General Wi-Fi Information

Issue/Question

Why is my Wi-Fi running slowly? Why am I having Wi-Fi problems?

Environment

  • WKU-WIRELESS
  • WKU-SECURE

Cause

WKU’s wireless infrastructure is a robust system that includes 1,650+ enterprise-grade wireless access points distributed across the campus. During the fall and spring semesters, we regularly peak with 10,000 devices concurrently utilizing WKU’s wireless network. Due to the density in coverage and quantity of users, this is a vastly different environment from one’s home wireless network. As a whole, most users do not commonly experience problems, but under certain circumstances, users in a given area, at a given time can experience adverse performance.

Common Causes of Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi performance may be affected by many factors, including, but not limited to:

  • User device proximity to a wireless access point
  • Total users and traffic on a given wireless access point
  • Out-of-date device drivers
  • Interference *Based on our service requests, this is the #1 cause of problems.

The primary factor that WKU ITS can control is the number and placement of Wi-Fi access points. Over the years, the number of client devices on the wireless network has grown significantly and we are always working to ensure the quality of WKU’s wireless network. Unfortunately, many of the other factors are not in our direct control, but we’re still here to help with those too where we can.

 Note: The Interference problem is what we find to be the number one cause of problems. These issues are particularly tricky because they tend to be very localized, only affecting folks in a relatively small area near the source of the interference and many times the interference is intermittent. 

Wi-Fi in use today leverages radio frequencies in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum and, unfortunately, so do lots of other things. The top interfering devices we see at WKU are:

  • Wireless printers – Many times people don’t even know this is a feature of their printers.
  • Gaming consoles and controllers
  • Bluetooth devices such as wireless headphones and speakers
  • Wireless streaming devices – Some of these devices, even when connected to the WKU Wireless network, still “broadcast” their own wireless network and thus create interference.
  • Wireless access points / “Routers” – These devices are not allowed on the network.

Resolution

How to Maximize Your Experience when Using WKU Wi-Fi

  • Keep the software, patches, & drivers up-to-date on all of your devices. WKU TopperTech can assist you with this.
  • Turn off “wireless direct” on printers. Even if you have not configured or do not use this feature, it is usually enabled by default.
  • Use a wired connection for those stationary devices when possible.
     Note: If the device you are connecting will typically remain stationary, such as smartTV’s, gaming devices, and streaming devices, please consider utilizing a wired connection (Ethernet). All residence halls provide wired and wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi is a great and always evolving technology that is almost ubiquitously used for our mobile devices. However, the technology still does not provide the equivalent capabilities of a wired connection. For the best overall experience, we recommend using each type of connection accordingly to your advantage.

Troubleshooting Help For Wi-Fi Problems

  • For information on Wi-Fi problems regarding not being able to connect, please see this article
  • For information on Wi-Fi problems regarding slow/unreliable connections, please see this article.

Most importantly, never hesitate to contact the ITS Service Desk or submit a service request. We are here to help and will do everything in our power to make sure you have a great experience with any WKU resource. 

Details

Article ID: 661
Created
Mon 9/22/14 2:01 PM
Modified
Thu 4/4/19 3:36 PM