Optimize your residence hall Wi-Fi connection

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About this article

This article provides instructions for optimizing the performance of campus WiFi in WSU residence halls. It is intended for all students living in WSU residence halls who are experiencing a weak WiFi signal, slow network performance, or interruptions in wireless connectivity while in the residence halls.

Troubleshooting WiFi issues

Using WiFi is convenient, but unlike other types of data connections, there are many factors to consider when WiFi isn’t working well. Unlike a wired connection, WiFi is a shared resource. Everyone using it plays a role in making everyone else’s experience better or worse. All residence hall common areas and dorm rooms at WSU are covered by the Warrior wireless service. If your computer sees the Warrior network but the signal strength is not strong enough to provide a consistent signal, here are troubleshooting steps to follow:

Restart your computer

If you experience problems connecting to WiFi right after disconnecting from a wired (Ethernet) connection or when returning to your room after being connected to Warrior WiFi at other locations, try restarting your computer. This will renew your IP address and reconnect your computer to the nearest WiFi access point.

Look for sources of potential interference

Older microwave ovens, Smart TVs, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, wireless speaker systems, wireless security cameras, wireless gaming controllers, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, and Roku devices are just some of the commonly used devices that can interfere with your ability to establish and maintain a consistent WiFi connection. Older microwaves are particularly prone to cause interference, reducing WiFi performance and sometimes knocking everyone off nearby WiFi access points while they are running.

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Disable wireless devices when not in use

Printers

Many personal printers have the ability to connect to WiFi to do wireless printing, and this feature is sometimes enabled by default. Since WSU has many printers available in the residence halls, and since wireless printers can almost always be plugged in to your computer via USB, we suggest turning off the WiFi on any personal printers while they are in the residence halls. Consult your owner's manual for instructions on how to do this.

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Other devices

If you go to class and leave your laptop or tablet on in your room, you aren’t just wasting electricity, you are occupying a wireless channel needlessly. Just put your devices to sleep (close the lid) and wake them up again (open the lid) when you get back. Closing the lid should also lock your computer screen to help keep your data secure.

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Disable personal wireless access points

WSU prohibits the installation and use of personal WiFi access points in campus residence halls. This includes cell phone hot spots. The use of such services interferes significantly with campus WiFi performance.

Are there wireless weak spots in your room?

Is there one area of your room where the campus WiFi signal seems stronger than in other areas? If so, is this consistent across various times of day? When you notice the signal strength dropping, is there some activity that always seems to be happening (e.g., your roommate has six friends over and they're all using the wireless network, etc.)? It's possible that this is caused by temporary interference, but it could also be due to the position of the nearest wireless access point. This is good information to pass along to the Technical Support Center if you need help. Call us at 507-457-5240.

Are you having trouble with wireless performance in other areas of campus?

If so, there may be a problem specific to your computer. Definitely contact the Technical Support Center (AskTech@winona.edu, 507-457-5240, Somsen Hall 207).

What do I do next?

Please follow these steps before contacting the Technical Support Center:

  • See if others around you can still connect to Warrior. If they can, and you are the only one having the problem, then you know it is something related to your device. If everyone cannot connect, then someone (not everyone) needs to contact the Technical Support Center. In that case, be sure to note that the entire hall or floor cannot connect, as that will facilitate troubleshooting.
  • Try repairing your wireless connection. In Windows, this is as easy as bringing up your Network Connections and selecting the Repair option on your wireless connection. For Macs, you can turn Airport off and then on again. This has the effect of causing your wireless connection to reset, and this can “clear the cobwebs” of a stale connection with bad cached data.
  • See if you can connect somewhere other than your room. If you can connect in the common areas and other places but not your room, this will greatly facilitate troubleshooting. If you still cannot connect in your room after repairing your connection, but you can connect in other buildings or common areas in your residence hall, please let the Technical Support Center know that when you request assistance.

How do I contact the Technical Support Center?

If you have checked each of these troubleshooting points and the signal strength continues to be weak, the Technical Support Center wants to know about your findings. Please call or email the Technical Support Center (AskTech@winona.edu, 507-457-5240, Somsen Hall 207) and let us know the details of your findings. We will dispatch a technician to investigate the problem.