Connectify, a company known for software that can turn your computer into a wireless hotspot, is at work on a new project called Dispatch that will turn all internet connections available to your device into one glorious (and hopefully faster and more stable) stream of high-speed bandwidth.
The project appears to take some of its cues from live video broadcasting companies like LiveU, which sells custom made backpacks wired up with 3G/4G and Wi-Fi transceivers. These backpacks then spread the traffic load over whatever available networks it can connect to in order to maximize bandwidth, which is obviously a major plus if you're streaming live video.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Dispatch, however, is planned as a software-only solution for the masses – no special backpack required. It will dynamically manage the traffic based on which networks provide the greatest bandwidth and have the clearest signal, which also means that even if one of the networks drops out entirely, you'll still have internet access on another network.
The number of simultaneous connections will depend entirely on what hardware you have on your system, but a user that has, say, a netbook with inbuilt Wi-Fi, tethered smartphone, Ethernet and an extra Wi-Fi or mobile data card for good measure (a reasonably common setup for many) will be able to have four connections going at once.
The plan to launch an API for Dispatch also sounds like a good move, allowing programmers to integrate the tech into their own applications.
Connectify has made a video that showcases an extreme-power setup using Dispatch (below), but we'll be interested to see how the software performs when it's actually out in the wild. We imagine the most likely use-case scenario for the majority of people will probably be a desktop machine with both an available Ethernet and Wi-Fi connection, which both end up connecting to the same router/access point. Will we actually see much of an improvement in these cases, or will the real performance improvements be seen when using entirely different networks (i.e. 3G/4G and Wi-Fi)?
Connectify says that Dispatch can potentially double or triple speeds in torrent applications like BitTorrent, but we'll just have to wait and see.
The Kickstarter page for the project has, at time of writing, raised about $30,000 of the $50,000 funding goal, with 15 days left to go.
The Connectify team puts Dispatch through its paces in the video below.