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 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 better done with your wired connection.

Getting Connected

You need three things:

  • A laptop computer.
  • A wireless Ethernet card compatible with 802.11a or 802.11b/g/n and WPA2 Enterprise standard.
  • Your Clark Account credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 speed of that wireless access point. If someone is downloading a very large file or streaming large amounts of video, to their device, everyone else using the same wireless access point may see a reduction in speed.

  • 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.

  • 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. To get a device onto ClarkWiFi, the device has to be capable of using WPA2 Enterprise. Some devices have not matured enough yet to have those standards built into their wireless cards and are not yet able to access ClarkWiFi.

  • What do I need to do to get my game system online?
    • Wired or wireless gaming devices have to be registered through their browser like a computer does in order to get online. Game systems that don’t have a browser, like the Xbox, have to be manually added though the ITS Help Desk.

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

  • What is Internet2 and how do I get on it?
    • Internet2 is a consortium led by over 220 universities working in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies. Internet2 operates over a physically separate network that the Internet. No special cables, connections or equipment are needed by you to utilize Internet2. In most cases, Clark's data network automatically chooses Internet2 if you are connecting with another Internet2 member or partner. This connection is used whether you are browsing the web, emailing or transmitting files. Recently, Internet2 has partnered with large commercial content providers like Google and YouTube, so you may be using the Internet 2 connection and not even know it. The entire Cark campus has been connected to Internet 2 since September 2010. More information about Internet2 can be found at: www.internet2.edu/about/faq

  • Why is Clark’s wired network faster than the wireless network?
    • The way the technology is designed a wired connection will always be faster and less susceptible to outside interference than a wireless connection.

  • Are there any restrictions to what I can get access to over Clark’s wireless network?
    • There are no restrictions to what you can reach on the Internet via the Clark wireless network. However, there are some Clark administrative services that cannot be accessed over the wireless network for security reasons.

  • Is there any way for me to get a faster network connection?
    • For those living in the residence halls/houses, if your wired network connection isn’t fast enough for you, Charter offers a cable modem service through the housing office (for more information, see: www.clarku.edu/offices/housing/forms/charterflyer

  • Is Clark’s wireless network secure? Wired network?
    • ClarkWifi utilizes the most secure wireless technology currently available, WPA2 Enterprise. We make every effort to protect your computing environment. With wireless technology, someone can capture the conversation your laptop has with the campus network without you knowing because no physical connection is needed. Currently, there is no known vulnerability in WPA2 Enterprise, but as computing power increases, there may be in the future. 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 Clark’s wired network, someone would have to physically be connected to the same network to capture your conversation.

  • Why do I get “kicked offâ€� the Clark network sometimes?
    • In order to protect the shared resource, if a user is doing anything to compromise the network for other user, 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 and that address is used to identify network traffic and used for registration to associate the address with a user. If you have a laptop with both a wired and wireless network card, each of them will have different alphanumeric address associated with them, requiring them to be registered independently of each other.

  • Can a visitor/guest campus access to 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. If they are not, they can access the wired network by simply connecting their computer to the network, opening a web browser and following the instructions. Someone with a valid Clark ID must provide some information during the process to validate the identity of the guest. There is no guest access to ClarkWiFi. If you have a guest that has an academic need to access ClarkWiFi, you should request a guest account for them via the ITS Help Desk. ClarkGuestWiFi is a unique guest wireless network available in select places on campus that is used for specific, predefined events. You should never enter your credentials for someone else.

  • 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 are portable phones (especially operating in the 2.4GHz range), microwave ovens, wireless keyboard or game controllers and even other wireless access points. 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.

  • 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. If they can’t resolve your problem they will draw on the resources of the entire ITS team to help.

  • I have an 11 Mbps card but I'm not even getting 5 Mbps. Is my card defective?
    • Not necessarily, 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 250 wireless access points on the campus.

  • How fast is Clark’s connection to the Internet?
    • The campus has both, a 100 Mbps connection to Internet2 as well as a 225 Mbps connection to the Internet during the academic year.