Wireless (WiFi) Access Guidelines & FAQ

The Bradley Wireless Network provides wireless connectivity to all areas of campus including all residence halls and many off campus residential areas (fraternities and sororities). 

Bradley provides two general use methods for connecting to the wireless network; those are BUsecure and BUguest.  Similarities and differences are summarized as:

BUsecure

BUguest

Requires a BUnetID and Password for access
Requires only an email address for access
All communications are fully encrypted over the wireless network
Provides no encryption. Only traffic using a secure encrypted web page are encrypted
Provides access to anything available from a wired connection
Is very limited in the type of access allowed
SSID is broadcast to simplify connecting
SSID is broadcast to simplify connecting
Connectivity time is unlimited
Connectivity time is limited, requiring reconnection

 

Which network (BUsecure or BUguest) should you use?

All members of the Bradley community should use BUsecure if possible. Only devices that cannot support the required security protocols or people who do not have a BUnetID, should use BUguest. BUsecure provides a more reliable, safer and more robust method of communication. Minimize your problems by using BUsecure.

 

Can I just use my own wireless router in my room?

No. The wireless network is engineered to provide full and robust coverage in all areas of the residence halls. This is also true for St James and many of the fraternities and sororities. Adding personally owned access points to your living area interferes with the radio frequencies of the access points. You can use personal routers to provide additional wired outlets, but you should turn off the wireless portion of your router. For help disabling the wireless in your personal router, call or visit the HelpDesk.

 

What else causes interference with the wireless network?

Many types of devices can cause radio frequency interference with the Bradley network.

  • Wireless printers: Many printers today offer a wireless option. These are primarily a convenience for you, but will cause interference and poor performance of the wireless network. Use a USB cord to do your printing and your other wireless access will work much better. Turn off the wireless radio on your printer! You may need to install a special driver on your machine to manage your printer. For help with printer configuration, call or visit the HelpDesk.
  • Game consoles: If your game console provides a wired option, turn off the wireless option and plug in your console. If yours does not offer a wired option, please work with the Help Desk to assure that yours is properly configured to avoid conflicting with the Bradley wireless.
  • Other devices: Many other devices, like microwave ovens and wireless telephones can cause interference. Be aware of the effect the use of these devices has on your wireless service.
  • Walls and enclosures: Walls and other enclosures interfere with radio frequency transmission. We work to adjust for the walls themselves but other enclosures may effect your performance.
  • Ad hoc - PC to PC wireless: Personal wireless that can be set up between two or more machines will interfere with Bradley wireless. Please restrict your use of this approach to communications, minimize their use and the duration of their use.
  • For additional information check out a white paper from Cisco - 20 Myths of WiFi Interference.

 

Can I use the wireless network for Sakai?

Yes, although we strongly suggest that you only use BUsecure. In addition, test taking in Sakai depends on a continuous, uninterrupted connection to avoid problems. With that in mind you should NEVER use a wireless connection for testing.

 

How can I get the best network performance from my computer?

The highest speed, most reliable connection will always be from a wired connection. If you need high bandwidth connectivity, with low latency and reliable transmissions, plug into the provided wired port in your room.

When you plug in your computer, turn off the wireless radio. This helps you avoid any internal confusion in your machine about which connection it should use.

Large numbers of people in a small area using wireless connections can run into performance issues. If you are connected but your throughput is low, move to a less congested area.

 

What improvements are being made to the wireless network?

The expansion of the wireless network is being completed in phases:

Phase 1 - Update the architecture of the wireless to one that will scale to cover the entire campus. Install wireless networking in the Residence Halls. Status - Complete

Phase 2 - Install wireless networking in other housing (St. James, SAC, some fraternities and sororities). Status Complete

Phase 3 - Increase the concentration of access points in the rest of campus to match the coverage in the residence Halls. Status - In progress - completion expected 1/31/2012

Phase 4- Replace the older access points with updated hardware to improve manageability. Status - in the future

Phase 5 - Add access points to provide coverage outside of buildings. Status - In the future

 

I have a problem with the wireless network in my room. What should I do?

Please start by trying to identify whether the problem is with your computer or with the network. Answer a few questions:

  • Does your computer work at other locations on campus, like the Library?
  • If you move from your room to someplace in the hallway, or in a common area, does it work properly?
  • What does the signal strength indicator on your computer tell you?
  • Does the quality of your coverage change with time of day?
  • Do you successfully connect to the network but then drop your connection? Or, are you unable to connect?

Whatever the answers are to these questions -  Go to the HelpDesk and ask for help or call 677-2964. Tell them the results of your investigations.

 

I am having trouble getting BUsecure configured on my computer. I get messages about certificates. What should I do?

We are working on a downloadable applet that will help you install BUsecure on your computer. We are working on the final testing at this point. This should make it easier for you in the future. In the meantime, bring your computer to the Help Desk for assistance with configuring BUsecure