Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Update on campus wifi: DPU_Guest will now connect to printers and I:/U: drives. #AnnounceIT

You can now use the DPU_Guest wireless network to print on campus Network Printers and connect to Network Drives (P:, I:, U:, etc.).

  • This change will address the issues related to reduced wifi signal strength or dropped wifi connections that many people have experienced since DPU_Secure was introduced last month.
  • From this point forward, if you have had network issues while using DPU_Secure, we recommend that you use DPU_Guest instead. It is a good practice to restart your computer after switching to a new wireless network.

More details about connecting to the campus wireless network are available on the IT KnowledgeBase Wireless article at tinyurl.com/KBWireless.

I realize that the recent wifi issues have been challenging for many people -- students, faculty and staff, alike -- and I regret the frustrations they have caused. I’m confident, though, that this change will help relieve those issues and restore stability to the campus network.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to let me know.

Best,

Carol.
____________________________
Carol L. Smith '85, CIO
DePauw University
765-658-4287, mobile 765-301-0263
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P.S. Why this change?
(For those who enjoy the gritty details . . .)

In general, encrypted data transfer used by networks like DPU_Secure is very sensitive to the strength of its wireless (wifi) connection. The increasing number of networked devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, gaming stations, etc.) using wifi this semester has proven to be overwhelming to our current network capacity. To compound this, our network controller devices cannot perform as well under the load to properly manage campus wifi access points and reduce things like radio signal or channel overlap. These three issues combined, then, have resulted in the reduced signal strength or dropped wifi connections that many people have seen when using DPU_Secure.

Over the past month, we have tried several adjustments, which has led to some general improvement toward addressing the problems. Unfortunately, though, we have not been able to eliminate the issues completely and ultimately we will need to upgrade some of the current network equipment to better solidify wifi for DPU_Secure. We’re researching those options right now and hope to target new implementations for early summer.

In the meantime, we have reset the open DPU_Guest network so it can connect to print and file servers  (much like DPU_wireless did before). DPU_Guest is less affected by the issues above and will provide everyone a more reliable wifi experience. If  you have been been able to use DPU_Secure without any problem, you are encouraged to continue to do so (it is the best option for ensuring optimal network security). But if DPU_Secure has been problematic, then just use DPU_Guest instead.

Onward,
- CLS