Dell Says PCs Could Use Two Net Connections at Once

John Lister's picture

Dell says its computers will soon be able to use two internet connections at once. Supposedly this will significantly increase speeds and reduce glitches, but the details are somewhat vague.

It's part of a series of features packaged as Dell Optimizer aimed particularly at people using laptops for work while at home or on the move. They include an onlooker detection that appears to use the webcam to spot when somebody could be looking over the user's shoulder. Depending on the settings, the screen can then lock or blur.

Another feature uses a combination of user settings and automated analysis to figure out which apps the user prioritizes and allocates system resources appropriately. That seems sensible enough, though it's not clear how well that integrates with Windows' own resources management.

Battery And Audio Improved

Similarly, a battery optimizer tweaks "screen brightness, CPU performance, Bluetooth and more" to reduce battery drain. Again, that's something Windows should already be doing to some extent.

Audio also gets some tweaks for people working on the move, with a combination of noise canceling (to block out background noise getting picked up by the microphone) and distortion reduction. That's certainly useful, though many video conferencing applications already perform such features.

The most eye-catching feature is "simultaneous multi-network connection" which "uses two network connections (wired and wireless) to simultaneously send and receive data for faster downloads." (Source:

Buffering Reduced

Dell makes some bold claims, saying this set-up brings three times less buffering, eight times better video quality, 20 percent "more data transfers" and 30 percent faster app and data processing. Of course, exactly what those numbers actually mean or how they put a number on "video quality" isn't so clear. (Source:

Several media reports on the feature have suggested it requires two different internet connections and, in effect, two different broadband subscriptions. However, Dell's description suggests it could actually be two different network connections to the same router/modem, with a single broadband connection.

The main advantage for using two connection might be that if one connection glitches, the computer could continue transferring data without the interruption of disconnecting and reconnecting, though that rarely ever happens.

What's Your Opinion?

Do any of these features sound useful to you? What are your main challenges when working remotely on a laptop? Are you happy with the way Windows manages battery life and system resources?

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LouisianaJoe's picture

Unless you are paying for 2 different ISP's with 2 different physical connections, it will be like 2 people trying to piss thru the same straw.

My IP provides a router that handles wired and wireless connections so the total data amount has the same limit for all connections combined.

Gregg's picture

A while back I wanted to speed test my internet connection, not just my computer. Three computers were ethernet connected, one, the fastest, directly to the cable modem-router, the other two to a D-Link Gigabit switch. One of the tests was to conduct simultaneous speed tests on ALL Three computers. The result was that my 750 MB connection provided about 40% more than the rated bandwidth. Of course individual speed tests on each computer dropped, but not nearly as much as expected. Different ISPs would produce different results, I am sure.