Researchers have developed a new software program,
called WiFox, which can be incorporated into existing
networks and expedites data traffic in large audience
WiFi traffic gets slowed down in high-population
environments because computer users and the WiFi access
point they are connected to have to send data back and
forth via a single channel.
Created by researchers at North Carolina State
University, WiFox monitors the amount of traffic on a
WiFi channel and grants an access point priority to
send its data when it detects that the access point is
developing a backlog of data. The amount of priority
the access point is given depends on the size of the
backlog ? the longer the backlog, the higher the
priority. In effect, the program acts like a traffic
cop, keeping the data traffic moving smoothly in both
The research team tested the program on a real WiFi
system in their lab, which can handle up to 45 users.
They found that the more users on the system, the more
the new program improved data throughput performance.
Improvements ranged from 400 percent with approximately
25 users to 700 percent when there were around 45
This translates to the WiFi system being able to
respond to user requests an average of four times
faster than a WiFi network that does not use WiFox.
"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, a Ph.D. student in computer science at NC State
and lead author of a paper describing the work. "WiFox
can be incorporated without overhauling a system."