Optimize your residence hall Wi-Fi connection

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About this article

This article provides instructions for optimizing the performance of campus Wi Fi in WSU residence hall rooms. It is intended for all students living in WSU residence halls who are experiencing a weak Wi Fi signal, slow network performance when connected to campus Wi Fi, or interruptions in wireless connectivity.

Troubleshooting Wi Fi issues

Using Wi-Fi is convenient, but unlike other types of data connections, there are more things to consider if it isn’t working well. Unlike a wired connection, Wi-Fi 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 most 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 Wi Fi right after disconnecting from wired connection or when returning to your room after being connected at other locations on campus or off, try restarting your machine. This will renew your IP address and reconnect your computer to the nearest Wi Fi access point.

Look for sources of potential interference

Older microwave ovens, new Internet TVs, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, wireless speaker systems, wireless cameras (very likely to cause problems), Chromecast , or wireless game controllers can, and frequently do in densely packed residence halls, interfere with your ability to establish and maintain a consistent Wi-Fi connection. Older microwaves are particularly prone to cause interference, reducing Wi Fi performance and sometimes knocking everyone off nearby Wi Fi access points while running. Wifi issues-appliances1.png

Disable wireless devices when not in use

Printers

Many new printers have the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network and this feature is enabled by default. Given that you are not able to attach most of these printers to the Warrior wireless network, you might as well disable that printer feature and free up the wireless bandwidth it uses. Consult your owner's manual for instructions. This feature can be enabled again as needed.

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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 and wake them up again when you get back.

AsleepOnKeyboard.jpg

Disable personal wireless access points

WSU prohibits the installation and use of personal Wi Fi access points in campus residence halls. This includes cell phone hot spots. The use of such services will interfere with campus Wi Fi performance.

Are there wireless weak spots in your room?

Is there one area of your room where the campus Wi Fi 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 is having six of his/her friends over and they are 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.

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

If so, there may be a problem with your device's wireless card. 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.