Internet Speed Limits: Warp Drive is Coming

Researchers from three major US universities may have finally made the breakthrough that will allow for a 1000 percent increase in Internet speed limits and capabilities. It’s all about the network and how efficiently the various nodes do their job. Is this the future of wireless networking? Will 5G make use of this technology? Is it the future of satellite communication?

The backbone of our modern Internet is now 40 years old. That is astounding, since we often see technology change on an annual basis. The limits of the current Internet protocol suite, however, are finally becoming an issue. This is why the race is on to find the next level of Internet speeds.

Packet loss has always been an issue with the Internet. When a packet gets misplaced for any reason, the interpretation is always that the line is busy. As a result, the speed at which packets pass is automatically cut in half. It is done this way to free up some of the congestion. Thus, connectivity speeds are often slowed. It’s an extremely inefficient way to accomplish something we now expect to occur instantaneously.

To speed things up, the idea is to give each node the ability to pass along the packets more efficiently. If a node needs to send a packet along a different route or re-encodes it, each node will have that ability. This is a much more elegant solution to the existing system, which simply passes packets along to whichever node is the next predetermined stopping point.

The research being done tested this more efficient means of packet passing, and the astonishing results were sometimes 10 times faster than current speeds. This not only changes Internet speed limits, it is also a boon to data security. The packets no longer follow a predetermined path, thus making it far more difficult to intercept them in the right order. Therefore, this process can very well be the next step in both Internet speed and security.