In the end, their 55-mile amplified connection exceeded last year’s winner by 20 miles. Then they turned off their amplifiers and broke the record for an unamplified connection at the same distance.
While not yet confirmed, the connection appears to be a world record for a ground connection. The Guinness record for Wi-Fi connection is about 192 miles, achieved in 2002 by Swedish Wi-Fi equipment maker Alvarion and the Swedish Space. But that record was achieved using a Swedish weather balloon, which some experts say isn’t comparable to a ground measurement because there are fewer obstacles to block a signal.
The Swedish team also used amplification in setting the mark, while the DefCon team maintained its connection even after turning off the amplification.