In practice, most Wi-Fi routers offer much less than their advertised speeds. Although I’ve seen some fast throughput in my time, most of the gear we use is rated for much higher than network traffic will allow. Some researchers at NC State University , however, have figured out a way, in software, to improve throughput by 700%.
These claims – often put forth by researchers and rarely implemented in real life – are pretty bold but entirely feasible. The system, called WiFox, works best on congested networks like those found at airports, hotels, and events. When the latency gets too high on the network, WiFox begins by taking control of the channel, sending out backlogged packet, and clearing the main channel. Once things have been sent over, the latency should drop considerably as data begins to flow normally.
Using 45 devices connected at once, the researchers saw a 700% increase in throughput, which is impressive given what happens when a scrum of users tries to access the same access point at public locations.“In effect, the program acts like a traffic cop, keeping the data traffic moving smoothly in both directions,” according to the researchers.
The research team, student Jeongki Min and Professor Injong Rhee, will present their findings at the ACM CoNEXT 2012 in December.