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How can we improve the wifi capability in the dorms here that house nearly 800 students in a case effective way?

I am a junior at the Texas A&M Galveston Maritime Academy and multiple students have experienced problems connecting multiple devices like a tablet computer and cellphone. While I have been here I have noticed certain limitation of the internet capability and am wondering if there are any ways to improve the speed for something this large scale and not break the bank os it is actually feasible solution the school could afford. #tech #college #computer

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Joseph’s Answer

To make progress, you should determine the cause of the problem. Is there a speed bottleneck? Perhaps a cheap-quality router or modem? If so, get the admin to upgrade the hardware. If they refuse, you students can pool money and buy it yourselves -- good quality modems or routers are not that expensive. Is it a bandwidth problem, i.e. too many people sucking data from the internet at the same time? Make a case to the admin for a higher-capacity internet connection. Is wifi range the problem -- is the wifi signal too weak? Measure the wifi signal (with a PC, you can use the INSSIDerLite app); it should be higher than -60 dBm. If it's any lower than this, it sucks. One possible solution is a "powerline ethernet adaptor kit". This enables you to connect to the router via ethernet, using the electical wiring in your building. Connect one adaptor to the router via ethernet. At the other end, where you want internet connectivity -- this can be any place in your building, such as a study lounge or a dorm room -- plug a second adaptor into the wall. The second adaptor connects to the first adaptor (and thus to the router) through the electrical wiring; it can broadcast to other computers via wifi, or connect directly to your computer via ethernet cable. Alternative: you may be able to leverage your cellphone plan to tether your computer to your phone. PDAnet is a tethering app for Android phones. Caveat: this solution is viable only if you have an unlimited data plan, because the per Gigabyte data rates charged by most service providers are horrendously high. Hope this helps! Happy surfing!

Your school needs to enforce a policy. no streaming. videos, that are not related to school work. perhaps set up wifi zones, that are monitored as work only spaces. The bandwith issue is not just with wifi extenders in the dorms, it is with the bandwith pipe coming into your facility and the service provider pat mckay

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Thomas’s Answer

Assuming the Sea Aggies are part of the larger A&M Galveston campus, take your concerns right to the top (http://www.tamug.edu/is/about/#mission). From a few thousand miles away, it appear the residence hall internet access support is outsourced to Apogee Inc (https://www.myresnet.com/). From their terms of service, the only service-level-agreement is on a wired connection - wifi is an 'amenity' (e.g., if it's working, consider yourself lucky).

Thomas recommends the following next steps:

Ask John Kovacevich for the monthly cost providing internet access to the Maritime residence halls