On Tuesday, Connectify launched a new Kickstarter project for a cloud-based service called Switchboard. This client promises to speed up video streaming, uploads, video chat, VPNs and more by combining the user's available Internet connections.
Switchboard is essentially a step up from the company's previous Dispatch load balancing software that was focused on general web-browsing and specific applications like BitTorrent. However, users wanted a solution that handles a heavier load of data (like video streaming), and a client that's Mac friendly. Thus, enter the Switchboard project with a goal of $100,000 USD by June 13, 2013.
"To do this, we realized that we needed to take a radically different approach," the team states. "We’d have to build new software from the ground up, and this new channel bonding technology would also require a worldwide network of servers in the cloud."
Connectify Switchboard divides the user's traffic between Wi-Fi, 3G/4G and Ethernet-based connections on a packet-by-packet basis. Even a single stream -- such as a Netflix movie -- can be split between two or three Internet connections for a higher resolution and faster buffering. This method promises 95 percent of the speed stemming from the combined Internet connection. Thus, users could see a single 19 Mbps stream when separate 10 Mbps and 10 Mbps connections are merged together.
"When your browser opens up a web page, it makes a whole bunch of connections (called sockets) to the Internet: one to grab each image, another to pull down the text, and so on. These sockets are then broken up into smaller parts (called packets) and Connectify Switchboard's channel bonding Speed Servers can spread the packets across all your Internet connections for increased speed," the team states.
Once the user's Mac or PC connects to Connectify's Speed Servers using the Switchboard software, the company's network does the rest. There are already a number of servers up-and-running in the United States, Europe and Asia, but Connectify needs financial backers to help roll out as many Speed Servers as possible across the globe.
Connectify said that backers of the Switchboard Kickstarter campaign will receive "great rewards" at every tier. Those backers that opt for Beta Access reward levels will experience early versions of Connectify Switchboard for Mac and PC months before the rest of the world. They will also be given an opportunity to collaborate with the Connectify developers by providing their valuable feedback.
For more information about Connectify Switchboard, check out the Kickstarter page here. As of this article, the team has already landed over 175 backers pledging more than $17,00 USD with 28 days to go.
UPDATE -- Connectify added the following in an email on Friday May 17:
Backers of the Connectify Switchboard Kickstarter project can now vote for the location of the next Speed Server to be rolled out during the campaign. An interactive "heat map" at wheredoyouwantfasterinternet.com shows where the company currently has servers, and where backer interest is most fervent for upcoming Speed Servers. By posting in project comments, on Facebook, and Tweeting with the hashtag #backswitchboard with their location, Connectify’s Kickstarter backers can add their location requests directly to the heat map.
"We’re having a blast with this rollout of the networks," Connectify told Tom's. "Today, we are putting up a new 'Speed Server' in San Jose and of course with a song that goes with the city."