From the KnowledgeBase
The wireless signal in my room appears weak or non-existent - what should I do?
All dorm rooms at Princeton are covered by the Princeton wireless service. This network is intended as a convenience network, not as a replacement for Princeton's wired Ethernet infrastructure. If you are handling data sets or other academic endeavors on the network, it is highly recommended that you use the wired network instead of the wireless network.
The Princeton-provided wireless network is called puwireless. If your computer does not see this wireless zone, make sure your computer is configured properly (see kb.princeton.edu/9744 for details). If your computer sees the puwireless zone but the signal strength is not strong enough to provide a consistent signal, here are troubleshooting steps to follow:
Restart your computer
Presently, the access points are on a separate subnet. As a result, after removing the computer from wired Ethernet, you should restart the machine before wireless service is attempted (a new IP address must be obtained if the computer is to be used on a separate subnet).
Elevate your computer
Reception improves drastically as the computer is placed higher above ground level. Elevating your laptop even several inches will improve service significantly. Placing your computer on top of a book or two will avoid the ground's smothering and absorption of the signal.
Is there a 2.4 GHz cordless phone set operating in your room or a nearby
These phones cause interference with wireless networks.
Is there a personal wireless access point operating in your room or a
Personal access points may interfere with the Princeton wireless network.
Is there a microwave operating in your room or in a nearby room?
Most microwave ovens operate at a frequency that sometimes can interfere with wireless networks. (If a microwave does interfere with a wireless network, it is often an indication that the microwave oven is leaking radiation above approved levels. In those cases, the microwave oven needs to be replaced as is it also a potential health risk in addition to creating RF problems for wireless connectivity.)
Is the wireless signal strength appearing in pockets of space throughout
your room (e.g., is there one area which has strong signal strength and another
area which has weak signal strength)?
If so, is the pocketed signal strength consistent across various times of day (e.g., if the wireless signal strength on your desk is weaker than other areas in your room, is it weaker in the morning, weaker in the evening, etc)? When you notice the signal strength dropping, is there some activity which 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.)?
Does your computer receive a stronger wireless signal in other
If not, it may be prudent to investigate the operation and viability of your computer's wireless card.
What do I do next?
If you have checked each of these troubleshooting points and the signal strength continues to be weak, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) wants to know about your findings. Please call the OIT Help Desk (258-HELP) and let us know the details of your findings. We will dispatch a technician (RCC or Hardware Support, as appropriate) to investigate the problem.