WiPeer enables a Windows XP machine (that has WiFi) to talk to other machines running WiPeer. Why is this good? Well, it makes ad-hoc networks really easy to setup. You can share files and such.
Obviously bugs in WiPeer could make it SUPER easy to get hacked. However, this could change the way that people access the internet in somewhat populated areas.
You should be asking me 2 things. 1. Why will this change the way people access the internet? and 2. Why only in populated areas?
1. WiPeer as it is now probably won’t change too much. With a little tweaking and such you could use this to cast an WiFi net and share a couple internet access points. This could give users who have a cheap laptop, but not enough motivation of money to buy DSL/Cable Modem/Etc…, access to the internet. All that WiPeer would have to do is add a bandwidth monitoring module into it’s code. I would not mind sharing 1/10th of my internet for free to anybody. Also I would not mind a slow connection if I am at my local coffee shop. If I could connect to ten different sources at the same time (obviously a complicated addition to WiPeer) I could have a normal full-speed connection.
2. These Internet-nets would only be readily available in urban settings. If you live in a town with 1 stop-light and a hardware store, this probably won’t mean much to you.
Expect a big name to buy WiPeer: HEY GOOGLE! I’m talking to you! I would not be suprised to see Google add something like this into their Google Toolbar. HELL, if you had an AdSense account, Google could even give you part of the profits from sharing a connection.
Tangent: If you haven’t noticed, Yahoo has been making a huge comeback as of late. They are even succeeding in areas that Google wasn’t able to. (Think Yahoo Answers vs. Google Answers) I would definitely sign up for their silly Yahoo Chat client if I could get a slow connection with it. This makes me think Yahoo might want to swallow them up. If they acted now, they could buy 51% of WiPeer now for a few $100,000. Sounds pretty expensive, but look at what happened to Skype.
Internet in Disasters: 9-11 and DDOS attacks taught us that bad things happen. Having multiple paths and access points means that in a big failure, your network stays alive.