The Internet and community networks are inherently incompatible. On the one hand, community networks are free and open. They are operated by community members that have technical backgrounds. Peering is short distance, cheap/free and local. On the other hand, the Internet is a global network with expensive intercontinental links, complex peering agreements and run by telecommunication companies.
In order for community networks to be usable, network operators usually provide users with Internet access. However, because of the free nature of community networks, there is no subscription fee that can cover ISP costs. Usually, the costs are covered by donations of one form or another. In other cases, users simply lack Internet connectivity when on the network. This problem can be overcome by having users connect to Internet gateways available on the network via a VPN or something similar. However, configuring VPN access is technically challenging for both, subscribers and gateway operators.
Transit Daemon is a solution to the problem of providing Internet access on community networks. The idea behind transitd is to allow users to exchange Internet access on their local community networks. The package makes it very simple to publish Internet gateways, find them and connect to them. It is designed to be installed on routers. It configures the system’s default route according to user’s instructions. When in gateway mode, it configures tunneling of subscribers traffic through the system. Each node on the network has their own instance of transitd installed. Users are sent to transitd web interface running on their router when their Internet access goes down and are able to switch to another gateway. Configuration may allow automatic switching and payment. Users may also share or sell their existing Internet access.