Netup: Speed Up Mobile Internet
Netup: Speed Up Mobile Internet
The first Android app that makes Internet on your mobile device faster and more reliable by combining Wi-Fi and cellular connections.
The first Android app that makes Internet on your mobile device faster and more reliable by combining Wi-Fi and cellular connections. Read more
About this project
Many thanks to those who supported us. Although this campaign did not meet our funding goal, we learnt a lot from it, and we will continue our development to bring you Netup. If you want to keep in touch and be the first users to get Netup, please sign up at our website http://www.shoelacewireless.com/netup.
Overview: Are you tired of slow or unstable Internet connection on your phone? Netup is the first Android app that can speed up the Internet connection of your mobile device by intelligently combining Wi-Fi and 3G/4G cellular networks. The result is that you can enjoy faster and more reliable Internet and also save on your data plan.
Netup uses a combination of state-of-the-art cloud and mobile software. We have built a working prototype and we need your help with our final stage of development and deployment to scale. Join us, get into the Beta, and help bring faster Internet to every Android user!
The Problem: Does the spinning circle below look familiar? How much time of your life have you wasted on waiting for video buffering?
Buffering happens whenever your wireless connection is not fast or stable enough for video streaming. And if you are like us, this is very frustrating. For example, Wi-Fi can be slow in a local coffee shop, at an airport, on a train, at a conference, or even at home during busy hours. In these situations, we just give up or switch entirely to our 3G/4G connection. But mobile data is expensive! Even if you have an unlimited plan, the operators often throttle the speed of your connection beyond a certain limit, so you may not have the speed when you need it.
Our Solution: Netup is the world's first Android app that can boost the Internet connection of your mobile device by intelligently combining Wi-Fi and 3G/4G cellular networks. Netup works seamlessly in the background while you enjoy using your favorite apps as usual. The only difference is that, with Netup, everything is much faster!
For example, Netup allows you to watch your favorite YouTube videos smoothly even when neither Wi-Fi nor cellular alone is fast enough. It can help Facebook load pictures and videos of your friends faster. It can also help you stream your favorite Netflix shows at higher definition without stalling.
A prototype of Netup we are in the process of developing looks like this:
The Benefits of Netup:
Faster Mobile Internet: With Netup, you can enjoy all your favorite apps (YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Gmail, Chrome, etc.) at the combined speed of your Wi-Fi and 3G/4G networks. Thus, your device can now stream HD videos smoothly, download large email attachments in a snap, or simply browse the Internet faster.
Improved Reliability: Wireless networks, like Wi-Fi and cellular, vary significantly over time. By simultaneously using two networks, Netup also greatly improves the reliability of your Internet connection. This could, for example, prevent a Netflix video from stalling, or improve your Skype call when one network is unstable.
Data Cost Savings: Netup helps you to truly squeeze the free bandwidth out of any Wi-Fi network you can connect
to. When Wi-Fi itself is not fast enough, you do not need to switch completely to your 3G/4G network because
Netup lets you add to the Wi-Fi speed some of your cellular speed. As a result, you can save on your mobile data.
To maximize your data savings, Netup allows you to select all or only some important apps to boost with both networks. Netup makes intelligent decisions about what network to use so as to minimize the cost of your mobile data plan. You may also make this decision on-the-fly to finely control when to add your cellular data, e.g., when Wi-Fi is slow and the app is stalling, and you have some spare cellular data.
The Netup App: This campaign will deliver an Android app that can boost the Internet connection on your Android device by combining Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connections as described above.
The app APK will be available to download from us directly as well as from Google Play and Amazon App Store.
Android Operating System Versions: We have tested on and plan to support Android devices running OS from 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to 5.0 Lollipop (90% of Android devices today). No "root access" is required.
- Timeline: We plan to have our Beta version out in 3 months (April 2015), and ship the first version of Netup in 6 months (July 2015).
How Is It Done? Our award-winning technology is based on software on the mobile device and on the cloud. Behind the scenes, we utilize a VPN architecture, intelligent packet scheduling algorithms, and application-specific optimizations, to bond networks and boost all apps, for the very first time on mobile devices. An overview of the architecture is provided below:
Our Story: Netup’s core technology originated from joint university research at the University of California, Irvine and EPFL, Switzerland. The original goal of the research was to utilize all networks available (Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, Bluetooth) to speed up and share video streaming for groups of mobile devices.
