Wireless Access - FAQ

 

  1. What is a Wireless Network?
  2. What is the coverage area of the BSU Wireless Network?
  3. Can  I access the Wireless Network at my home?
  4. How fast is the Wireless Network?
  5. What brands of Wireless Cards can I use?
  6. Where can I buy a Wireless Card?
  7. How does roaming work on the wireless network?
  8. What type of security is on the wireless network?

 


1).  What is a Wireless Network?

A wireless network is a radio based extension of the current campus network.  By providing wireless access, users in open locations, like a dining area or lobby, can access the network without the clutter of wires running across the floor.  Wireless access is used in addition to the current network and is not intended as a replacement for wired connections that provide more speed and security.


2).  What is the coverage area of the BSU Wireless Network?

Ball State University Unified Communications offers wireless access for the Muncie campus including academic and administrative buildings, residence halls, and much of the campus green space.  Wireless network access has also been made available at the Ball State Indianapolis and Fisher Centers.  This network is not designed for use outside of these areas and does not function as an Internet service provider for off-campus students. 


3).  Can  I access the Wireless Network at my home?

The Ball State wireless network is a local area network that works on-campus.  All residence hall rooms have access to the wireless network, but students living off-campus will not have access to the Ball State wireless network when they are at home.

Students living off-campus, including Distance Education students, that want internet access at home will need to purchase internet service from an internet service provider.  They can then purchase and set up a wireless router to broadcast a wireless signal in their home.  It is important to note that a wireless network will work best with a DSL or cable internet service.  Using a wireless router with a dial up internet service is not recommended.


4).  How fast is the Wireless Network?

Depending on what wireless protocols your card supports, it can have up to a theoretical speed of 300Mbps in buildings with 802.11n coverage. This would correlate to real-world performance of approximately 100Mbps in ideal circumstances.   As this is a shared network, the number of users on your access point and what types of applications they are using may affect your performance.  The performance speeds listed above assume you are using an 802.11n dual-band card in a building with 802.11n coverage.  802.11g cards will see an approximate performance speed of 20Mbps.


5).  What types of Wireless Cards can I use?

Most newer laptops come equipped with a built-in wireless card.  Preferably, the card should support dual-band 802.11n, however only a 802.11g card is required.  If your laptop does not come with an internal card, an external card can be purchased at a computer store or the Technology Store located in Bracken Library room 103.


6).  Where can I buy a Wireless Card?

Wireless cards can be purchased at most computer stores.  They are available on-campus at the Technology Store located in Bracken Library room 103.   


7).  How does roaming work on the wireless network?
 
As you move throughout campus wirelessly, your connection will continue to function as you move from building to building and floor to floor.


8).  What type of security is on the wireless network?
 
When accessing Ball State's 'bsusecure' SSID, you will be required to configure your laptop for WPA2-Enterprise and type in your Ball State username/password to get network access.  This process helps ensure that only authorized users are accessing the Ball State network.

The 'guest' SSID is not intended to provide secure wireless access for students. This network is available for limited use by non-student guests of the University.

 
   
How do I get help?

Online help for using the Ball State wireless network is available at www.bsu.edu/helpdesk. From this site, you will be able to review the Wireless Network FAQ as well as submit a ticket to request assistance. In addition to submitting a ticket, you may request assistance by calling the Technolgoy HelpDesk at 765-285-1517 or by stopping by the Tech Center in Bracken Library, room 101.

Students can schedule an appointment for help installing their wireless card or for help getting connected by going to www.bsu.edu/techtime and making an appointment for TechTime.