By Jacklyn Stringham
Living on campus can be both pleasant and unpleasant for any college student. However, living on campus this year at LIU Post may just be unbearable. As college students, we depend on our devices to get us through the day. With all the students now using the WiFi at once, surfing the web has become much more difficult.
Routers Now Allowed
Last semester, the Office of Residential Life did not allow routers in any of the dorm rooms. Beginning this year, the rule was changed due to common complaints made by students throughout the dorms about the slow Internet connection.
For the past couple of years, Residential Life has allowed students to use Ethernet. The process of using Ethernet is simple. All that is needed is an Ethernet cord. One end goes into the Ethernet jack located on the wall of a dorm room and the other end just gets plugged into the device. This helped the internet run faster, but could also be frustrating due to the fact that the device could not stray far from the Ethernet jack located on the wall without falling out. With routers now permitted in the dorms, students are now able to connect to WiFi.
Routers Make WiFi Slower
Phil Armato, junior Accounting major, said, “I still use the cord so it’s getting more and more frustrating every time I use my computer. If I want to download something, it’ll take an hour. Even just waiting for a site to load has doubled, maybe tripled, in time. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the new routers, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
Students should not only be concerned about the slow connection throughout the dorms. Every student with a wireless router is required to register it with IT, which monitors the registered router to ensure that your Internet is not being stolen, but some students have slipped through the cracks and are, in fact, stealing the Internet that many are paying for.
With easy access to a student’s router comes even easier access to their information. According to stackexchange.com, if someone is able to access your router they are also able to access the information coming and going from your computer. Students living on campus using registered routers should have a password to prevent this from happening.
Eric Palacios, senior Biology major, said, “You don’t really notice the difference. If you have a router, you can get WiFi and everything seems about the same speed. It’s the students who are still using the wires that are having all the problems.”
Both Residents and Commuters Complain
The WiFi throughout the campus has become just as slow as it is in the dorms. Many commuter students need WiFi to look at Blackboard and e-mails throughout the day on a mobile device, but are having trouble being able to access the LIU Post wireless internet.
Nicholas Sesto, a junior Pre-Pharmacy major, said, “In certain buildings I’ll try to connect to the school’s WiFi on my phone and it won’t even give me the option to do so. I’ll try again a few more times before I just give up. Sometimes it’s just easier to go to the library than to sit there on my phone when it isn’t working.”
With the new routers all over the dorm buildings, and with many of them still unprotected, students are at risk. The Internet has become slower, but the privacy of the students has also become a huge problem.
Not Many Assistance Requests
Nancy Marksbury, deputy chief information officer of IT said, “IT made a step-by-step document available that instructs students on the proper configuration of their access points to the office of Residential Life. We are pleasantly surprised by the small number of requests for assistance. Students appear to be able to follow the directions without too much difficulty. Now in the fourth week of classes, we have fielded only a couple of complaints about slowed internet speeds for both the wired and wireless.”
When asked about password protection for the routers, Marksbury said, “In the year 2013, any account left without password protection invites risk! We are confident that with having properly followed instructions provided by Information Technology, students can surf and engage in online activities with confidence. We remain available to assist with questions that may arise, and monitor network activity to ensure a good environment for all.”
Students concerned about privacy or how to password protect a router should contact the IT department. Students can also call or walk into the ITRC located in the library, room 222 on Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., or on Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., to ask any questions regarding routers.