Connectify Switchboard combines your internet connections to maximize speed

By on May 14, 2013, 4:30 PM

Connectify is back on Kickstarter hoping to crowdfund a new application that combines multiple internet connections to give you faster access to everything on the internet. Connectify Switchboard works by aggregating all available internet connections on your computer, and then balancing the load between them.

Last year, Connectify successfully funded and launched Dispatch, an application with similar functionality but limited to Windows operating systems and specific applications. In contrast, rather than running as a client-side application, Switchboard operates as a cloud service and allows users to leverage the combined speeds of their connections for any application on Mac of PC.

Connectify claims that by connecting your computer to their Switchboard “Speed Servers,” they can add up all the bandwidth available and deliver about 95% of the combined throughput of all connections. Switchboard works with wi-fi, 3G, 4G, and ethernet connections, and they say that it runs transparently. According to the company, after setting things up, users will never even know when they are using it.

Switchboard works by using what they call “channel bonding technology.” For example, when you open your web browser and request a web page, the browser opens multiple connections to the host server to download each individual part of the page, including individual images, HTML, and other data files. When these connections, called sockets, are made, Switchboard’s Speed Servers spread out the packets from each request between the available connections. Because the software works on the packet level, Connectify says that even single socket applications like Netflix and Hulu will benefit.

Connectify is asking for $100,000 to get the project rolling, which will fund finishing the UI, building the Mac application, and deploying additional Speed Servers globally. The campaign runs through June 13, and available packages range from $60-250 for 10-250GB of data/month.




User Comments: 20

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2 people like this | windmill007 said:

Packages? For that price you might as well buy a faster Internet service. People who cant afford a faster Internet service sure as cant afford these packages. I fail to see the point and think this would have an extremely limited audience. I would think you could do what they are wanting to do with some cheap or free software.

JC713 JC713 said:

This is so stupid. 1) Most of us (and our carriers) have limits on mobile data. 2) There is no point of this since loading a webpage 1 second faster is not of much use 3) Not many people use more than the standard 15MB/s download and 5 MB/s upload.

1 person liked this | spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Before I moved to Kansas City to get Google Fiber, I asked Comcast, "Is there nothing at all you can provide me faster than 10mbps uplink? That's IT?" and he replied, "You could get two modems." I lol'd so hard.

JC713 JC713 said:

Before I moved to Kansas City to get Google Fiber, I asked Comcast, "Is there nothing at all you can provide me faster than 10mbps uplink? That's IT?" and he replied, "You could get two modems." I lol'd so hard.

LOL. Those people dont even know what they are talking about. I asked Verizon to replace my router because it was very glitchy and disconnected often and they responded with "Restart your router", as I have done 10000 times... I ended up fixing their mess by my self. I changed my encryption from WEP to WPA2 and reinstalled the firmware. That fixed my issue. I was so mad at Verizon because they didnt know sh*t.

1 person liked this | jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

The concept of using multiple ISP connections to get better bandwidth is not very practical. The theory and common assumptions are that

two connections equals twice the bandwidth

but that shows a lack of understanding of how TCP connections are used and how the routing table controls (of all things) routing of packets.

Get a command prompt and issue ROUTE PRINT to see the routing table.

Yea there's a flock of numbers, but it's not that complicated.

[CODE]Active Routes:

Network Destination Netmask Gateway Interface Metric

0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 192.168.0.1 192.168.0.5 20

127.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 On-link 127.0.0.1 306

127.0.0.1 255.255.255.255 On-link 127.0.0.1 306

192.168.0.0 255.255.255.0 On-link 192.168.0.5 276

172.16.0.0 255.255.0.0 On-link 172.16.1.10 276[/CODE]

Everything on your router lan subnet will traverse the second to last line, and if you have two nicks on the pc then the second subnet might look like the last line.

How does the system reach a destination that is unknown (say access to techspot.com @ 50.22.252.218) ? Simple - - the first line is the default route and when attempting to connect to an unknown non-local address, the first column of the table is used to find the routing and the default is the only possible for unknown target and the connection is created on

192.168.0.5 (in my case) and sent to 192.168.0.1 (my router) and thence on the ISP.

So that creates a socket bound on the local 192.168.0.5 and regardless of how many packets might be required to send a file, they ALL are serialize on ONE socket and sent on ONE path to the ONE destination.

