Connectify Dispatch is PC software that lets you connect to all available Internet connections simultaneously for their combined speed, and increased reliability. You already pay for high-speed Internet at home, data access on your smartphone, and mobile broadband on the go. Now, with Connectify Dispatch, you can combine those expensive connections to get the fastest Internet experience possible.
A multi-WAN router (multiple Wide Area Network) is a router that has multiple network interfaces into which you can plug in Internet connections to have them load balanced. This is traditionally a high-end piece of hardware. Connectify Dispatch turns your existing Windows computer into a multi-WAN router capable of combining and load balancing across all the Internet connections you have available.
Connectify Dispatch gives you all of the bandwidth bonding capabilities of those multi-WAN hardware load balancing routers at a fraction of the cost. No need to waste time and money configuring and carrying around another hardware device. Dispatch is a software-based Internet load balancer that offers premium features like 3G and 4G link bonding, at-a-glance Internet speed testing (via the Dispatch Analytics Dashboard), and much more. One of the great advantages of Dispatch is that it load balances any Internet connection that you have working on your PC, whether they are built-in, USB devices, or Wi-Fi networks. Compare this to a multi-WAN router: you get a couple of Ethernet ports; if your Internet isn’t coming from an Ethernet cable, it can’t help you. If you’re lucky the multi-WAN router might take a 3G or 4G SIM card, but may not work with your existing USB dongle or mobile hotspot, such as a Mi-Fi.
On the flip side, Connectify Dispatch is easily expanded to support any network interface that Windows supports. Only have one on-board Wi-Fi adapter, but you have access to two separate access points? Add a second Wi-Fi adapter via USB and Dispatch will start using it. Upgrade your old 3G USB dongle to a new 4G smartphone with tethering without worrying whether the multi-WAN device supports it, because Dispatch will work as long as Windows has drivers for the new hardware.
Connectify Dispatch takes control of your PC’s Internet connectivity to look at every packet going into and out of your computer. When the packet is intercepted, Connectify Dispatch is able to route it to a desired network adapter. Using proprietary algorithms, Connectify Dispatch is able to determine the best physical adapter to use, and depending on user settings, Dispatch spreads your Internet traffic across available adapters to optimize your experience. The Dispatch user interface works hand-in-hand with this cloaked, low-level networking horsepower to provide load balancing and Internet speed acceleration.
At its core, Connectify Dispatch is built on a patent-pending Reverse Network Address Translation (RNAT) technology. Dispatch allows you to use multiple Internet connections at the same time by load balancing client connections across multiple Internet connections, without any server-side component. Every time a program on your computer (or on a computer connected to your Connectify Hotspot network) creates a new network socket, Dispatch jumps in and makes a decision about how to handle that socket.
As it is done on the client side, each socket is assigned to one of the Internet connections at creation time, and cannot be migrated to another connection. Socket assignment cannot change because the resource connected at the destination would see the IP address change, invalidating the socket. This particular implementation provides potential benefits over a single connection as loads can be distributed.
Connectify Dispatch watches every Internet connection on your computer and continually gathers metrics to quantify the quality of the connection along three pillars of network performance: throughput, reliability, and latency. Based on these metrics, as well as interface priorities set by the user, the rules-based routing engine determines which connection is the best one for each socket.
Once Connectify Dispatch has decided which Internet connection a socket should “live on”, it passes the stream of data to its Reverse NAT. The reverse NAT maintains a network address translation (NAT) table in memory, tracking which local socket has been mapped to each outgoing socket, and what connection that is going out on. As each packet goes through the system, Connectify Dispatch’s network filter driver uses this NAT table to change the headers on the packet, and then direct it out the appropriate network interface.
Connectify Dispatch can bond together nearly any Internet connection that Windows can use. You can bond pretty much any connection with a valid IPv4 address, no matter who is providing that connection. You can load balance Wi-Fi networks. Of course each Wi-Fi card can only join one network at a time, but you can get a small USB Wi-Fi card for your computer in order to be able to join two networks at once.
The only exception that we are aware of is that Connectify Dispatch cannot load balance across Bluetooth Internet connections.
Unlike other software Connectify Dispatch can even bond connections that are not similar to each other. By taking into account speed, latency, reliability, and load, Dispatch can use very sophisticated strategies to spread the load among your connections.
Streaming video applications (like Netflix) typically use a single socket. In this case, Dispatch will usually make a decision to put that socket onto the fastest Internet connection, and then let all your other traffic go over the other Internet connections. So the movie does not get more bandwidth than a single connection can provide, per se, but because it no longer needs to compete with your other traffic, you get smoother playback. The result is a net positive, with your bandwidth-intensive movie streaming having little effect on the download speeds that your other applications are experiencing.
One other special case where Dispatch needs some configuration is when a VPN is involved. VPNs generally work by intercepting all traffic bound to the VPN server and encrypting it so it can be safely transmitted across the Internet. Once this traffic is encrypted, the VPN uses a single socket to transmit that data. In that case it will behave similarly to video streaming by keeping all the traffic destined for the VPN on a single adapter and it can’t be load balanced. Additionally, however, VPNs perform a secure handshake when connecting. This may require more than one socket. If these two sockets end up on separate connections due to Dispatch’s load balancing algorithm, however, the VPN server can be confused into thinking that the client handshake is not valid since the origin of those two sockets don’t match. In this case, however, Dispatch’s application-specific connection assignment allows you to assign your VPN application to a specific network adapter to ensure these sockets remain on the same socket. This allows the handshaking to proceed and doesn’t limit the VPN performance.