Image of WiFi assistanceOne of the topics the  Technology Service Desk most frequently receives questions about is wireless networking on Elon’s campus. There are three networks for faculty, staff, and students access: elonu, elonu-secure, and elonu-connect. Users often wonder about wireless connection speeds, configurations, and why a wireless device works at home and not on-campus. Read on for information and tips regarding our wireless network.

About our network

Elon University maintains a robust wireless data network throughout the entire campus, including several outdoor areas between buildings. This network provides mobile access to the internet, as well as to Elon University online resources. Our network, which is based on 802.11a/b/g/n standards, is continually altered to accommodate changing community needs and expanded to include new buildings on campus.

Available networks

Elon University offers several networks for faculty, staff, and student use. Additionally, two networks are available for guests and visitors.

  • elonu – The elonu network is secured by user/password authentication, but data is not encrypted. This network requires you to login each time you connect.
  • elonu-secure – The elonu-secure network is encrypted using the latest standards for enterprise-level networks. After your initial connection, you will not be prompted to login again.
  • elonu-connect – The elonu-connect network utilizes WPA2-PSK security, allowing consumer-grade wireless devices such as printers, gaming consoles, Chromecast, FireTV sticks, and Roku to connect to wireless. To configure this network, you first need to register your device at Elon University’s My Devices site. Afterwards, you will be provided with a password to use on your device to connect it to the network.
  • elonu-guest – The elonu-guest network is for university guests and requires an Elon University sponsor to request access. If you have a guest coming to Elon University, you should plan in advance and request a university network guest account.
  • Public – The public network does not require a login and is available in select areas.

Connection issues

There are a variety of reasons why users may experience limited or no connection to an Elon University wireless network:

  • High traffic times – There are peak traffic times when wireless networks experience the most use from faculty, staff, and students. During these times, users may encounter a sluggish connection due to the sheer volume of individuals transmitting data over the networks.
  • User location – Sometimes other devices or building material (e.g., brick, wood, metal) may interfere with wireless signals. People who use personal routers (even though they are not allowed on campus) can also interfere with the Elon networks. Additionally, other wireless devices and consumer equipment, such as Bluetooth devices, phones, microwaves, wireless printers, and video game consoles share the same wireless frequency spectrum. Any new devices that come online raise the “noise” of the network, similar to the way each individual’s voice adds to the cacophony in a crowded cafeteria, preventing you from hearing any one person clearly.
  • Device network cards – When it comes to making computer purchases, it’s best for you to do your homework. It does little good to get a great deal on a PC or other device, only to find that it uses obscure or poorly supported standards, network cards, or drivers. For example, several PCs have reported problems with Windows 8.1 and certain hardware manufacturers. Elon University does not make recommendations in this area, but your device should at bare minimum support WPA-Enterprise levels of wireless encryption.

Support

Again, Instructional & Campus Technologies discourages the use of standalone/personal wireless routers, since they interfere with Elon University’s wireless networks. If you experience issues with a wireless network on campus, please contact the Technology Service Desk at (336) 278-5200. You should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name and Elon University username
  • Email and phone number for contact
  • Date and time when the problem occurred
  • Error messages (if any) that were displayed
  • Physical location on campus where the problem occurred (building and room number)
  • MAC address of your network adapter (to learn how to find this, simply Google “how to find mac address for [insert device name]”)
  • IP address (To learn how to find this, visit How To Find My IP Address)
  • Type of equipment used (e.g., Mac, PC, iPhone, etc.)

Image by Flickr user Maurizio Pesce | CC BY

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Ryan Gay

Ryan Gay

Ryan is a Technical Writer and Help Desk Associate for Campus Technology Support. He has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from UNC-Greensboro.

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