In Nov. 2013, we launched our first mobile app VideoBee -- a user-facing Android app that boosts video only by using Wi-Fi and cellular on a single device, or two mobile devices next to each other. VideoBee received several awards:
- 2nd Best App in the ACM Mobicom Mobile App Competition
- Winner of the CTIA "Startup Throw Down" Competition
- 1st Place at the UC Irvine Mobile Application Showcase Event
The overwhelming feedback from VideoBee users was that they loved the speed but would prefer to use their favorite apps seamlessly (XDA Thread). And we have listened: the Netup app will do that, and we need your help to make it a reality!
Early Prototype. You can find below a raw footage of an early prototype of Netup, code-named "Booster". In this footage, Booster was used to boost YouTube.
Why Kickstarter? At its root, Netup is a software product that has been requested by the community, by the enthusiasts, early adopters, as well as forward-looking users. As such, we believe Kickstarter is the ideal place to launch Netup, to bring its core value to the community.
We already have a working prototype of Netup. We ask for your help for our last stage of development -- scaling our solution to support a large number of concurrent users. Your money will directly support our development, server and bandwidth cost.
What you get for your support? As a token of appreciation to our backers, we provide you with Netup's service at exclusive, greatly discounted prices, as low as $3 a month.
Additionally, with a support of $9 or more, you will gain access to our Beta testing phase (expected April 2015). You will be the among the first users to try out and shape Netup!
On top of the rewards, with Netup, you can "stretch" your monthly data plan by making intelligent decisions about which networks to use and when. Netup essentially provides the speed when you need it, while minimizing the cost of your mobile data. For example, when Wi-Fi is sufficient, Netup will use it first; when the Wi-Fi itself is not fast enough for your current app, Netup can add cellular speed, without fully switching to 3G/4G.
Risks and challenges
Netup is a mobile and cloud software project. From the engineering point of view, the risks are limited. We currently have a prototype of the product working, which we need to scale up to large number of users, and we are confident that we can deliver in 6 months (July 2015).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Both SuperDownload and Download Booster allow the use of WiFi and cellular simultaneously. But they have very limited functionalities:
1. They do not support all traffic, i.e., they do not support your favorite apps.
2. Superdownload requires Root access and supports file download only.
3. Download Booster only works on a small number of Samsung phones (Galaxy S5, Note 4) and supports file download only.
We take security and privacy very seriously. If you are familiar with VPN services that aim to improve security of your devices, we are in the same league. Specifically,
1. We do not log you traffic, period.
2. Our servers only do routing, i.e., directing packets to the correct routes. This is done by looking at the packet headers (not the content). They do not perform any additional operations on the packets coming through.
- If you perform sensitive operations and use HTTPS, e.g., banking, Google search, etc., your traffic is already secured by end to end encryption of SSL/TLS.
3. We have in our roadmap to implement client-server VPN encryption, which will add protection to your regular, non-encrypted traffic, e.g., HTTP, email. This will help to protect your traffic when connecting to insecure open Wi-Fi.
You can directly relate Netup service to a paid VPN service:
In order to boost all apps, we need to be able to reroute all traffic on a phone. To achieve this, we run a VPN service on the phone. Similar to all VPN services, we need to have VPN servers that handle the traffic. As a result, we have to pay to maintain the server and also pay for the bandwidth going out of the server.
There are free VPN services, but these are usually plagued with ads (as a way to cover the cost) and also poor speed (due to over-subscribed servers). This approach is not suitable for Netup because Netup focuses on delivering faster speed.
We do have a plan for iOS but will take a long time due to current limitations of the iOS platform. There are signs that iOS will provide supports for the underlying technology of Netup: it has experimented with similar technology, specifically MultiPath-TCP with Siri.
We believe that if Netup is successful, then there are options to bring it to iOS platform.
It will work at any place where you have Wi-Fi and cellular 3G/4G connections.
We will have servers in the US West, East, EU, and Asia Pacific, utilizing Amazon and Google cloud services. We have not decided on the specific location yet. This depends on our initial set of backers.
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