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Be a Good Wi-Fi Citizen

By Dan Heuskin  

Published August 29, 2017

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi is essential for a modern research university like UB. And every single person on a network can have a huge impact on just how fast and reliable it is for everyone.

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Daniel Heuskin (UB Student, Class of 2017) is originally from Long Island, NY. He is studying English at UB with aspirations to become a teacher or writer. In his free time, he enjoys playing bass guitar, doing nature photography, writing songs and reading.

Thanks to UB’s Wi-Fi Boost project, UB’s networks are being upgraded to the latest, fastest standard. But many people don’t realize that, infrastructure aside, how people use the network can have an enormous impact.

Wi-Fi networks like eduroam use a range of radio frequencies available for public use. The performance of a network relies on the continuity of these frequencies—but this continuity is easily disrupted by certain electronic devices and appliances. Devices like personal Wi-Fi routers, hotspots, and wireless printers emit frequencies that may cause interference and degrade Wi-Fi performance for everyone.

The Don'ts of Good Wi-Fi Citizenship

For students, faculty, and staff in a university setting, campus Wi-Fi is a communal resource. The sharing of a common resource calls for responsible and considerate behavior—in other words, good citizenship—by everyone. There are a number of simple steps and precautions you can take to be a good Wi-Fi citizen here at UB.

First, you should refrain from using personal Wi-Fi routers. These cause significant deterioration of the Wi-Fi environment, sometimes rendering Wi-Fi completely unusable in certain areas. If you have a situation that you think requires a personal access point, consider contacting the UBIT Help Center or Tech Squad first—they may be able to help you solve your initial problem.

Also, if your wireless printer has a wired option, you should use that. In wireless mode, wireless printers can have a deteriorating impact on campus Wi-Fi just like routers.

Other devices—such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, wireless audio speakers, wireless clocks, projectors, cameras, and gaming console controllers—can also disrupt Wi-Fi. In general, the fewer devices like these you keep plugged in and powered on in your space, the better and more consistent your Wi-Fi will be..

The Do's of Good Wi-Fi Citizenship

Now, the good news—UB’s Wi-Fi networks are designed for optimum speed, and using the networks as designed can, and will, have a positive effect on everyone’s experience.

Use eduroam

The first step is to use eduroam, UB’s fastest and most secure Wi-Fi network. eduroam is also present on participating college and university campuses around the world.

UB Connect is a less secure, limited network, meant for visitors without UB credentials and devices that can’t connect to eduroam. If you’re a UB student, faculty or staff member, in most cases you’ll want to connect to eduroam since it’s encrypted and secure.

Go Wired with ResNet

For truly optimum Internet speeds, you can bypass the Wi-Fi networks altogether in your residence hall or on-campus apartment. ResNet is UB’s wired (Ethernet) network and it’s hundreds of times faster than Wi-Fi.

Using ResNet whenever possible also frees up space on the Wi-Fi networks for your devices that need it, not to mention everyone else’s devices, making for faster and less congested campus Wi-Fi.

Get Help

Questions about campus Wi-Fi or wired networks? Contact the UBIT Help Center or schedule a Tech Squad appointment via www.buffalo.edu/ubit/help or 716-645-3542.