Wireless FAQ

  1. Can I have multiple systems on the network?
  2. My internal wireless card is turned off. How do I turn it on?
  3. What kind of wireless card do I need for Washburn's network?
  4. What are some of the things that are not allowed on the campus network?
  5. Why is my wireless connection slow, or slower than home?
  6. Why do I suddenly lose my wireless connection for brief periods of time?
  7. What can I do to improve my wireless signal?
  8. Which wireless network should I connect to?

If you have additional questions or are experiencing difficulties using the wireless network, please contact support at (785) 670-3000 or send an email to wireless@washburn.edu.

Can I have multiple systems on the network?

Yes, all students, faculty, and staff are allowed up to 4 registered devices on the campus network, not including Washburn-supplied systems.

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My internal wireless card is turned off. How do I turn it on?

Most new laptops have an external switch on them. Check around your keyboard and around the sides of the laptop for a switch or button. Some laptops have a software switch and use a combinations of keys to activate it. You may have to consult your laptop provider’s documentation to turn it on.

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What kind of wireless card do I need for Washburn’s network?

Majority of Washburn's network supports 802.11n, which is backwards compatible with older standards. If purchasing a new device, we suggest purchasing a device that is "dual-band", which means it will work in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. 802.11ac is a newer standard that is backwards compatible and will also work on our network.

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What are some of the things that are not allowed on the campus network?

For a number of reasons there are certain things that are not allowed on the campus network. This is for your safety and security, and to ensure that you don’t inadvertently cause problems for others on the campus network. Use of the campus network is governed by the Washburn Acceptable Use Policy, below are some examples of things that we do not allow on the campus network:

  • Equipment or data that are illegal under Federal or State Law
  • Unauthorized wireless network access points (e.g. wireless routers)
  • Unauthorized network switches and hubs
  • Equipment providing unauthorized network services, such as DHCP, DNS, WINS, and NAT
  • Equipment using network protocols other than those normally used for internet traffic

In general, you will be fine if you bring your computer, but please leave the networking to us.

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Why is my wireless connection slow, or slower than home?

WiFi is a “shared medium”, which means that each device connected on a particular channel shares the connection at the same time. Additionally, wireless networks are half-duplex, which means only one device can be transmitting at a time. These two factors can cause a decrease in speed as more devices connect to the network. At home you may be sharing your WiFi with 4 or more device, but in a large environment, like Washburn University, you may be sharing the connection with 20 or more devices per access point. While the network at Washburn is designed to handle this load there are limitations to the technology available at this time.

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Why do I suddenly lose my wireless connection for brief periods of time?

There are several factors that may lead to a disconnection. If the signal strength drops too low your device might lose its connection. Interference might be playing a role as well. WiFi uses a frequency range that does not require an FCC license and several other devices can use this frequency band as well. Microwave ovens, some cordless phones, baby monitors, and Bluetooth devices all operating in the 2.4 GHz range (same as WiFi) and may cause interference while in operation. Microwaves in particular can cause interference, as the output power of a microwave oven is several times that of a WiFi transmitter.

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What can I do to improve my wireless signal?

There are a few things that you can do if you are student in Residential Living.

  • Only use WiFi with mobile devices. If you are a student in the Residential Living Halls, connect your non-mobile devices (game consoles, desktop PCs, etc) to the wired port. Each room has one wired connection per bed that provides a dedicated 100 Mbps connection. This will also free up airtime for fellow students.
  • Disable WiFi on devices if not necessary. For example, if you have a printer with WiFi but are not using the WiFi functionality, disable it. Disable the wireless adapter on laptops while using a wired connection.
  • Limit the usage of non-WiFi devices that may cause interference. Come up with a plan with your roommates to use a single microwave per living unit, or use the one provided in the kitchenette.
  • Use compatibility with WiFi standards as criteria for purchasing a new device. The latest standard is IEEE 802.11n (aka WiFi N). In addition to higher data rates (300 to 600 Mbps possible) 802.11n works in either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency ranges. Consider getting a device with a dual-band WiFi adapter.
  • Use the 5 GHz band if your device is capable. Though the 5 GHz range doesn’t have the range of 2.4 GHz, it does have more channels available for use (23 channels total) versus 2.4 GHz (3 channels) and is not as used by non-WiFi devices. With fewer devices providing interference the signal quality will increase, as will your throughput speed. Additionally newer WiFi technologies utilize the 5 GHz range. Most buildings have some 5 GHz support, though not all areas will have coverage. You dual-band WiFi adapter should switch to 2.4 GHz if the 5 GHz is too weak.
  • Move to an area with the best signal. While ITS is working toward 100% coverage, this takes time. In the meantime, if you are experiencing a weak signal move try moving around to find a stronger signal.

Which wireless network should I connect to?

Washburn University has three wireless networks for students, faculty, staff and/or guests to use. They are named WashburnGuest, Washburn, and WUPrivate.

The WashburnGuest network is for short term guest access. Guests visiting Washburn University or Washburn Institute of Technology may use the WashburnGuest network for up to three days. WashburnGuest is restricted to a few common Internet applications. See Conference and Guest Access for more details.

The Washburn network is for general use by students, faculty, staff, and long term guests of Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology. You must register your device on the network prior to use. Simply connect to the Washburn network and open a web browser. You should be redirected to a registration page, fill out the form and follow the instructions on the page. This network is not encrypted, please make sure all websites asking for personal data use HTTPS. See Security of Wireless Connections.

The WUPrivate network is for faculty and staff use only. It is encrypted and will require your WUAD credentials to authenticate.
These are the only networks operated by Washburn University for use by students, faculty, staff, and guests. If you see other networks when looking for a WiFi connection they are either not intended for students, faculty, staff, or guests to connect to or are not owned and operated by the university.