WiFi provided in public places tend to be very slow, especially when large audiences are hooked into it (which is generally the case most of the time). In the name of free internet access, we tend to fret over the slow speed. The problem isn’t that the WiFi is slow, but the requests are either many or heavy which in turns degrades the internet speeds.
To solve this problem, researchers from North Carolina State University, Arpit Gupta ( Ph.D. student computer science), Jeongki Min (Ph.D student) and Injong Rhee (professor, computer science) have developed WiFox. WiFox when tested in a lab with a real WiFi system improved performance with increase in number of users.
The result was: for 25 users, 400% improvement and for 45 (which was the capacity of the WiFi), 700% improvement.
How does WiFox work –
Basically if too many users are accessing a ‘access point’ via the same channel
- There are too many requests and the access point is unable to send the requested data
- If access point overrides the requests (by giving it a high priority) then the requests wont be submitted
The WiFox regulates the flow between the two issues by monitoring the amount of traffic. If the response (requested data being sent) is backlogged at the access point, it provides an access point priority. The longer is the backlog, the higher is the priority
“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 “WiFox can be incorporated without overhauling a system.”
So basically it can be installed as a patch into existing systems, taking care of any legacy issues. Not only does WiFox smoothen the downlink throughput, but also reduces the average response time.
This will be great news for WiFi providers in public places and a no-brainer for them to implement it on their existing hot-spot network.
According to the press release, the paper, “WiFox: Scaling WiFi Performance for Large Audience Environments,” detailing out WiFox software will be presented at the ACM CoNEXT 2012 conference being held in Nice, France between Dec. 10-13th.