My school doesn't allow wireless in the dorms

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by fishniw, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. fishniw macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    I just bought a new macbook and was planning on using a router in my room. Then I heard that my university does not allow wireless in the dorms. I need help thinking of an argument that will be able to convince them to change their policy because from what I have heard it is impossible to hide a router. Some things I can think of off the top of my head is that wireless is available everywhere else on campus except for residence halls and for computers like the macbook air, they don't have ethernet ports.

    When asked this is why they said they did not allow wireless...

    Wireless ISUNET is not available for use in the residence hall rooms. According to the University's Wireless Radio Frequency Airspace Policy, students may not install a personal wireless access point within the residence halls.

    Policy aside, there are many reasons for disallowing wireless access in the residence halls. Using a wired connection, such as ResNet, allows each person a dedicated connection rather than sharing a wireless signal with floormates. This increases transfer speeds and decreases connectivity issues and interruptions.

    The University's official policy is this...

    The University provides wireless ISUnet service in many areas of the University to promote the convenience of mobile network connectivity. This service allows users to access campus-computing facilities from mobile or portable computers and selected personal digital devices where coverage is available. To provide this wireless service, the radio frequency airspace of the University serves as the transport medium for this technology. In order to protect this service, faculty, staff and students are requested not to use wireless devices that operate in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency range while on campus unless these devices have been approved by Telecommunications and Networking.
  2. banser macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2008
    ill be going to mizzou next year and they have the same policy, which really sucks since i wanted to be wireless in my room with 802.11n. if you think of a good argument let me know haha.
  3. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    Ask them to give you one good reason.

    Anyways, I recommend you start a petition and have all of the students, and as many faculties as possible, sign it.
  4. Kane.Elson macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2006
    It's a security thing. People are really dumb and most wouldn't secure their wireless... your college just don't want to be responsible for people hijacking your connection....
    They also talk a lot about spectrums which is really just a way of saying they don't want interference for their official networks...which could be true if every dorm room decides to set up wireless.. it would have terrible interference and drop outs etc...
    That's my guess anyway ;)
  5. tdgrn macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2008
    Little Rock, AR
    If you have a MacBook Air, why don't you get a USB to Ethernet adapter? I know this isn't the reason why you posted this, but usually the tech department isn't the reason why something gets done at a University (tech wise) Don't forget that not only your tuition, but a lot of state dollars are dropped into Universities, and that might have some part of these type of stupid decisions.

    I am just speculating, and this does sound odd that they don't allow you to have your own, as this would be the same as an ethernet connection, but for only you...

    Airport Express would be able to be easily hidden, as it looks almost exactly like an Apple power brick for your laptop...
  6. fishniw thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    tell me more about this airport express? Because I know certain routers such as Linksys have certain serial numbers that can be recognized when plugged into the the ethernet port

    I have thought about this and I would be willing if nothing else works.

    But don't other schools have wireless with relatively no problems?
  7. tdgrn macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2008
    Little Rock, AR
    An Airport Express is made to be a portable WAP (wireless access point).
    You can connect 10 different wireless devices with it, so it is not a true wireless router as those allow many more wireless clients. Like I said it looks like a Apple Notebook Power brick, so it can be easily slipped into a bag while traveling or when room inspections occur. I am not sure if they will be able to detect a WAP (University), other than somebody telling on you. I have never heard of this practice before, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Make sure to turn off the wireless broadcast, so that other people can not tell that you have one. They are $99, and its Wireless N, with a USB port for a printer or HD for Time Machine.
  8. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008
    ISU does not allow wireless in the dorms.. yet.

    And there's nothing you can do to try and "hide" a router. They sweep the dorms once a week and look for wireless routers.. your Internet connection will be deactivated.

    You're SOL.

    Internet in the dorms is currently a subscription service and the Ethernet connection is VERY fast and more reliable. I'd rather have the Ethernet and get my 80 Mbps speed!
  9. Patrickool93 macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2007
    Willowick, Ohio
    Why not just get a router, and not broadcast the SSID? Are they actually coming into dorms and physically searching for wireless routers?
  10. tdgrn macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2008
    Little Rock, AR
    FYI, the 80 mb connection is just your LAN connection, not your ISP speed. Two very different numbers. If you connect via wireless N, it has a LAN of up to 270, but your internet would perform almost identical unless you were sending information through the network (not internet) to another computer, it which the wireless would be much faster than the wire. (in this example)
  11. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008
    No. They run a sweep program. They'll find the router if it's there...
  12. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    there's only one solution then... miniature, very low range wireless routers that wont go through walls
  13. fishniw thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    do they make those? that seems like it would be nearly impossible to limit the broadcast range to such a small room

    Are you by any chance part of the team that is looking for routers? lol. It would be nice to know what day of the week they scan so I could just unplug it for that day.
  14. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008

    No. I wish I was.. I'd help ya out for sure. I just know that they DO catch quite a few people with routers and they get a warning.

    Just to clarify, which ISU do you attend?
  15. fishniw thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    Illinois State
  16. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008
    Then yes. I go to ISU too..
  17. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    just get a damn router, but don't broadcast the signal..
    do you know what that means? basically no one will be able to see your network, no matter what... so you will be fine. Just hide it somewhere.
  18. Greystorm macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    You can easily see networks that aren't broadcast. I'm sure their network people would have the tools to show them any unauthorised wireless.

    Get yourself an ethernet adaptor and plug in with a nice UTP patch lead.
  19. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008

    You do get a warning on the first violation.. so you can definitely try. After that, don't even TRY because they WILL deactivate your Internet for the rest of the year and I think there might be a fine.

    Just know that plugging in the ethernet cord to the router and not doing anything else will get you caught during the next random sweep without an ounce of a doubt.

    And just a heads up... the future plans are wireless in the dorms.. trust me, they're not doing this to give anyone a hard time. It's just that ResNet is a subscription service.. if they allowed wireless than that means people wouldn't pay for the service. And without the semester fees, Internet in the dorms wouldn't be possible.

    I prefer the Ethernet connection anyways.. you can't get the speeds and reliability of Ethernet over wireless.
  20. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Do they charge for their internet connection?

    If yes, thats your answer.
  21. seattle macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
  22. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008

    Exactly right.

    It's $73 per semester for Internet that usually gets 80 Mbps.. not a bad deal at all.

    fishniw, P2P/Bittorrent is blocked in the dorms unless you put yourself on the whitelist, btw. Just a heads up.
  23. milani macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2008
    Dorm inspections? Sounds like prison. Better hide that sharpened toothbrush end... but where? :eek: Seriously though, I would just forgo the rules and use the Airport express anyway. So long as they can't explicitly track the thing back to you (what would they do anyway? Kick you out of the dorm?). Here's a question though, how on earth does your school not have wireless internet already? My University is 100% wireless, and you can access it via student account or via guest account. It's beautiful.
  24. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008
    I guess you haven't read the thread.

    They don't physically inspect your dorm.. They run a detection scan through the network... it WILL find any type of wireless device.

    They'll disconnect the Internet in the OP's room... then what will they do? Sound advice there... :rolleyes:

    And btw, the campus is wireless everywhere but the dorms. I'd rather have a dedicated, secure connection through the network in my room than have a potentially unsecure, slow connection through wireless. Can you get 80 Mbps on your wireless?
  25. drinkslurpee macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2008
    Same thing happened in my dorm, kids we're running a ton of wireless networks anyways. You can always just not broadcast the ssid.

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