Wireless best practices
NDSU network usage statistics indicate that wireless use continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, while use of the wired network has declined.
The NDSU secure wireless network provides faculty, staff and students with convenient, secure connectivity from the majority of public locations on campus. However, wireless may not always be your best option. If you have the option to connect to either network, IT suggests using the wired network, as it provides a faster, more stable connection.
Factors that affect your wireless experience
Wireless access points, specifically 802.11b and 802.11g both use the shared 2.4GHz wireless band. Other devices that operate in this band can prevent Wi-Fi from working or severely degrade the service.
- Unauthorized Wireless Devices
One major interference source is unauthorized wireless devices, most commonly wireless routers. These devices can disrupt the service for neighboring wireless access points. They also pose a security risk and are in violation of acceptable use policy. The IT Division will detect and disable unauthorized wireless routers.
Using a computer or other device to create an ad-hoc wireless network, where the device acts as a relay for other devices to connect to the Internet, is also against acceptable use policy. We recommend disabling this feature because both the host ad-hoc device and all connected devices will have a much slower connection.
- Cordless Phones
Cordless phones operate on many different frequencies. You can typically find out which frequency your phone uses by simply reading the labels. They include the following: 900MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. A computer using Wi-Fi may have connection problems if anyone is using a 2.4GHz phone in the area.
Microwave ovens can also cause interference with Wi-Fi devices. If a computer within 10 feet of an operating microwave is experiencing slow connection, consider relocating one of the devices.
Devices that are Bluetooth-capable, including laptops, smartphones, keyboards and mice, can also interfere with Wi-Fi access.
- Construction materials, furniture and home decor items
Items consisting of metal or plaster with embedded mesh (e.g., furniture, metal decor, lighting, appliances) cause very high levels of interference. Items consisting of paper or heavy fabric (e.g., books, draperies, posters) cause high levels of interference. Items consisting of glass (e.g., glass decor, windows) cause medium levels of interference. Items consisting of wood or sheetrock (e.g., walls, wood furniture) cause low levels of interference.
Tips for minimizing potential interference
Information on this Web page is credited to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Watch the NDSU Wi-Fi video to learn more about wireless interference.