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NCSU researchers create WiFox that boosts Wi-Fi by 700 percent

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Few things can be as frustrating as a Wi-Fi traffic jam when you need to get connected. When you take a look at nearly any given Internet hotspot, it is often crowded with bandwidth leeches streaming music, video, and other connection choking activities.

Researchers at N.C. State University have developed software that boosts data traffic performance in crowded Wi-Fi environments by as much as 700 percent according to the N.C. State press release.

The technology, called WiFox, can be incorporated into existing Wi-Fi networks. "One of the nice things about this mechanism is that it can be packaged as a software update that can be incorporated into existing WiFi networks," says Arpit Gupta, a Ph.D. student in computer science at NCSU and lead author of a paper on the research. "WiFox can be incorporated without overhauling a system."

I personally make an effort not to hog the Wi-Fi at my favorite hangouts, but I seem to be in the  minority. Hopefully we'll see WiFox in the wild sooner than later.


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WiFox seems to me a

WiFox seems to me a fantastic software developed by N.C. State University researchers. I often find Wi-Fi jam while browsing for data collection. I think this is terrible, but if WiFox provides real speedy performance I'm sure lot of users will use it's function. Thanks.

Unless it's compression...

If this software is providing some form of compression then it will actually help overcome saturation of the broadband connection, not just the connection to the wireless router.  From the limited description I'd guess that's what WiFox is, a new encapsulation protocol for compression.

Faster wifi won't resolve

Faster wifi won't resolve the problem you probably encounter.  The problem usually is that the uplink from the WiFi to the Internet (aka "DSL") is saturated.  This invention will simply get you into the line, waiting for up/down traffic, a lot faster. 

I regularly do work in media centers where the WiFi system crashes during deadline periods.  The usual problems there start with a saturated uplink (danged photographers!).  Soon everyone whips out their mobile hotspot, saturating the WiFi frequencies and overloading the local 4G network - you put 200,000 people into a space that is normally empty, and the phone systems don't know what hit it!. 

However, yeah, faster is always better.  Kudos! 

Another bottleneck

Oh, and chances are good that your computer can't transmit more than 45 Mbps, and more likely is slower than that, depending on your hard drive.  So the current N standard (150/300 Mbps) is already overkill. 

Again, your bottlneck at the coffee house is probably the uplink.

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About the blogger

matthewmugMatthew Fortner has been at The News & Observer since 2002. He has a passion for gadgets, cutting-edge technology and all things geek.