Switchboard: Faster Internet for Mac & PC (Canceled)
Switchboard is software that combines your Internet connections. Speed up video streaming, uploads, video chats, VPNs, and more.
It may come as a surprise to most, but we’re canceling funding just one short week into our campaign. Don’t worry though, this is a good thing and here’s why...
As we’ve said before, when we came to Kickstarter last year to launch Connectify Dispatch the most valuable part of the experience was the input and ideas from our backers. So when we returned with Switchboard, our primary focus was to build and shape this revolutionary new product to the wants and needs of our supporters.
Our inbox has been buzzing the past few days and we’ve received an enormous amount of interest from three distinct groups of people - individuals that need an easy, fast, and secure personal VPN, businesses that want an enterprise quality solution for faster and more reliable Internet, and, finally, massive carriers who say they can run the network of speed servers cheaper and better than we can. Many of these companies wanted to support us, but could not give to a Kickstarter campaign.
With Switchboard we can help all of these people - but in all of these cases, backers want to run their own Switchboard Servers, either at home, at the office, or in a data center instead of always connecting through ours in the cloud.
This is interesting, and ultimately awesome news. By shifting our immediate focus from building a worldwide network of servers in the cloud to instead giving you the power to run your own - we no longer need a Kickstarter campaign to deliver Switchboard.
In addition, since Switchboard is a VPN at its core you’ll enjoy all the benefits of a traditional virtual private network in an easy to use (and even easier to set up) package. You’ll be able to secure your Internet traffic on untrusted public hotspots, enjoy remote access to your home or office files, even connect to home when traveling abroad so you can stream Netflix - all with the blazing fast speeds of our channel bonding technology.
So, in short: Not only will the product be bigger, better, and more in line with what you want, but given the new scope of the project, we’ll be able to deliver Connectify Switchboard even sooner than we had originally estimated.
In fact, we're already offering instant access to the Connectify Switchboard beta when you order today at www.connectify.me/switchboard/
Thank you again for all your support,
The Connectify Team
What Early Switchboard Beta Testers are Saying:
“The new [Switchboard] software and server combination the folks over at Connectify are working on is absolutely impressive!” - Digital Dave, Windows 8 Central
“I've been testing out Switchboard's new server in Dallas this week, unbelievable! And avail on Mac!” - Scott Kingsley Clark
"[I was] able to boost my complete throughput from 2Mbit + 4Mbit into a wholesome of 8-9Mbit single socket connection." - Robin Meekes
What the Press is Saying:
"A quick test of the beta software on our end showed that it worked fairly seamlessly" - Engadget
"Speed up video and other high-bandwidth content to your Mac or PC" - GigaOM
"a promising new Kickstarter project" - Macgasm
"Uses servers in the cloud to make your connection faster" - Tom's Hardware
"A fight against slow Internet speed" - Web Advices
"Combines your Internet connections to maximize speed" - Techspot
We're Obsessed with Internet Speed
We're obsessed with building applications that give you faster Internet. That’s why we came to Kickstarter last year to bring you our PC-only client-side load balancing software for combining Internet connections. Thanks to you, that software is now a reality, and it’s great for general web-browsing and specific applications like BitTorrent. However, our backers and customers have told us that they want a new connection aggregation technology: one that is Mac-compatible, and can speed up video streaming, uploads, and VPNs, too. To do this, we realized that we needed to take a radically different approach. 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.
That’s how the idea for Connectify Switchboard was born. Switchboard will speed up everything you do online: better video streaming, faster VPN access, more reliable Skype calls, blazing fast uploads to Dropbox, and much more.
Once your Mac or PC connects using the Switchboard software to our Speed Servers in the cloud, we do the rest: adding up the bandwidth of every Internet connection your computer has to give you faster Internet (about 95% of the combined throughput of all your connections!)
Switchboard will give you that Top Gun, need for speed moment.
Switchboard Makes Everything Faster
Connectify Switchboard will use every available Internet connection to make everything you do online seamless and lightning fast.
Faster Video Streaming on YouTube, Netflix, etc.
Faster Uploads to Dropbox and Google Drive
Better Video Conferencing with Skype
The Magic of Channel Bonding
If you're speed-obsessed like we are, Switchboard's channel bonding technology is the holy grail. Here's a quick explanation:
When your browser opens up a web page like this one, 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. That means even single socket applications like streaming movies on Netflix and Hulu, uploads to cloud storage, and VPN access can all be given a speed boost with Connectify Switchboard.
We've already got some Speed Servers up-and-running in the US, Europe, and Asia, but we need your help to roll out as many servers as we can across the world.
The Project Ahead
Today, we've got Connectify Switchboard prototypes working on both the PC and Mac, and we're even testing with a small number of beta testers on both platforms. But there’s still a lot of work to do in this project to turn it into a something we can feel good about supporting:
- Finish User Interface: The current software user experience is definitely a “beta." While it’s working, there’s a lot of polish needed, such as helpful messages and an enhanced user interface that will make Switchboard incredibly easy to use.
- Implement System Management: We need to write software to better handle large numbers of users getting online at the same time. For example, with the current beta, users have to manually choose a nearby Speed Server that isn’t too busy. The software needs to a better job of being smart, and automatically connecting you to the best available server.
