WiFi Network Updates

Posted on March 21st, 2013 by

Since the beginning of spring semester GTS has received a number of complaints about how the wireless/wifi network has been extra slow for them.  Many people mentioned that it was working fine last fall but that this spring it was significantly slower or basically not working for them at all, especially in the evenings.

Between fall and spring semesters we updated the software that controls our wireless network to the latest version from our wireless provider.  Right now our guess is that this update had something to do with the decrease in performance that many users noticed.  As of Wednesday morning, March 20th, we reverted back to the previous version of the software.  If you were recently having issues with the wireless network but it worked well for you last fall, we would like to know if these recent changes have made any improvements for you.

If you are having wireless issues there are a few things you can do to help us make it better.  If your computer has a 5Ghz wireless radio in it ( all Apple laptops and most new PC laptops do ), connecting to the wireless network GACsecure should force your computer to use the 5Ghz radio.  The 5GHz wireless network is faster and has much less interference so if you can use it, it should be significantly better.  Also the fewer people using the 2.4Ghz network, the better it will be for those who can’t use the 5Ghz network.  The GACsecure network is password protected and encrypted.  To connect you need to use the same password as the one you use to login to the lab computers as the Gustavus guest account.

If you are connected to GACsecure and still having issues with the wireless network, we would like to know.  The best way to let us know is to fill out the Network Diagnostic Survey at the time and place that you are having an issue.  That is assuming you can use the network at least well enough to fill out the survey.  If not, please go to the nearest location that does work for you and let us know that you had to move and where it didn’t work for you.  The survey gives us a lot of information about which wireless network you are connected to, how much interference there is at the time, how busy the wireless network is in your location etc.  but that only helps if it is taken in the location the problem is.

Sometimes it may seem like our wireless network is slow but the real issue is something else.  To help us figure that out it is helpful to know what is or is not working for you.  For example is the Gustavus home page fast?  What about https://webmail.gac.edu , moodle, or some other websites that are on campus vs. websites that are off campus?

Finally, our wireless network can’t be as fast or reliable as our wired network. If you can connect to the network jack on the wall of your dorm room, you should have a significantly faster internet connection. If you don’t have a cable to connect your computer to the network, you can pick one up at the Technology Helpline.

Thanks for your help.  Hopefully by working together we can improve the network for everyone at Gustavus.


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