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Residence Hall Networking Tips

Pepperdine's networking team has been working closely with students and staff in the residence halls to help improve their wireless (WiFi) network experience. Although the network connections serving the residence halls and Internet have been performing well, there is an over-utilization of a handful of wireless access points at various locations during the evening hours. However, the greater number of wireless access points are being under-utilized.

Students working in areas of "over-utilization" can experience slow network connections and "drop-offs." This worsens at night when there is an increase in gaming and Wii activities. The 'slow network' experience can be further aggravated by increased microwave oven usage. (Microwaves are known to substantially decrease WiFi performance).

The following tips may help improve Internet performance in the residence halls:

  1. Students working inside of their rooms should always plug directly into their wired Ethernet network jack. This is a dedicated connection that is always faster than WiFi.
    • When plugged into the wired Ethernet jack, students should be sure to disable their WIRELESS interface. This prevents looping between the wired and wireless networks and will increase performance even more.
    • When plugged into the wired Ethernet jack, students should immediately launch their Internet Web browser. If the student needs to register their wired interface's MAC address, the network registration website should be the first website they will see and they will be prompted with instructions.
  2. Students working together in large groups or gaming in large groups and using WiFi should consider splitting up into groups of six or fewer and setting up their equipment in another location within the same residence hall to be sure to use wireless access points (APs) that are under-utilized.
  3. All students, faculty, and staff are asked not to install their own store-bought WiFi APs anywhere on the university network (with the exception of Baxter Fac/Staff Condos). The radio signals coming from these "rogue" APs have interfered with the supported University WiFi network and have caused poor performance, drop-offs, and partial building outages.

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