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Guest Accounts
Ohio University Wireless Network
Wireless Network Capabilities
Networking Cables

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I connect? 
What kind of wireless do you offer?
What operating systems are supported?
What hardware, software, and drivers are needed?
Is a particular wireless card recommended?
What if I want a brand that you don't sell?
How much does a wireless card cost?
What are the benefits of wireless?
What are the disadvantages?
What do I need to know about security?
What is the speed of wireless?
Does the number of users affect connection speed?
What can disrupt my service?
Will wireless interfere with my cell phone reception?
With 100% wireless coverage on the way, why do I still need a wired connection?
Do I have to go wireless?

 


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How do I connect?

Go to a wireless coverage area

    * Turn on your computer
    * Open a web browser
    * Load a web page (any page will do). The wireless login page should load automatically.
    * First time guest users, follow the appropriate link on the login page to activate your account. Otherwise, enter your Oak ID and password in the boxes and click "Log In".

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What kind of wireless do you offer?

    * 802.11b works anywhere on campus
    * 802.11g works in most locations on campus
    * 802.11a is available in a few specific locations on campus

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What operating systems are supported?

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and MacOS. Others may work as well; however, our staff is only trained to troubleshoot problems with supported OSes.

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What hardware, software, and drivers are needed?

    * Hardware: a built-in or add-on 802.11b, 802.11b/g, or 802.11b/g/a wireless adapter.
          o Adapters available from OIT
    * Software: a web browser.
    * Drivers: No special drivers are needed for our wireless network; however, if you are installing a brand new wireless adapter in your computer, you may need to install the driver software that came with the adapter. Check your owner's manual for more information.

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Is a particular wireless card recommended?


All of the cards we sell work fine with the University's wireless network. The more expensive, multi-protocol cards may provide better performance when used in areas that support the faster protocols; however, they are not required for campus wireless access.

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What if I want a brand that you don't sell?

We have designed the Ohio wireless network to support any 802.11b wireless card with at least 30mW transmit power. You do not have to purchase your wireless adapter from OIT.

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How much does a wireless card cost?

Between approximately $55 and $130.

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What are the benefits of wireless?

    * Mobility, mobility, mobility!

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What are the disadvantages?

    * Security
    * Speed
    * Reliability

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What do I need to know about security?

    * Data between your computer and the access point is not encrypted by default.
    * Connections to centrally maintained servers like Oak, Oracle Calendar, and Blackboard are secure.
    * Connections to departmental servers or non-University servers may or may not be secure, depending on how the server is configured.
          o General rule for web sites: If the address doesn't start with "https", then it's not secure!
    * Plain text protocols like Telnet, FTP, IMAP, POP cannot be used on Ohio's wireless network.
    * More on wireless security

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What is the speed of wireless?

In theory, you should be able to get either 11 Mbps or 54 Mbps, depending on what kind of adapter you have in your laptop and what kind of access point you are connected to:

    * 802.11b adapter: 11 Mbps
    * 802.11g adapter: 54 Mbps when connected to an 11g access point, 11 Mbps when connected to an 11b access point
    * 802.11a adapter: 54 Mbps when connected to an 11a or 11g access point, 11 Mbps when connected to an 11b access point (assuming that your adapter supports all 3 protocols)

In practice, everyone in the same wireless cell shares that cell's bandwidth, so your actual speed will depend on how many other people are logged on in your location and what they are doing on the network. Interference from things like microwave ovens also can slow you down.

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Does the number of users affect connection speed?


Yes. Everyone in the same wireless cell shares that cell's bandwidth, so your actual speed will depend on how many other people are logged on in your location.

For typical Internet applications like surfing the web, checking e-mail and instant messaging, a single access point can handle over 30 simultaneous users with no noticeable drop in performance. For high bandwidth applications like video conferencing or music downloads, even a single user might be enough to notice a performance drop.

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What can disrupt my service?

Any device that operates on the 2.4 GHz band can interfere with your wireless connection:

    * Cordless phones
    * A non-University wireless access point in a nearby room
    * Wireless cameras
    * A misconfigured wireless card in a neighbor's computer
    * Bluetooth wireless accessories
    * Microwave ovens
    * Delivery trucks' satellite tracking systems

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Will wireless interfere with my cell phone reception?

No.

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With 100% wireless coverage on the way, why do I still need a wired connection?

A wired connection has many advantages over a wireless connection:

    * More secure
    * Faster
    * More reliable

Think of the wireless network as an extension of the wired network rather than a replacement.

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Do I have to go wireless?

No
 
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