Rivet Networks, maker of the Killer line of networking products, announced during CES this week that its Killer Intelligence Engine is being updated with new “AI capabilities” in an effort to improve device Wi-Fi connectivity.
Killer Intelligence Engine, which works with the company’s branded networking components found in laptops and motherboards, already attempts to optimize a device’s network connection by monitoring network health, performance, and device compatibility. It will now also use AI-based processing to optionally switch Wi-Fi access points based on signal strength and network speed.
When dealing with a single network that has multiple access points – such as large networks found in schools and businesses – Killer Intelligence Engine will automatically switch to the best access point for the user, providing some of the benefit found in modern mesh networks in a traditional multi-access-point environment. When dealing with separate networks – such open Wi-Fi hotspots in a public venue – the software will alert the user and offer a 1-click option to switch to the optimal access point.
The company states, as it has with previous updates to its networking software and firmware, that optimizing networking performance is often one of the more difficult challenges that consumers and gamers face. Automating the proper configuration and operation of a device’s networking can “deliver better performance in almost all network environments:”
Having a bad WiFi connection is incredibly frustrating for all PC users and is especially painful for gamers and performance users that require a fast, stable connection. Up until now, users have not had a good way to know they are on the best available connection. Using Artificial Intelligence, the Killer Intelligence Engine is able to significantly improve the users experience by ensuring the user is always connected to the best available access point.
The new automatic access point selection feature is available via an update to the Killer Control Center software package for Windows. The company recommends Windows 10 version 1803 or newer. Use of the software requires a Killer wireless or wired networking device.
This seems like an issue that WiFi driver makers created either intentionally or through incompetence.
Consider this, When an AP sends out a beacon, it lists its capabilities, and the clients can see the RSSI and SNR of each network listed. There is nothing stopping the driver or even windows from seeing a stronger AP and deciding that it will switch immediately.
It seems like the entire industry is finding ways to compensate for poor client side WiFI drivers and sticky clients.
For example, 802.11k,v,r are largele ignored where you will have a client that decides to stay connected to an AP on the other side of the building instead of connecting to the AP in the same room as you, and then further choose a worse user experience by ignoring the data from 802.11k and v, thus the APs can’t convince the client to switch to the stronger AP.
This new solution seems to be just a bandage applied on top of another festering bandage.
If is like when a developer created a buggy program that does not handle windows shutdown process well (where the shutdown will hang and offer the option to force quit the application, and as a solution, they propose creating an on shutdown task scheduler script to kill the process when you click shutdown.
This solution is just another resource hungry application attempting to mitigate an issue that should be fixed at the driver level.
Properly support 802.11k,v,r and enjoy cellphone tower like experience where the device can pretty much seamlessly transition between APs as you walk through a building.