- Mac OS Application: Switchboard will be our first Mac application. While we have the core technology working on OS X, we still have a lot to develop. For starters, Switchboard for OS X needs an installer so you can get it on your MacBook! After we've got that out of the way, we want to bring you a sleek user interface that runs next to your Mac system clock.
- Deploy Speed Servers: Finally, we need to deploy Speed Servers around the world, so that you always have a fast server nearby.
To show our appreciation for helping make Connectify Switchboard a reality, we’re giving our backers the very best deal on the Connectify Switchboard service... for life! That means you’ll always enjoy a subscription that’s either equal to, or better than your introductory Kickstarter pledge. Not only do you get the best rate we’ll ever offer, you can rest assured that the cost of your Switchboard subscription will never go up!
If you're quick enough to get in on the $50 Earlybird Speedster 10 (limited to 30), you'll get a whole year of Connectify Switchboard access with 10GB of data usage per month. That's less than $5 per month, and a fraction of the retail subscription cost. If you're a bandwidth junkie (like us), we've got pledge levels that include plans all the way up to 2,000GB per month. Take a look at all of the rewards to the right, and choose the one that fits you best!
Remember, if the reward you choose includes Beta Access (more on this in the next section), you'll get free access to Connectify Switchboard months before the rest of the world, and enjoy complimentary data usage during the beta period (restrictions apply).
Beta Testers Get Early Access and More
Become a backer at the $90 tier and up, and you'll have exclusive access to the Connectify Switchboard beta program. Not only will this get you access to the Switchboard technology months before the rest of the world, but you'll be an active participant working alongside the Connectify team to bring Switchboard to life.
Last year, we ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for Dispatch, our first-generation load balancer software, and the single most valuable part of that experience was our beta program that launched after the Kickstarter ended.
Now, with Connectify Switchboard, there's so much more to be done. We're going to deploy Speed Servers all over the world, so we'll need beta testers from Toronto to Tokyo (and everywhere in between) to help us fine-tune the Switchboard infrastructure worldwide, before the service launches commercially at the end of this year. With such an awesomely international project on our hands, our army of beta testers will be on the front lines as we make Connectify Switchboard a reality.
The Nuts and Bolts of Switchboard
Switchboard is a channel bonding technology made for the rest of us. Combine Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, and any other available networks into a single aggregated connection which goes through our Speed Servers in the cloud. For the first time, our worldwide network of servers will give you the power to combine your bandwidth at the "packet-level." That's a big deal. On the way down from the Internet, our Speed Servers can take your single stream Netflix movie and serve it across all of your Internet connections. On the other hand, say you're uploading one huge file to Google Drive, Switchboard will spread small parts of that single file across as many Internet connections as you have available for faster transfer times and increased reliability.
Connectify Switchboard’s smart routing technology takes into account the speed, latency, and reliability of each Internet connection. This gives Switchboard all of the information it needs to maximize speed, while ensuring connectivity even when one network connection fails. Because Connectify Switchboard shows up as a virtual Ethernet device on your computer, it can accelerate any application: streaming video, uploads, even VPNs.
- Channel Bonding Technology: Connectify Switchboard lets you combine Internet connections at the packet-level. Even the speed of single socket applications, such as YouTube video streaming and Dropbox file transfers can be improved using Switchboard
- Platform support: The Switchboard technology is a fully cross-platform cloud service with client apps for Mac and Windows users
- Speed Servers Worldwide: Connectify will roll out and maintain speed servers all over the world so that you'll have faster Internet no matter where you are!
Join Us (And Tell Your Friends, Too!)
With so much bandwidth available all the time (much of which you pay for), there's no reason why your uploads should take hours, just to fail altogether right before they're done. You should never have to deal with distorted video conferencing and dropped Skype calls on-the-road. Your Internet access should be fast and reliable, no matter where you are.
Unfortunately, your ISPs and mobile broadband providers don't see it that way. Every kilobyte of data usage left on the table is more money in their pockets. And, if you think they'd be willing to work together to give you a more seamless experience, you can forget about it!
With Connectify Switchboard, we want to put the power back in your hands. We're going to give you more control over your bandwidth, and change how everyone uses their Internet connections forever.
Risks and challenges
Switchboard is a cloud software project, and like all software projects there are risks involved.
Our team has a long track record of shipping awesome networking software on time, and on budget. In 2009 we launched Connectify Hotspot, a PC application. Today, Connectify Hotspot is a successful consumer product with over 300 million Hotspots started just last year.
In 2012, we successfully funded our Connectify Dispatch software on Kickstarter. Dispatch is a load balancer application for Windows that combines multiple Internet connections. We loved working with our backers, and delivered that software on time, too.
We already have Connectify Switchboard working today, but there's still a lot of polish required to improve the user interface and to allow simultaneous users. We've never shipped Mac OS software before, but we have Switchboard working on two Macs in our office right now!
The challenge of deploying an infrastructure of Speed Servers worldwide is a significant one. However, the Connectify Team already has servers up-and-running on each continent, and we are committed to scaling the cloud component of Switchboard on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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