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Wireless Network - FAQs

1.What is Wireless Computing?
2.Where are the Wireless Network access points?
3.Where can I get a wireless card?
4.Are software drivers for my wireless network card available for download?
5.What hardware do I need to connect to the University of Saskatchewan wireless network?
6.Can I get help setting up my wireless card once I buy it?
7.Can I print wirelessly using the wireless network?
8.What operating system can I use to gain access to wireless on campus?
9.I am a visitor of the University. How can I gain access to the U of S wireless network?
10.Is there a charge for using wireless network on campus?
11.Who do I contact when I have problems using the wireless network on campus?
12.Who can use the wireless network?
13.What is the difference between 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n?
14.Why does my signal strength vary?
15.If I want to buy a new laptop. What do you recommend?
16.Do I need to register my wireless card?
17.I want a wireless access point in my office? How do I get one?
18.What configurations and software are required to connect to the Wireless Network?
19.Does using the wireless card use up battery power on my laptop?
20.Will configuring my laptop to access U of S wireless network affect my network at home?

1 . What is Wireless Computing?

Wireless computing is a method of connecting computer devices to a Local Area Network (LAN) using a low-power radio frequency signal instead of a wired, plug-in connection.

2 . Where are the Wireless Network access points?

Wireless access points or hot spots are available in many locations and are identified on the map of wireless locations. See the wireless map for detail. Reception of wireless signals will vary by area in each building due to many factors such as building materials and obstructions. You should also be aware that as your battery power diminishes, the performance on the wireless network will also diminish. Plugging your laptop into a power outlet when your battery is weak will increase the performance.


3 . Where can I get a wireless card?

Almost all laptops come with a built-in wireless adaptor.  If your device does not have a wireless adaptor, one can be purchased at any computer store. The campus computer store sells wireless cards to the University community at an affordable price. The campus computer store can also assist with ensuring the wireless card is fully compatible with the University wireless network.


4 . Are software drivers for my wireless network card available for download?

Updated wireless software drivers are supplied by the manufacturer of the wireless network card. Updates can be downloaded from the manufacturer website.


5 . What hardware do I need to connect to the University of Saskatchewan wireless network?

Besides a wireless compatible device, you will need an 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n compatible wireless network interface card (Wireless NIC) installed and functioning properly in your wireless compatible device.


6 . Can I get help setting up my wireless card once I buy it?

Yes, ICT Help Desk staff members are available to help set up your wireless card for the U of S network. Please contact the the ICT Help Desk for assistance.


7 . Can I print wirelessly using the wireless network?

Yes. See the instructions on how to setup printing wirelessly from your laptop.


8 . What operating system can I use to gain access to wireless on campus?

Windows XP (Service Pack 3) and higher, and Mac OS 10.4.11 and higher, are supported for wireless access.


9 . I am a visitor of the University. How can I gain access to the U of S wireless network?

Conference attendees, invited guests and members of the general public can use the wireless network. See the instructions on how to access the wireless network.


10 . Is there a charge for using wireless network on campus?

No, you do not have to pay any additional cost for using the wireless network on campus.


11 . Who do I contact when I have problems using the wireless network on campus?


12 . Who can use the wireless network?

Students and employees of the U of S, as well as conference attendees, invited guests and members of the general public can use the wireless network.


13 . What is the difference between 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n?

There are three tyes of wireless networks:

  • 802.11a - Achieves speeds up to 54 Mbps in the 5 GHz band. Very short range, mostly used in educational institutions, closed networks, and labs where range and signal obstruction is not an issue. Not often used for public hotspots. Not compatible with 802.11b.
  • 802.11b - Achieves speeds up to 11 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band. Very popular standard used by many Hotspot locations, but quickly being replaced by 802.11g which is faster. 802.11 a and g are compatible with each other.
  • 802.11g - Achieves speeds up to 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band. Quickly becoming the standard for hotspots. Extremely fast and compatible with 802.11b.
  • 802.11n - Achieves significantly greater speed and range: speeds of 100Mbit/sec. to 140Mbit/sec. for 802.11n equipment as well as more than twice the range of 802.11g.

14 . Why does my signal strength vary?

There are several factors that may affect signal strength:

  • Distance from the access point (AP) or hot spot. You may experience variable rates ranging from 54Mbps to 1Mbps depending on how close you are to the AP.
  • Physical obstructions. You may experience a weaker signal strength if there are physical obstructions between your wireless antenna and the wireless network antenna

15 . If I want to buy a new laptop. What do you recommend?

Contact the Campus Computer Store for more information on recommended laptops.


16 . Do I need to register my wireless card?

No.


17 . I want a wireless access point in my office? How do I get one?

Contact the ICT Help desk for information on setting up an access point.


18 . What configurations and software are required to connect to the Wireless Network?

Please refer to the wireless setup guides for configuration instructions.


19 . Does using the wireless card use up battery power on my laptop?

Yes, a laptop's battery will deplete faster while using the wireless network. The battery usage increases because of the power required to generate the radio signals.


20 . Will configuring my laptop to access U of S wireless network affect my network at home?

No. A profile for the U of S wireless network will be created on your computer. This has no effect on your home network. You will be able to switch between your home and the U of S network as needed.