Wi-Fi Troubles And How They Can Be Fixed

November 15, 2016

By Jonathan DeLeon

With the new “heat mapping” program, Dominican’s tech and support center strives to continue to improve the Wi-Fi campus-wide.

According to the technical support website, “a Wi-Fi heat map shows real-time coverage and quality of a wireless infrastructure overlaid on a map, typically a floor plan. Analysis can be performed through an automated measurement of signal strength between access points.”

In December 2011, the first wireless connection was set up in the residence halls and increased funding from the tech plan allowed the expansion of campus Wi-Fi to be continued. 

There are three main Wi-Fi networks available: DU Wireless, DU Guest Wireless and Restricted Wireless, each having a specific purpose.

These were added, “as a result of ‘personal broadcast devices’ such as printers and routers causing interference and overloading the radio frequency,” according to Jill Albin-Hill, vice president for information technology. 

DU Wireless is the main and most protect network used for phones, desktop computers, tablets and laptops. However, you have to be a student or faculty member to use it because is locked. DU Guest Wireless has been restricted, as part of increased protection and source of reliability for the main network and DU Restricted Wireless should be used for devices such as Apple Televisions, wireless printer and Chromecasts.

There are specific steps that can be taken to link the computers and printers together, despite differing networks.

For PC’s, safe connect has provided a secure network that checks for updated Windows programs and anti-virus which must be passed before connecting.   

Additional improvements include access points added in Murray Hall, Power Hall, Crown 330, Crown 340 and the Old Chapel in Priory. 

“In order to test signal strength, we would go around with a laptop or phone but we needed something more systematic to do it,” Hill said. “You may see us going around with a cart and a device (mapping tool) trying to understand the experience.” 

These tests involve mapping the speed and signal strength of an area and monitoring how those readings change on a daily. They help determine what changes and adjustments need to be made to the network. The mapping tool would gather data from every access point on campus and determine dead or low areas of coverage.  

The support center has worked hard to fix the problem but students and faculty have to help as well. There should be no self-built wireless networks on campus and if there are any difficulties, members of the community should report them to the support center immediately.

Resources can be found on supportcenter.dom.edu. You can contact the support center via email at supportcenter@dom.edu, by phone at 708-524-6888 or visit them Lewis Hall 048.