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Wireless network service provides clients with the ability to use the University network without connecting their computer to a physical network circuit. All registered network clients are eligible to use the wireless network where the service currently exists. Please complete a Wireless Request Form to register your wireless computer device and obtain access to the wireless network. While wireless network service currently exists in many public spaces and private department areas through-out the campus, complete coverage is not yet available on a University-wide basis.
Wireless networking provides the tremendous advantage of computing mobility for network clients. While the advantage of mobility is extremely important for many clients, wireless networking technology is not as fast or consistent as wired network technology, and has some current limitations.
Current Limitations of Wireless Networking
Unlike the wired network, current wireless technology does not provide dedicated bandwidth for each computer. The bandwidth (speed) of a wireless network connection is lower than that of a wired network connection (10 – 100 megabit). Performance may further be impacted by the number of users within a given wireless coverage area, as well as your computer's distance from the closest wireless transceiver (or Wireless Access Point, WAP). Wireless networks therefore do not currently provide the same level of performance or consistency as a wired network. While wireless networking has been found to be acceptable for email, many applications and some web browsing, it may not be suitable for applications and web sites that have high band-width requirements (such as video/audio streaming) or large file transfers.
Wireless networks also provide a lower level of security than wired networks unless specific measures are taken to ensure security. Clients should ensure their individual computing devices are securely configured.
Finally, when buildings throughout the floor are designated as being enabled with wireless networking capability, this may not always guarantee that wireless network access will be available or perform well from every possible location within a given building. While every effort is made during installation to provide comprehensive coverage within each building, many factors can interfere with wireless network signal strength and/or its availability. The most common factor is the core structural design of the building itself. Water supply lines and steel elements within the walls may impair the signal. Other factors specific to certain lab or office areas (such as large steel bookcases, book stacks, and a large number of people) may also interfere with wireless signal strength or availability.
Penalties for Network Disruptions
To ensure the security of information transmitted over the wireless network and protect the stability of both the wired and wireless network for other clients, admin staff will disconnect wireless access points that are not appropriately registered, do not meet network security requirements, and/or are improperly configured.