What could greatly impact the quality of your wireless network service on campus?
Interference - Interference can be caused by the use of prohibited personal wireless access points, wireless printers, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, microwaves and other electronic devices that utilize same 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz radio frequency. If individuals install their own personal wireless access points (i.e. wireless routers), it is likely that the reliability and performance experienced by all wireless users will continue to severely decline.
Distance – The further away that you are located from a wireless access point the weaker the radio signal can be which could cause poor performance.
Signal Blocking - Natural and synthetic obstructions block or limit the radio signals broadcasted by the wireless access points and personal wireless devices. Construction materials such as cinder block walls and concrete floors can cause poor wireless performance.
Bandwidth Sharing - All personal wireless network devices in the same area that happen to be using the same channel or overlapping channels share bandwidth even if they are connected to different wireless access points in the area. Since there are so many different types of personal wireless devices being used on campus that have different inherent wireless capabilities; slower transmitting wireless devices can monopolize the bandwidth. Essentially, bandwidth cannot be divided equally among the personal wireless devices.
Personal Wireless Device Misconfigurations – Personal wireless network device (i.e. laptops, tablets, phones, gaming devices etc.) misconfigurations such as out of date wireless card device drivers, incorrect TCP/IP network settings, malware, bloatware, viruses or inadequate system resources can cause poor wireless network performance and stability.
Please note that these factors listed above are always considered when the Fredonia wireless access points are installed on campus however, they present continual challenges given the dynamic nature of the environment. These dynamic challenges can include continual increases in the number and type of personal wireless devices, changes in the type of applications used by personal wireless devices and changes in the number of wireless rogues (i.e. prohibited personal wireless access points) used on the wireless networks.
How is the campus addressing wireless service performance and quality of service issues on campus?
Although we use state of the art wireless access points and associated network hardware to provide our campus wireless services, these devices are not as reliable as our Ethernet switches providing dedicated high speed Ethernet service. This is a common trend since wireless technology is still relatively immature compared to Ethernet technology. Fredonia performs on-going evaluations and upgrades of our wireless network infrastructure in an effort to provide wireless network services that are secure, reliable, convenient and cost effective. These upgrades can include scheduled network hardware improvements, increases in bandwidth, and wireless system optimizations (fine tuning) based on the latest wireless technology trends. It is important to remember that these upgrades are always very costly and take time to implement. End user education is also an important factor to ensure that wireless network users have reasonable and appropriate expectations of use.
How can I obtain further assistance with my wireless network performance issues?
This information is by no means meant to discourage the use of the Fredonia Wireless Network Services or to provide excuses for any unsatisfactory performance however, it is meant provide information so that wireless network users maintain reasonable and appropriate expectations when using the services.
If you experience poor wireless service performance on campus please contact us for assistance. If you are connecting in Academic buildings please contact the ITS Service Center at 673.3407 or for Residence Halls, please contact the ResNet Office at 673.3668. You can request assistance as well through FredQuest at https://fredquest.fredonia.edu/.