Wi-Fi is provided in most buildings on campus, except the heating plant and auto shop. It is also available in select outdoor locations including the quad in front of Schumacher Hall, the area in front of Milne Library and outside Fitzelle Hall.
Left: An indoor access point. Right: An outdoor access point.
Res Hall Wi-Fi Upgrades
Upgrades are underway! All residence halls currently have 802.11N or 802.11 a/c access points. It will take a few years to complete the upgrades.
Academic and Administrative Building Wi-Fi Upgrades
We will follow a similar process to upgrade service in other buildings - first replacing the oldest APs and then adding APs to improve signal and density, especially in large lecture halls. Buildings that have recently been renovated have full wireless coverage, including Schumacher, Fitzelle Hall, Fine Arts, Lee Hall and Science II.
We currently have outdoor wireless access points installed on Schumacher Hall, Fitzelle Hall and Milne Library.
Trobleshooting Wi-Fi Problems
It can be tricky, sometimes, for us to get good signal to every area of our residence halls. Wireless signals can be degraded or blocked by metal and water, so if you consider what may lie between your laptop and the access point, you may find that there is a bathroom full of metal pipes blocking the signal.
The other issue we see from time to time is interference. There are some devices that produce radio-frequency interference that will cause your connection to slow or even drop out. An older microwave oven can do it, as can cordless phones and ad-hoc networks. These are a lot harder to pin down because they tend to be intermittent, coming and going in an unpredictable way. But in the case of a continuing issue of poor service quality in your room, we will do what we can to diagnose the cause(s) and come up with an acceptable solution.
When wireless users move around buildings, their network devices will usually hand off from one access point to another with no perceptible break in connection. Occasionally a user may encounter a dead spot with little or no signal strength, but these are generally few and far between. Networking has done a great deal of work to survey all buildings and the outdoor spaces to identify these dead spots, and will strive to fill in these areas in priority order with new access points.
Your wireless devices may also be part of the problem. Smart phones and tablets usually provide lower power to their network interfaces in order to conserve battery power. If you are having problems maintaining a connection, check to see if your device's power profile can be tweaked to provide better service.
If you find that your device works well in an area like the library but not in your residence hall, you may be a candidate for a loaner AP in your room. If however, your device doesn't connect or performs poorly everywhere on campus or if your roommate's device works great in your room but yours doesn't, chances are that your hardware is the problem.
In addition, there are times when the network or specific sites (such as Netflix) are slow due to high demand. It's a shared resource that is designed to be divided equally between all users at any given time. There are times when demand is so high, everyone's connection slows down.
If you have a problem with the wireless network, call the Help Desk at x4567. ITS will do whatever is reasonably possible to improve service.
The College's Wi-Fi computer network operates in the 2.4 and 5 GHz radio frequency spectrums. Any wireless device that also operates at at these frequencies will interfere with our wireless computer network and degrade signal strength, resulting in poor Red Dragon WiFi signal quality.
Please note that any device operating at 2.4 GHz will interfere and degrade the signal quality of our Red Dragon WiFi computer network. This includes personal wireless routers. Therefore, no device operating at 2.4 GHz is allowed in the residence halls. This include, but is not limited to, 2.4 GHz cordless phones and personal wireless routers.
Our Access Points broadcast three different SSIDs, or Service Set Identifiers.You can connect to "Red Dragon WiFi", which is an unsecured, unencrypted connection, "Red Dragon Secure" which is encrypted or "eduroam" which has limited access to campus resources. Visitors can only connect to RedDragonWiFi. We recommend strongly that you use the encrypted Secure SSID for online banking or any other sensitive internet usage.