
For the time being, Maxwell nodes are off-the-shelf commercial routers that I have purchased and onto which I will load our customized Maxwell firmware. This process will cover all initial campaign orders. Moving forward, I’m working on a version of Maxwell that is optimized for two open source router boards: the Banana Pi R64 and the WF-HR1901 IPQ4019-based router board, both of which should provide great tri-band performance at reduced cost and with improved availability.
We will send all crowdfunded Maxwell nodes in one bulk shipment to Mouser Electronics, Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner. They, in turn, will ship each order to its new home. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s shipping process in the Crowd Supply Guide. And remember to keep your shipping address updated in your Crowd Supply account!
The Maxwell mesh system has been tested quite extensively over the past several months—in my home and in the homes of my beta testers. I am therefore confident that the system is stable and that it will work. As with all software and firmware, however, there are bugs. As Maxwell is deployed to hundreds or thousands of locations, we will undoubtedly discover circumstances in which it reacts poorly to some new configuration or use case. Fortunately, both our software and our firmware are easily updated, and I will do my best to roll out fixes as bug reports come in. And of course, the beauty of open source is that you yourself can contribute to the Maxwell community by submitting those bug reports—or even by pushing code that addresses them!