Let’s Talk Basics: The Hypergrid

Over the last few posts, we’ve gone from exploring Regions to seeing how they work together to form Grids.  As we mentioned in the last article, this is all pretty much identical to how Second Life handles things.  Now let’s talk about one of the really cool features that Opensim has: The Hypergrid.

Before the Hypergrid came along, there were a whole bunch of different Opensim Grids, but they each operated apart from each other. If a user on Grid A wanted to go explore Grid B, they’d have to go create a whole new account on Grid B.  Understandable, but not great.  The Hypergrid changed that.

The Hypergrid is an optional feature that was introduced to Opensim after it’s initial creation.  It allows that user from Grid A to travel instantly to Grid B and interact with it just like they were back home on Grid A.  Any Grid that’s willing to connect to the Hypergrid can send and receive users, objects, and communications from other Grids. Suddenly, the Opensim virtual world just got a lot bigger.

Now it’s possible for users to regularly travel between Grids to visit friends, shop (we’ll talk about how money works in Opensim in a later post), or to explore.  User’s aren’t just limited by what their Grid has to offer, but instead have a whole virtual universe to explore.

Some Grids understandably value their privacy over the access that the Hypergrid offers, and have chosen not to be a part of it.  In our article on Grids, we compared Grids to countries.  When it comes to the Hypergrid, Grids that are open to it could be considered to have “open borders”.

We’ve now covered the ways that virtual land exists and is tied together in Opensim.  We’ll be coming back to each one later in more detail, once we’ve covered some more basics.  Up next, we’ll talk about the ways you can get around to all these virtual places, how to find points of interest, and how to get back to them later.