Information Technology Services

Clark WiFi

Clark WiFi

No Walls, No Wires, Information Anywhere
Check your email while sipping coffee at the Bistro. Browse the library catalog while you are in the stacks. Relax on the Green while you are doing research for your paper.

Wireless network access allows people with laptop computers to access the Internet and the usual network resources such as email and fileshares without a wired physical connection to a network jack or phone line.

Wireless Upgrade

Based on your feedback from the Student Life Surveys and the 2014 TechQual Survey, a new wireless infrastructure has been installed across campus that provides 802.11ac coverage. Details about the project are available here.

Wireless Etiquette

Wireless networks are a shared resource: the more users connected to a wireless access point, the less bandwidth available to each of them. Please be considerate of fellow community members. Downloading large files (movie trailers, MP3s, etc), streaming audio & video, and using file sharing services are best done with your wired connection.

Getting Connected

If you are a member of the Clark community, you need:

  • To be physically located where there is ClarkWiFi coverage. Coverage details are available here.
  • A wireless device compatible with 802.11 a/g/n/ac and the WPA2 Enterprise standard.
  • To be connected to the wireless networks broadcasting as either ClarkWiFi or Eduroam.
  • Your Clark Account credentials.

If you are a guest at Clark; you need:

  • To be physically located where there is ClarkWiFi coverage. Coverage details are available here.
  • A wireless device compatible with 802.11 a/g/n/ac.
  • To be connected to the wireless networks broadcasting as either ClarkGuestWiFi or Eduroam.
  • If connected via Eduroam, supply your home institution credentials. If connected via ClarkGuestWiFi, follow theses instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I report problems with my wireless or with wireless coverage "dead spots"? Why does my wireless connection seem fast at times and slow at others?
    • Wireless networking and the Internet are shared technologies - each device connected to a wireless access point shares the total speed of that one wireless access point. If someone is downloading a very large file or streaming large amounts of video everyone else using the same wireless access point may see a reduction in speed. The 2014 wireless upgrade quadrupled the number of access points across campus to minimize the number of devices connected to each access point.

  • Why does my Internet connection at home seem faster than the connection at Clark?
    • Broadband connections sold for the home are constantly getting faster and faster just as Clark continues to increase the speed of its Internet connection. Buying large amounts of bandwidth to connect to the Internet is much more expensive than buying a service for your home. At home, you may have 6 people sharing 60Mb of Internet bandwidth. For Clark to provision on average 10Mb/person, to handle our peak times, we would need a 32Gb connection to the Internet which is financially prohibitive. Clark has increased thier connection to the Internet approximately 32% per year from 2011-2015. Clark's internet connection is constantly monitored and our goal is to very rarely utilitze our full connection.

  • Where can I get access to the Clark wireless network?
  • How many people can be on the wireless network at once?
    • The existing wireless network can accommodate 1000's of wireless devices at any given time. In the fall of 2015, Clark averages a daily peak of 3300 unique devices concurrently connected to our wireless network. To get a device onto ClarkWiFi and to help protect the security of our users, the device has to be capable of using WPA2-Enterprise. Devices that do not support that wireless security standard are rare and are not able to join ClarkWiFi or eduroam.

  • What do I need to do to get my game system online?
    • Wired or wireless gaming devices have to be registered through their browser to get online. Game systems that don't have a browser, like the Xbox360, have to be manually added by contacting the ITS Help Desk. Please have the MAC address of your device available when contacting the ITS Help Desk.

  • How is the Internet shared across the campus?
    • A percentage of our Internet bandwidth is allocated specifically for non-residential buildings to be sure that the academic and administrative needs of the University are met. When the allocated bandwidth for non-residential buildings is not being used, that bandwidth is automatically allocated for residential use.

  • Why is P2P traffic so slow?
    • P2P traffic, most of which is the illegal sharing of copyright protected material, is severely limited at the edge of our network before it hits the Internet by design.

  • Why is Clark's wired network faster than the wireless network?
    • A wireless connection is shared across all the users on a specific access point. A wired connection is not shared in the same way. Wireless technology is also susceptible to many forms of interference, like a microwave or weather radar station, that a wired connection is not susceptible to.

  • Are there any restrictions to what I can get access to over Clark's wireless network?
    • This depends on whether you are connecting to Clark WiFi or ClarkGuestWiFi. Restrictions are placed on Clark hosted services that can be accessed via the wireless network accessible to guests. Not also that there are some Clark administrative services that cannot be accessed over the ClarkWiFi or GuestWiFi wireless networks for security reasons.

  • Are Clark's networks secure?
    • ClarkWiFi utilizes the most secure wireless technology currently available, WPA2-Enterprise. We make every reasonable effort to protect your computing environment. Sites that require high level of security (i.e. online banking) utilize technology in addition to the wireless security, to protect your information. If you utilize the wired network, Clark uses switches to assist in isolating your specific network traffic. When browsing the web on any connection, we highly suggest using HTTPS to further secure your information.

  • Why might my access to the Clark network be removed?
    • In order to protect our shared resource, if a user is doing anything to compromise the access or security of the network for others, then they may be removed from the network and contacted by the ITS Help Desk. This may be intentionally malicious traffic or if your computer is infected with malware.

  • Why do I need to register my computer on both the wired and wireless network?
    • Computer registration is based off information attached to the specific network card of each computer or device. This information is a unique alphanumeric address (MAC address) that is used to identify network traffic and used to associate the device with a user. If you have a laptop with both a wired and wireless network card, each of them will have different MAC address associated with them, requiring them to be registered independently of each other.

