From the KnowledgeBase
Below find answers to commonly asked questions regarding wireless networking available to students.
- Where is wireless available?
- How do I find out my wireless hardware (a.k.a. mac) address?
- How do I enable my wireless card on a Windows computer?
- How do I configure my Mac OS X computer for wireless?
- Does my wireless connection replace my wired (Ethernet) connection?
- How can I troubleshoot my wireless connection?
- What rules and regulations apply to the use of the wireless network?
- How can I get help with my wireless connection?
- Where can I find more information on wireless at Princeton?
Wireless networking is available in all undergraduate dormitories and throughout campus. See: www.princeton.edu/wirelessmap for details.
Please report any wireless outage (that is, a complete and sustained loss of signal, even after restarting your computer) to the OIT Help Desk (8-HELP, Option 1, or email@example.com).
- Troubleshooting weak or no wireless signal in your dorm room
- Wireless: Trouble connecting to puwireless if puvisitor is a remembered network
No. Wireless in Princeton's dorms is best used as a complement to wired networking, not as a replacement. There are a number of reasons for this.
Speed and reliability of wireless connections
Wireless connections are less reliable than wired (Ethernet) connections, in part because, like any radio signal, they are vulnerable to interference from certain obstacles and other radio devices - such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, building walls, or even a person walking by. Again, Ethernet is not subject to such interference.Furthermore, transfer speeds are considerably slower with wireless than they are with Ethernet. When you use your wireless connection, your computer is "talking" to the network via a wireless access point - a radio transceiver - whose bandwidth, or data flow capacity, is being shared by however many computers happen to be within its range. While the slowdown is usually negligible for applications like e-mail, web browsing, and instant messaging, you are likely to notice a significant difference when viewing or transferring especially large files. Ethernet, by contrast, provides a single line dedicated to your computer's connection, resulting in much faster downloads and uploads. More information on wireless performance and reliability: http://www.net.princeton.edu/oit-wireless-service.html#reliable. OIT recommends that you use your Ethernet connection for downloading large or important files.
Since wireless transmits your information over the open airwaves, it is very easy for someone to intercept, or even modify, your information en route. With Ethernet, interception usually requires a physical connection to some part of the network across which your data flows. If you do decide to use wireless to transmit sensitive information, you should use software that uses strong encryption, and you should only transmit information wirelessly to web sites that use strong encryption - generally those showing "https://" (note the "s") in the Address Bar of your web browser. (This is a good rule to follow no matter what type of connection you are using - but especially important with wireless.) More information on wireless security: http://www.net.princeton.edu/oit-wireless-service.html#security
All of the same regulations apply to using Princeton's wireless network as apply to its Ethernet network. These include Princeton's Information Technology Policy, as well as computing-relevant items in Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities. The University's Information Technology Policy states:
"Individual members of the campus community who elect to install wireless access points must assure that their operation will not disrupt University wireless network service."
as well as
"Wireless access service is provided by the University in campus dormitories and some University-owned off-campus apartments. Some commonly used appliances, for example certain cordless telephones and most microwave ovens, operate at a frequency that could interfere with wireless network service. Personal wireless access points also can cause such interference. If a device interferes significantly with the University’s residential wireless network service, the owner may be required to relinquish use of the device in the residence. Malicious use of any such device to disrupt network service will be considered a serious violation of University regulations."
For more information, see:
- Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities: www.princeton.edu/rrr
- Princeton University Information Technology Policy: www.princeton.edu/itpolicy
- For general information on wireless at Princeton, including links to configuration instructions and a wireless coverage map, see www.princeton.edu/wireless
- How to register your computer for the Princeton network (including both wired and wireless), see www.princeton.edu/dormnet
- Wireless: Troubleshooting weak or no wireless signal in your dorm room
- For technical information on wireless networking at Princeton, see http://www.net.princeton.edu/oit-wireless-service.html.
For in-room help setting up your wireless connection, contact one of your Residential Computing Consultants (RCCs). See www.princeton.edu/rcc to learn who your RCCs are.
For help with your wireless connection, please contact the OIT Help Desk by calling 8-HELP (Option 1) or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.