These are important steps to take in the classroom to ensure better wifi performance and maintain connectivity:
1. Turn off all Myfi devices and tethered phones - these units function as an access point to allow a few users to connect to them for wifi service. These use the cellular network as their backhaul to the Internet. Any data charges are applied to a users phone service bill. Many users may have tethering turned on on their phone and not even know it. Please check your phone or otherwise you will be charged for the data used.
2. Correctly set up your device - check our wifi setup guides.
3. Turn off sleep or power save mode - most phones and other devices have a setting to allow them to go to "sleep" or power down the wifi card within the phone in order to save battery life. When running an application such as REEF, communication must be kept running to the REEF server during polling sessions. If a device goes to sleep, then it stops communicating to the REEF servers and REEF responds with a "Network error" or "Network down" message. The user has to unlock or awaken their device which in turn, then has to re-enable their wireless card, re-authenticate to the campus network, and then reconnect to REEF. This can be perceived as the network running slow or even down depending upon the number of devices doing this in a given room.
4. Other programs running on a device - Facebook, Netflix, gaming, etc, could be running in the background on devices and using a lot of bandwidth during class time. It is encouraged that other programs be shut down during a class period so that the network bandwidth can be used for academic purposes.
5. Other users - During class changes, there are a lot of devices being moved around on campus. During that time, the wireless system is trying to keep the connected users up and running by moving them from one access point to another. Many people are logging out of the system while others are moving into the classroom and logging in. During the first few minutes of a class starting, the wifi system is trying to juggle all of this activity to get users connected to the system. It then tries to balance the load on the access points to also help users get the most out of the system. Once people are in place, the system starts to settle down. Many times, there may be an abundance of users awaiting in the hallways for the next class session. While we have tried to put into place enough coverage to accommodate class changes, those users may be running high bandwidth applications and therefore using a lot of the available bandwidth. This can impact nearby access points, some of which may be in the classroom.
These are a few things we see on the wifi system which can cause an impact to the functionality. There are a lot of factors involved when someone experiences a network issue. The timing of events on the wifi system is crucial. An intermittent problem is extremely difficult to pinpoint, but if we have the exact time and location that it happened, we may be able to see something within our logs which can help us to correct it. Thank you for working with us to try to make this system as robust as possible.