I’ve come up with ways to cope with the network connection throttle that I recently discovered was behind a lot of my network woes here at work. In my regularly scheduled workaday use of the Internet I usually find myself consuming at least 150 connections if not more because everything I use was built with the assumption that establishing multiple connections is free and easy. There is no parsimony when it comes to using the network, and you see this exemplified most of all in the design of browsers like Firefox. When you fetch a page, most modern browsers will attempt to also-fetch possible pages you may want so that they can appear faster. This is fine if you have an unlimited number of connections that you can make to the network. That isn’t the case here.
I can live with the throttle. I understand why it’s in place and knowing that it exists helps in that it keeps me from questioning my sanity when I didn’t know it existed and thought the problem was with me or my computer. It’s neither. So there are some ways to address my problem. Specifically the route to a better life is ironically through the same devices that are at the center of the entire ‘running out of IP space’ problem, iOS devices. My iPhone and iPad have apps that can bring me interfaces to Internet resources that I need to use, and they can free up my computer so that I can help avoid the connection quota throttle. For example, instead of opening up Toodledo in Safari I can open up the Toodledo app on my iPhone. Different device, different connection quota. My iPhone doesn’t make so many connections and if I did need that feature I could very easily drop wifi and use the 3G data circuit. I can do a lot of other things too, like manipulate Asana, run my eMail through my iPad, that sort of thing.
So, in a way, the connection throttle has shifted the load from one device to three. At first this was kind of a pain in the ass, but over time I’ve come to see that this could become more efficient. It frees my computer up for the heavier things, like Google Reader and such. We’ll have to see how it goes.