There is an alternative solution - - ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)

This is a simplified description we can get our heads around and then too there's always the WIKI.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

In the article, the comment

For example, when you open your web browser and request a web page, the browser opens multiple connections to the host server to download each individual part of the page, including individual images, HTML, and other data files
is entirely possible - - *IF* you hook the browser code and open a new connection for every resource in the HTML with an external resource (src=... href=...) which would allow multiple sockets and different routings for CSS, IMG, Scripts. That requires that the HTML the browser sees be pre-parsed and data files pre-fetch so that the browser gets HTTP 304 status for these files (aka unchanged and cached).

OK, that gets parallel transfer for browsers - - what about FTP, local lan file backups and copies? Certainly large file movements need the ATM solution too

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

what about ... local lan file backups and copies? Certainly large file movements need the ATM solution too

Use teaming to get dual gigabit. It's supported by practically every major NIC interface.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

The references found by searching "Windows Teaming"

What you're wanting is adapter teaming, generally done with servers [link]

or the use of a dual WAN router.

additional information for you [link]

all refer to server systems {eg Windows® Storage Server 2012 is the Windows Server® 2012 platform of choice for network-attached storage (NAS) appliances offered by Microsoft partners.}

This reference clearly states no aggregated bandwidth

Network Load Balancing, a clustering technology included in the Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Datacenter Server operating systems, enhances the scalability and availability of mission-critical, TCP/IP-based services, such as Web, Terminal Services, virtual private networking, and streaming media servers.

You may refer the below mentioned links.

[link]

[link]

Bandwidth of both of them are not combined for a faster connection.

2 people like this | alexgizis alexgizis said:

Hi everybody, this is Alex from Connectify. I want to address some of the issues that you guys raised here. I'll also hang around for a couple hours if you want to discuss further, otherwise find me on twitter as @alexgizis.

So first, I want to address the technology. This is NOT load balancing. This is channel bonding over the Internet. Most of the technologies mentioned in the discussion so far are load balancing: putting each socket on one of the Internet connections where it then lives its whole life. Most of these technologies do this, but do so with a simple round robin algorithm: socket 1 on internet 1, socket 2 on internet 2, socket 3 on internet 1, and so on. (Our last project was actually a load balancer for windows: once we got smart about ditching round robin and making smart bandwidth and latency based decisions on where sockets went, it really well. Check it out at http://www.connnectify.me/dispatch/ ).

The downside to load balancing, is that it cannot accelerate streaming video, file uploads or VPNs, all of which use just one socket that uses a lot of bandwidth. You end out stuck, just using one of your internet connections.

Switchboard is real channel bonding. The software connects back to a nearby "Speed Server" over every internet connection that your system has. If connections come and go, it notices and uses them on the fly. It quickly tests each connection for speed, reliability and latency and then divides your traffic PACKET-BY-PACKET over your interfaces. It also uses a skype-like bag of tricks to get through nearly any firewall.

It's more like a VPN that uses many connections than a load balancer.

We typically get 95% of the speed of all your internet connections added up. Sometimes higher, if the software sees an opportunity to use compression.

That's the technology story... so no, you cannot do that anything that is out there today. This actually is a new thing.

PS: Sorry this is so long...

alexgizis alexgizis said:

Alex from Connectify here. A couple people asked about the point of Switchboard.

Let me admit this up front: if you have google fiber and always work from home, you don't need Switchboard right now.

But we've had a mostly enthusiastic reception from people who know they need this. Like:

* People who wish to stream video from locations where they can only get 3G service

* People whose ISPs only sell DSL lines, but who want higher bandwidth so they can actually watch Netflix.

* A company who has noticed that cable modems are half the speed, but 1/10 the cost of a high speed "enterprise connection"

* Road warriors who carry phones they can tether, and often have Wi-Fi they can join

That's not an exhaustive list, but they're all real scenarios, of people who can't do what they want to do without Switchboard. So we're here for them.

Anyway, ask away if you have any more questions.

Best regards,

---Alex

@alexgizis

platinumsteel said:

Alex from connectify u all need to confess and admit to people that you all software does not increase the speed on a clients internet downloading or uploading... All it truly does is it combines different internet connections so that in the event one drops of it automatically connects to the other available source...that is what it truly does.I have tested in a lot of different environments with Dispatch..And I could bet a million dollars Switchboard is no different..Stop fooling people and coming up with different schemes for them to buy your software.....So come clean with people...And stop playing with our mines for money.....