  • Can a visitor/guest access the Clark network?
    • Yes. A visitor can access the eduroam wireless network if they are coming from an intsitution that participates in the eduroam consortium. Wireless guests that are not members of eduroam should use There are instructions available here. ClarkGuestWiFi is an open network, not as secure as ClarkWiFi, and doesn't provide access to the same services as ClarkWiFi. Members of the Clark community should not use ClarkGuestWiFi and use ClarkWiFi to ensure your best wireless experience. There is no guest access to the wireless network ClarkWiFi and you should never enter your credentials for someone else. To access the wired network as a guest, you can connect the guest's computer to the network, open a web browser and follow the instructions. Someone with a valid Clark ID must provide some information during the process to validate the identity of the guest.

  • What factors would interfere or cause problems with my wireless connection?
    • Wireless technology works off a radio wave, so like any other radio wave it is susceptible to interference. Some common devices that are known to interfere with wireless networks are portable phones (especially operating in the 2.4GHz range), microwave ovens, wireless keyboard or game controllers and other wireless access points. On a wired connection bad network patch cords are the biggest problem. The little clip that holds the cable securely into your network card is easily broken. If you have a broken patch cord you should replace it. Patch cords are available online or at the campus bookstore.

  • How do I report a networking problem? What should I do if I am getting bad signal strength?
    • The ITS Help Desk is always the first place to start if you're having a problem. You can call them at 508-793-7745, email them at, or visit them in the Academic Commons at Goddard Library. If they can't resolve your problem they will draw on the resources of the entire ITS team to help.

  • Can I setup my own wireless access point?
    • We highly recommend that you do not setup your own access point. It's more likely that it will create more problems for you and your neighbors than it will solve. Actually, most residence halls do have an access point in each room as well as in common areas. If ITS detects an access point that is in the same coverage area as ClarkWiFi, we may reach out to the user of it to identify and solve any problem they may be having with ClarkWiFi. If an access point is preventing reliable connections to ClarkWiFi, ITS reserves the right to remove it from the wired network and/or disable it's use to provide a secure, reliable connection for all users.

  • I have an 802.11ac card but I'm not connecting at 1Gb. Is my card defective?
    • Probably not. There are many factors that come into play in determining what speed your wireless card will connect to a wireless access point at. They range from how far away from the access point you are to what else is going on with others who are also connected to the same access point. Clark currently has over 1200 wireless access points on the campus and the wireless network will help choose the best one for you at any given time.

  • How fast is Clark's connection to the Internet?
    • In the fall of 2105, Clark maitains a 1.5Gb connection to the Internet. This connection has grown on average 63% year over year since 2006 and 32% year over year since 2011.

  • What does an access point (AP) do?
    • The access point is what your wireless device talks to using WiFi; it links your device to the campus network. The access point is connected via a wire back to the rest of the network infastructure, just like your desktop might be. If the access point is damaged or not working properly, and there isn't another access point within range of your wireless device, your device won't be able to communicate with the network using WiFi.

  • What does an access point look like?
    • There are three different models of AP's used around campus. In most places, we're using the Aruba Networks AP225. In the residence halls, you may see an AP installed directly in your room. These AP's are the Aruba Networks AP205H. Finally, you will see AP's outside, and those are the Aruba Networks AP275.

  • I don't see any lights working on an AP - does that mean it's broken?
    • Nope - we intentionally turn lights on the AP's in residence hall rooms off so the bright lights don't disturb you. All AP's are centrally monitored so if power is lost to one, we'll be notified.

  • I don't want to see any lights on an AP - can I just over them up?
    • No - please don't! Anything stuck to or covering the AP's can decrease their effectiveness or cause them to retain too much heat. If the lights on an AP in a residence hall are disruptive to you, please contact the ITS Help Desk with the exact location of the AP, and we can disable the lights for you.

  • I've heard of stores being able to track my location by my wireless device. Do you track my location?
    • In an effort to provide the best service and to be able to troubleshoot problems, detailed device location information is centrally stored for 48 hours. Less detailed location information about your device is stored for 14 days. Your wireless location information is defined as Restricted Data per Clark's Data Security Policy and is treated as such (details about Clark's Data Security Policy are avialable at

  • Now that I have an AP in my residence hall room, what happened to my network jack?
    • If you have an AP205H in your residence hall room, we may have had to use the existing network cabling to supply connectivity to it. The AP205H has built in network ports available for your use. The AP has multiple Ethernet ports located on the bottom edge of the unit. You can plug your desktop or gaming system into either of the blue networks ports labeled E1 or E2 (see image here).

  • Should I be concerned about a wireless radio in my room?
    • We don't believe so. Because we've added more AP's, the power of the radio on the AP is turned down lower. We don't suggest you spend 8 hours sleeping a foot away from it, but these are the same model of AP that are used in many hotel rooms across the globe. Plus it does put off heat, so you'll get warm if you hang out by it.

  • Are there things I can do to get better performance from my AP?
  • Will you ever enter my residence hall room to service the equipment?
    • We will never enter your personal residence hall room without your knowledge. If there is a problem and we need to service equipment in your room, the ITS Help Desk will make an appointment with you. In suites with common areas, we may enter the common area of a suite to service or install equipment, but will not enter an individual's room.

  • This wireless network is awesome. I was thinking about buying the same AP at home. Will it work?
    • Nope, sorry. All the access points on campus talk back to a central controller and are configured to only work on campus. Unlike your home wireless equipment, it will not work without being able to talk to Clark's central controller.

  • Ut-oh. I just broke an AP, now what?
    • The AP's link your cell phones, tablets, compters, game systems, etc... with the Internet, so treat them with the love they deserve. If there is damage to an AP, a charge will be assesed to everyone in your room, suite, or floor. A damaged AP225 will result in a $1500 charge. A damaged AP205H will result in a $500 charge.