Beginning Tuesday Dec 2nd, there will be some changes to the EECS wireless networks in Soda Hall. We are moving wireless services in Soda to new hardware. Cory Hall will be upgraded soon after, followed by BWRC, HMMB and Sibley Auditorium.
For some months now IDSG has been testing the next generation of WiFi wireless technology, 802.11n. 802.11n is an emerging standard that uses several schemes to increase data throughput 4-6 times over what is possible with 802.11a or 802.11g. To get the full benefit of this new technology, you will need a newer wireless adapter that supports the 802.11n technology. However, even legacy 802.11a/b/g clients will experience better performance because the new Access Points are better at “hearing” client devices. As a consequence, the uplink data rate is higher. At a later date, we will be testing a further enhancement which will hopefully increase throughput to legacy a/b/g clients in the downlink direction as well.
In the past, for 2.4GHz clients, EECS supported only 802.11b (11Mbps) and not 802.11g (54Mbps). We will now support 802.11g in addition to 802.11n at 2.4GHz. Also, two new WLANs are dual band enabled and work with either 2.4GHz or 5GHz clients. The 5GHz band is strongly preferred. Despite having less effective propagation at 5GHz, our dense AP deployment mitigates this shortcoming. On the positive side, 5GHz is a much less crowded band, there is far less noise at this band; with six channels instead of only three that 2.4GHz offers. With more channels available, co-channel interference with other WiFi radios is greatly minimized. Additionally, 5GHz offers the capability of running 40Mhz wide channels instead of the usual 20MHz, increasing throughput capability again. Dual band clients do not always make the best choice of band and we have disabled both the 1Mb/sec and 2Mb/sec data rates at 2.4GHz in an effort to mitigate this. Clients will more often choose 5GHz if they support it. This scheme is used successfully at many enterprises (especially in education) without adverse effects.
With the new hardware, we will announce the following wireless networks:
- Remains the same (Unencrypted, Calnet web authentication)
- Remains the same (weak WEP encryption, MAC address registration required)
- Replaces the “Guest” SSID
- Replaces the “EECS-11a” SSID (Unencrypted, EECS web authentication, MAC address registration required)
- NEW, open for Beta testing (WPA2 encryption, 802.1x authentication w/ EECS Windows credentials, MAC address registration required)