Software lets neighbors securely share WiFi bandwidth

Instead of fighting about property lines and whose dog is keeping everyone up at night, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign want you and your neighbors to get together and share your WiFi signal in a method that supposedly delivers better performance to each individual user. Assistant computer science professor Haiyun Luo and graduate student Nathanael Thompson of the school's Systems, Wireless, and Networking Group have released a free download that analyzes local airwaves and exploits unused bandwidth from one network to complement ones experiencing heavy usage, but always gives users priority access to their own signal. Part of the two-year-old PERM project, the application uses flow-scheduling algorithms to determine bandwidth allocation, and has so-far undergone testing on Linux clients and with Linksys routers. Security is obviously a key concern in such a sharing setup, so PERM developed the software to both "preserve a user's privacy and security, and mitigate the free-riding problem."

[Via PCWorld]