After a year of work, I’ve finally pushed Klink to the market. Why do we need another competitor to EasyTether or PdaNet? Competition is good, and I’ve made sure that Klink is more than competitive when it comes to USB internet sharing on unmodified/unrooted Android devices. Perhaps I’ll write a little more about the story behind it later, but here’s a little something on what matters most:
Klink is pretty fast as far as these things go. All of the networking code is written in event-driven C code that is tuned for high-performance and minimizes memory allocations. My test Android devices all have a per-process file descriptor limit of about 1000, and Klink is comfortable tracking hundreds of active connections.
Using an old ARM11-based Samsung phone in WiFi mode on a 10mbps broadband connection, I was able to pull 800-900KB/s with default configurations on both uTorrent and Transmission BitTorrent client on the heavily seeded Zenith torrent. I never use torrent outside of grabbing ocremix albums, so I’m not sure how far people go to tweak settings, but this is a good stress case that a certain segment of the population might desire.
More importantly is that speed translates to battery usage, since the device’s CPU need not work as hard. Who knows what other applications might arrive in the future anyway, right? Also, speedtest.net via Klink can hit 6-7Mbps on that same rickety device. In comparison, the native speedtest app settles down at around 4-4.3Mbps. With a more recent Snapdragon-based Android phone, I can pull 8.5-9Mbps on that same 10mbps broadband connection via speedtest (versus 6.5mbps natively), so performance is pretty good. I’ll try to improve that with time.
Of course, it would be wise for you to test speeds out for yourself and not just listen to me. The Klink Demo version will let you run on Speakeasy’s speedtest servers. I would have allowed the official speedtest into the demo, but they have too many servers to whitelist.
Oh, yes. Klink is currently on sale with limited time introductory pricing. I see a lot of comments about so-and-so costing too much, so those people deserve a break if they can catch Klink in time. My target price is where everyone else’s is, since these utilities can be a bargain for some people. However, I see no harm in starting things at $1.99 for a brief period. It’s been a long year working on this, so I understand what it’s like to live light.
A few months ago, when I started testing and polishing Klink, a friend mentioned how it would be great to have User-Agent header translation. Well, Klink has that, too. Mobile connections can be slower than our trusty wired broadband, so sometimes it doesn’t hurt to make your computer look a little like a “fruit-i phone”. It may also come in handy if a nosy data provider upstream is peeking at your traffic. That’s what I read, anyway. True, this can be done with browser extensions, and I recommend that the high-performance crowd do this. However, it’s a lot simpler for some to just go into Klink “Settings” and have it override the user agent.
Anyway, thanks for reading thus far. I don’t expect many to pay attention to this post or to Klink in general. I’d be thrilled if a thousand people could make use of it, as it would make the time spent making it worthwhile. However, who really knows how things will end up. Still, it was fun making something fast, light, and useful in a world full of angry flying creatures and fighting fruit.
In any case, I have features that I will add, because there’s more to this space than just PC-to-phone, so keep an eye out for that. All upgrades to Klink will be free, so any generous early adopters will get to appreciate those as well.