PirateBox, For All Your Wireless Dead Drop Needs


Here’s an interesting idea: get a router, Android device, or Raspberry Pi, put it on its own wireless network, and allow anyone to upload and download files. That’s a PirateBox, a small node in the web of digital culture and also a really great way to distribute files at a LAN party.

We’ve seen these type of things before, but now, thanks to [David] and [Matthias], and a bunch of other people, there’s now an easy way to turn a Raspi, Android, or anything that runs OpenWrt into a wireless dead drop. Also included in the software is an image board (think chan) a chat room, UPnP media server, and a browser-based file sharing system. Want to share a “linux distro”? Just upload it to the box over WiFi and it’s available to anyone in range.

Installers are available for devices you probably have sitting around in a junk drawer. Great for that Pi you’re trying to find a use for, and figuring out how to run one of these completely off the grid is an interesting challenge, to boot.




  1. JustSearchFirst says:


    Stop recycling old new! This is from January 27, 2011

  2. Whatnot says:

    Nice. But tricky in some regions. (and I’m not talking about the regions where everything is tricky).

    Best to buy the hardware with cash and use gloves to unpack it so you can install it outside somewhere and it’s hard to get linked to it.

  3. vonskippy says:

    I don’t have any “dead drop needs” (wireless or otherwise) – how do I get some?

    • Whatnot says:

      Follow the cops around with a camera.
      Get a job in one of the many so-called homeland security outfits and collect evidence.
      Become an anonymous artist and share your work.
      Write an essay on how you really feel about racism.

  4. healthy says:

    sounds like a great way to get infected/malware/pwnd

    • Whatnot says:

      Yeah better stay safely on the internet…

      Seriously now, we know the risk and we know when to take precautions, you would not say “Oh look an unknown .exe or screensaver, I better get that and run it”

  5. Rob Thomas says:

    why does everything have to have RasPi in it now? It is like the new arduino. Piratebox will run in a $20 router (e.g. WR703N).

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