Routers in dorm rooms

Cshoe2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2014
3
0
So this is eating me up.
I attend a university and I live in the dorms. The wifi here is sub-par and frequently has issues. The access points are ancient and I don't think the university has any intentions of upgrading anytime soon. Sooo crappy wifi----can't get my school work done.

I went out and bought a decently expensive router. Plugged it in to my existing switch (which is plugged into one of the two Ethernet ports) that I use in my room. I configured The router to not use DHCP so it wouldn't screw with the campus network. When I tried using it with my PC which was plugged into the router, I could use the internet for a little while then a new tab would pop up from the university and say that i couldn't use a modem or router and that I have been detected using such a device. The internet in my room would be quarantined until I unplugged the device.
Naturally I assumed the way they could tell I was using a router was one of two things.
-the MAC address of the router
-my defaulted SSID broadcast

I configured the router to hide the SSID and then I made my router use my pc's MAC address. Went to use it and they still could see I was using it. I have the ability to NAT my IP addresses behind the router but that is getting a little out of my knowledge range....

Any advice? Id rather not go through the process of returning an expensive device and furthermore it does not solve the crappy wifi issues. (Ethernet speeds in the dorms are very high)
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
24,971
7,909
Detroit
I'm not familiar with school's policies on networking devices in dorms. But if the Ethernet speed is very high, as you say, why not just plug your computer in with that and bypass the horrible WiFi?

As for how they're finding your router, it's probably the MAC address and/or seeing broadcast packets from it - maybe, I'm not totally sure.
 

Cshoe2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2014
3
0
You have a point with the Just plugging in. But I can't with my iPad and phone among other things. Which is not necessary but highly inconvenient when I need to access things quickly. I have a very small amount of data to use(broke college student)
And as for the MAC address I already cloned it on the router to appear as my pc's MAC address:/
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
It sounds like your university has set up restrictions to prohibit the use of routers. I don't think there's any way around this.

Maybe get a hub instead of a router, since you don't need the router to hand our IP addresses
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
24,971
7,909
Detroit
You may be able to use an access point instead of a router, which you really don't need. Get an access point, plug it into the wall and set it up. You should be able to get reliable wifi that way.

Of course, you should check with your school to see if they allow those or not.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
You have a point with the Just plugging in. But I can't with my iPad and phone among other things. Which is not necessary but highly inconvenient when I need to access things quickly. I have a very small amount of data to use(broke college student)
And as for the MAC address I already cloned it on the router to appear as my pc's MAC address:/
Sounds like they are detecting the fact it is getting a private IP. Are you allowed to have a switch or hub in your room? If so, you need to configure the Netgear to be an AP. If the Netgear Genie offers an AP option then great!

If not, unplug the Netgear from the WAN. Go to the router's control panel and disable DHCP. Then give it any address you would be getting out of the wall from the school's router. Now plug the Ethernet cable from the wall to the LAN port 1 on the Netgear and not the Internet/WAN port.

This maybe helpful as well...
 
Last edited:

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
Yeah, sounds like they don't want hidden devices on the network. Turn off NAT so every connected device has to get its network info from their dhcp. Airport calls this bridge mode (no nat, no dhcp).
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,559
32
I have my router plugged into a switch (provided by the school) and haven't heard anything. But it could be that they're not enforcing the WiFi policy. Also FWIW, disabling DHCP didn't allow me to connect with my router. It works with DHCP on.

Also, why did you buy such an expensive router? I got a $20 router and it works better than the one I have at my house (I believe it is a similar model to the one you posted). It does OpenWRT and I don't have to worry about being out of a lot of money if it were ever to be stolen or confiscated.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,622
9,157
Singapore
I would be more concerned about violating university rules than anything else. I don't know your school policies, but is this really something you want to risk getting into trouble over?