Researchers have worked out a way to boost the throughput of a high-traffic Wi-Fi network by up to 700 percent. Created by a team at NC State University, software called WiFox is able to monitor data traffic and set priority for various users, balancing traffic flow between multiple routers on a network and allowing for a smoother connection for the majority of users.
In a typical high-user wireless network, the number of requests a router receives can potentially build up a backlog of data that it is unable to send out all at once. WiFox then steps in to give channel priority to the router, depending on the amount of data there is in the backlog, but still allows for more data requests to come in. Laboratory testing showed the system improved data throughput performance overall, with a network of 25 wireless users improving 400 percent, while one of 45 users hit the headline 700-percent figure. It is claimed that a Wi-Fi system with WiFox will be able to respond to user requests an average of four times faster than a Wi-Fi network without it.
As the system is entirely software-based, it is suggested by Ph.D. student Arpit Gupta that "WiFox can be incorporated without overhauling a system," by packaging it as a software update for existing network hardware.
A paper based on the research will be presented at the ACM CoNEXT 2012 conference in Nice, France in mid-December.