The TKBox is a router running the free operating system OpenWRT. You can connect it behind any Internet access (whatever the operator, whatever the technology : fiber, xDSL, cable, satellite…). The TKBox establishes a connection to the TKNet core via an OpenVPN tunnel. You do not need to have a fixed IP address, and you do not need any special configuration on your Internet box (ie, “port openings”). Connection is fully “Plug and Play”.
Every TKBox uses a dedicated subnet in the TKNet addressing space (10.44.x.y). Every machine connected behind a TKBox can talk with any other machine in any other TKNet location. Thus, two high points connected to TKNet can communicate with each other.
A TKBox can also provide a tiny local WiFi network, with SSID “TKNET”. Any client (PC or smartphone) is automatically connected to the network.
TKNet network uses a “star” or “Hub and Spoke” topology : every TKBox connects to a central gateway located in Ajaccio, and this gateway does the routing job between remote sites. A second gateway is being installed in Bastia, so that the network and routing is fully redundant.
Basically, a TKBox is a low cost commercial router which has been re-flashed with the free open-source operating system OpenWRT. It uses OpenVPN for tunneling to the gateways, and OSPF as a dynamic routing protocol.
Our current model, called TKBox Standard, is based on a TP-Link WR1043ND router. It has 4 LAN Ethernet ports, one WAN port, and external WiFi 2.4 GHz antennas. It’s best suited for a QRA or a high point.
We also use an ultra-compact model, called TKBox Mini .
PS: It’s possible to use any other hardware compatible with OpenWRT. TKNet specifications only involve coordinated IP addressing, special OpenVPN settings for VPN Pass-Through, and OSPF for routing.