“Free messaging. No Internet Required.”

That may sound too good to be true. But it’s a reality.

If privacy is not a big issue for you, try out the free Firechat app, especially for use without Internet connection or mobile phone coverage. Users can use an alias name while Firechat rooms can host as many as 10,000 users at the same time. This app also features private messaging options.

How does that work? Open Garden’s proprietary mobile app provide public/peer-to-peer communication where users connect to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework. This wireless mesh networking (an for of wireless ad hoc network) include mesh clients (usually cellphones, laptops and various wireless devices), gateways (no Internet connection required) and mesh routers.


This app does not rely on traditional communication networks (i.e. cellular carrier networks and wireless access points) That’s a potentially financially damaging situation for cellular carriers wanting to stay in business by selling data and 4G plans to you.

Firechat is available on  Google Play (2.3 and up) and iTunes (iOS 7.0 or later; for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch).


Firechat first became popular in 2014 in other countries with government restrictions on internet use. This app gained notoriety when used among civil protesters in Iraq and Hong Kong to get around government internet restrictions.

~ Mike Siebenaler