Hyrax Hyrax said:

A similar technology has been used for TV stations for some years now. Companies are offering devices that can use multiple connections (4G, 3G, WiFi) bonded together to stream video and offer redundancy. This is good for a compact mobile on the spot LIVE team.

For example:

http://www.aviwest.com/products.php

http://www.teradek.com/pages/bond

How is this actually a new thing? Software based bonding instead of hardware?

alexgizis alexgizis said:

Platinumsteel, I'm sorry if you're not happy, but your comment is not an accurate description of how the software, either Dispatch or Switchboard works, at least when working properly. If that's what you're seeing, please login to your profile and open a ticket with support, we'd love to help: http://www.connectify.me/login/

Now on Dispatch, there is the limitation of single sockets staying on a single internet connection. So, for example, if you fire up Dispatch, then dial into a VPN, the VPN will combine all your traffic into a single socket, and then all dispatch can do is put it on your fastest Internet connection. Which is the sort of thing you're describing, though you didn't mention a VPN. Would like to hear more about what you're doing and seeing to debug.

This is the limitation that lead us to restart with Switchboard. With Switchboard, we can pull apart single sockets to spread them across multiple internet connections, and then put them back together on the other side.

Anyway, open a ticket with support and we'll help you out, probably best to mention that you spoke to me on techspot so I can connect the dots.

Best regards,

---Alex

platinumsteel said:

Alex...I had actually bought the software connectify + plus dispatch...I installed it...everything went fine..No error messages were displayed..and the software was working perfectly...I had 2 connections..One of them via my ethernet port which was a 4mb connection..And the other was wireless..A 6mb connection....I made sure it was aggregating and I downloaded some files..And the download rate was no different....It was as if I was just conneced to one connection at a time...What I did though.Was unplug the wireless connection and almost immediately it switched to the other network I was on..which is why I said that is all the program does..I even let my tech pal all the way in canada do a test with it..he was on a ethernet wired connection and a wireless...both different speeds..And it did not double up his speeds...He did the same thing like me and unplugged his wireless connection..And it switched over to the other existing connection which you all software is very good at...the bandwidth reading on you all software is not accurate whatsoever..please fix it....And plz do not tell people their speeds would double up...Even in your test videos u all do not show actual downloading speeds...why does the camera man not zoom up completely so we can see the speeds doubling up if it is combined as u all claimed...You all need to make a better more truthful video example.instead of it being blurry....That is plain out advertising scam.

Guest said:

@platinumsteel We assure you that Dispatch does increase your download speed and overall web browsing experiencing as this is what Dispatch is best at. Alex mentioned in the above post that there are limitations with Dispatch when it comes to single sockets on a single connection. This is true, because Dispatch cannot split sockets, but can intelligently place sockets on the best available connection or adapter. With that being said we offer a few "Selection Method" options that might better serve your needs.

For example, you mentioned that you and your friend had two different connections running at different speeds. So I think in that case, the option "Gen2" under "Selection Method" might be a better choice for you.

I would be more than happy to debug your issue and offer further assistance if you are willing submit your log files for review.

Thanks!

--Connectify Tech

platinumsteel said:

I have tried all available options while I was testing...What we need right now is proof instead of all that complicated sweet talk...A remixed video actually showing doubled speeds using dispatch would be great from you all...And why is the same funding stuff used for Switchboard...Isn't that what u all did for Dispatch...?So is all this about funding? I hope u all are putting all proceeds to good use....

platinumsteel said:

Joebeards Theroy here explains why we didn't see any difference..and u can only be connected to 1 connection at a time....that's why when I pulled out 1 connection it switches to the next connection..One at a time...that is how it works..so please take out the doubling bandwidth myth......It might be good for like combing more than 1 3g/4g networks together so if one disconnects it switches to the other working one..Cause 3g/4g sometimes loses reception now and again...so it might be good for that in case u don't have access to adsl or cable connections.

Guest said:

@platinumsteel I strongly encourage you to visit our Kickstarter page for more information about Connectify Switchboard here: ( [link] ). If you scroll down to the bottom there's a FAQ that explains the difference between Dispatch and Switchboard. We have some amazing videos on there that show Switchboard in action. If you leave a comment about where you would like speed servers set up you might be one of select few comments that get access to our BETA to try out Switchboard!

Thanks!

--Connectify Tech

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

I'm disengaged from this thread - - -

platinumsteel said:

Think I would do the same.

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