Information Technology Services

Clark WiFi

Clark Wireless Upgrade FAQ

  • What will I see as part of this upgrade?
    • When it is complete, you'll see increased WiFi coverage across campus and increased speeds in existing coverage areas. The major piece of the upgrade is adding approximately 800 access points across campus. Each new access point location will require additional wiring be installed or reconfigured to connect it back to the campus network. You may see electricians working in a building in the month or two before the building is scheduled to be completed.

  • What does an access point (AP) do?
    • The access point is what your wireless device talks to using WiFi; it links your device to the campus network. The access point is connected via a wire back to the rest of the network infastructure, just like your desktop might be. If the access point is damaged or not working properly, and there isn't another access point within range of your wireless device, your device won't be able to communicate with the network using WiFi.

  • What does an access point look like?
    • There are three different models of AP's used around campus. In most places, we're using the Aruba Networks AP225. In the residence halls, you may see an AP installed directly in your room. These AP's are the Aruba Networks AP205H. Finally, you will see AP's outside, and those are the Aruba Networks AP275.

  • I don't see any lights working on an AP - does that mean it's broken?
    • Nope - we intentionally turn lights on the AP's in residence hall rooms off so the bright lights don't disturb you. All AP's are centrally monitored so if power is lost to one, we'll be notified.

  • I don't want to see any lights on an AP - can I just over them up?
    • No - please don't! Anything stuck to or covering the AP's can decrease their effectiveness or cause them to retain too much heat. If the lights on an AP in a residence hall are disruptive to you, please contact the ITS Help Desk with the exact location of the AP, and we can disable the lights for you.

  • I've heard of stores being able to track my location by my wireless device. Do you track my location?
    • In an effort to provide the best service and to be able to troubleshoot problems, detailed device location information is centrally stored for 48 hours. Less detailed location information about your device is stored for 14 days. Your wireless location information is defined as Restricted Data per Clark's Data Security Policy and is treated as such (details about Clark's Data Security Policy are avialable at http://www.clarku.edu/offices/its/policies/data_security_all.cfm).

  • Now that I have an AP in my residence hall room, what happened to my network jack?
    • If you have an AP205H in your residence hall room, we may have had to use the existing network cabling to supply connectivity to it. The AP205H has built in network ports available for your use. The AP has multiple Ethernet ports located on the bottom edge of the unit. You can plug your desktop or gaming system into either of the blue networks ports labeled E1 or E2 (see image here).

  • Should I be concerned about a wireless radio in my room?
    • We don't believe so. Because we've added more AP's, the power of the radio on the AP is turned down lower. We don't suggest you spend 8 hours sleeping a foot away from it, but these are the same model of AP that are used in many hotel rooms across the globe. Plus it does put off heat, so you'll get warm if you hang out by it.

  • Are there things I can do to get better performance from my AP?
    • There aren't things you can do to get better performance, but there are things you can do to make it worse. Here's things you shouldn't do to an AP: hang things on it, cover it, hit it, get it wet, pile furniture in front of it, do anything else to damage it.

  • Will you ever enter my residence hall room to service the equipment?
    • We will never enter your personal residence hall room without your knowledge. If there is a problem and we need to service equipment in your room, the ITS Help Desk will make an appointment with you. In suites with common areas, we may enter the common area of a suite to service or install equipment, but will not enter an individual's room.

  • This new wireless network is awesome. I was thinking about buying the same AP at home. Will it work?
    • Nope, sorry. All the access points on campus talk back to a central controller and are configured to only work on campus. Unlike your home wireless equipment, it will not work without being able to talk to Clark's central controller.

  • Ut-oh. I just broke an AP, now what?
    • The AP's link your cell phones, tablets, compters, game systems, etc... with the Internet, so treat them with the love they deserve. If there is damage to an AP, a charge will be assesed to everyone in your room, suite, or floor. A damaged AP225 will result in a $1500 charge. A damaged AP205H will result in a $500 charge.