goTenna Mesh community

Any issues taking goTenna Mesh through security checkpoints anywhere?

I am wondering if anyone has had any issues going through any security checkpoints with a mesh device? I am afraid to ty to bring it into a concert with my group as I don’t want them to deny entry because they do not know what the device is. Anyone have any issues where they were questioned or denied access to anywhere because you were carrying a gotenna mesh? I hope not and thank you but i also do not want security to take my devices.

I’ve taken them through countless airport security checkpoints with no trouble whatsoever. The devices have regulatory markings on the back (FCC, CE, etc.) so worst-case you can show it’s passed regulatory muster as needed for any electronic device.

(I’ve even taken goTenna prototypes that frankly look like bombs with no issue whatsoever, ha!)

1 Like

Thank you. I was worried at concerts that they thought it could be used as a live streaming device to record the show. Sometimes those kids in security are on a power trip and if they do not recognize the device I didn’t want them to send me all the way home :grinning:

1 Like

If they pulled that on me, I’d politely remind them that every smartphone they let through can and likely will do exactly that (OK, likely record for later posting/sharing, but still).

Has security gotten that bad at concerts that you couldn’t leave it in your pocket?

1 Like

Unfortunately yes here in Chicago. You have to empty your pockets and anything metal will set off the walk through detectors as well as the handhelds. I will be going to Pearl Jam in Seattle in August and I hope they do not give me a hard time as I will need to put it in the tray. My girlfriend will keep hers in her purse so I guess we will have to see.

Security needs to educate themselves here and venues should help make them aware attendees having goTenna Mesh among them is a net plus for event security overall. I worked a gig at a certain Midwest festival around this time last year - right after a series of attacks on concert venues overseas. There I was, at the front gate. I had my powers of persuasion and observation. Absolutely no briefing from management or anyone else, I just pay attention to the news…

And we all know about Vegas since.

No venue is ever really prepared for that sort of incident. You hope it never happens. But you don’t want to deprive patrons of something that can help control panic, keep groups together, and offers a means for first responders to reach inside an incident at simultaneously at the worst possible moments and when it might do the most good.

Cell networks simply don’t hold up well under such circumstances, except in the very first moments.

The goTenna Mesh is no guarantee of survival. It can’t deflect bullets or staunch a wound. But it can offer vital communication well-suited to concert environments. If you’re allowed a smartphone, there’s no reason not to allow a goTenna – and significant benefits to an audience that has them among those present. And you hope to never need the “fringe” benefits to having them along. But just as many now choose to have some sort of comms with them going into the wilderness, one should be able to choose to use a goTenna where different dangers potentially lurk.

One more thought…The particular festival I recalled here is notable for performers that embrace the ethic of audience sharing. Sure, many also have conventional distribution arrangements for their music, but for many artists it’s a matter of importance that their fans can exchange the essentials that drive these sorts of essential enthusiasm for their art. That’s a very broad generalization and it can be implemented in various ways. Venues differ even more greatly, but one would tend to expect this to never be an issue for many bands (it would not have been at this event) while others can be decidedly more uptight. That may offer a little guidance of what to expect.

1 Like

I don’t think you will have any issues. Just be ready to explain what it is and then try to sell them on the idea of joining the Mesh! Once they realize you want to stand there and talk to them about it they will push you along. LOL You could always take the box cover and let them read it. I did that with airport security and my KX2 manual (ham radio). They are looking for dangerous items so once they realize it not dangerous you should be fine if they even ask.

1 Like

I travel with 2 units everywhere I go, and just got back from a trip to Puerto Rico and USVI with a handful of units and no trouble what-so-ever. I’ve also taken them through concert, MLB and NFL checkpoints with no issues.



Perhaps the good people at GoTenna can come up with a short explanation of what the devices are (in plain simple english) and do this on company letterhead along with contact information in the event a security person has a question. This way, we can print that and show it to whomever needs it for them to get something more official. Thoughts?

I just say it’s a Bluetooth gadget that helps me keep in touch with my friends when there isn’t cellphone service.

I’ve never had a problem.


I’ve been through TSA at least 12 times with my gotenna mesh attached to the outside of my backpack and not once have they asked about it.


Like I said above, a form letter on company letterhead might go a long way to avoid problems with TSA. You never know what you are going to get there. Strict or lax.

1 Like

What difference would a form letter make? Why should the TSA believe some random letter provided by some random passenger? Seriously, I’ve had more issues when I forgot to empty my water bottle (I am more careful now) than the gotenna mesh. And I’ve travelled with my amateur radio gear, extra battery packs and they never even question anything in my carryon.


A quick reference to goTenna’s website should elevate such a discussion. It’s easier to keep readily at hand also, as well as regularly updated, unlike the easily lost, crushed, or wrinkled letterhead.

1 Like

Ok. It was just a thought.

Keep in mind that at summer events, any piece of paper is likely to be all sweaty, just like the crowd. :sweat::sweat:

Since the goTenna Mesh is often in these places because people want to stay in touch even when the cell towers melt down, best to save that explanatory page as a webpage. I’ll suggest this link as instructive, quick, and liable to quickly resolve the pertinent questions:

Then when you get the “shakedown” over your mysterious device, you whip out your cell, try it live on the web and when that fails, pull up the saved file. That should explain things adequately so long as you keep calm and carry on through the process of enlightening the security personnel.


I’ve also brought my goTenna Mesh through security with absolutely no trouble. No one called it out at all. I think TSA is trained to look for a pretty strict list of things. I’m not sure that consumer radios are on the radar. This did lead to a fun review of the TSA site. You can search, by item, for what’s allowed and what isn’t. I had some fun with this. But good news, “radios” are allowed both in carry on bags and in checked bags.


Without derailing the concern here, I really do have to urge everyone to scroll through the TSA site. There’s some really great information here.
I have to wonder, how many people ran into concerns about bringing bread through security that TSA felt it necessary to list, specifically.

Other greatest hits include:


There are a lot of international travelers that bring food into the country. Some items are not allowed.

True, although that tends to be meat, fresh fruit & veggies and such requiring some sort of agricultural inspection. That’s USDA and/or Customs bailiwick, although now that they’ve mushed everything in Dept. of Homeland Security it’s hard to keep track of the players even with a program.

Let’s hope no one commits anything involving a baguette or they breadeaters may have to start slicing it to get aboard. But assuming bread is cool for now, maybe goTenna will need to start offering the “breadstick” version of the Mesh? No need for actual edible contents, just paint it right and it’ll blend right into the rest of the snacks. :smirk: