Connected: A look at WiFi at Drury

Article by Taylor Perkins

As the role of technology continues to grow in the classroom, updates are being put in place to give Drury students the best experience.

Technology Services Help Desk in the Olin Library. Photo submitted by Perkins.

A few different changes have been put into the Drury WiFi for the fall. The university has transitioned from using the “Panthers” WiFi network to “Drury”. The “Internet of Things” server has remained the same and is still intended for the gaming systems students have.

“We just upgraded our WiFi system, it is supposed to be faster and more secure,” Vice President-Technology for Student Government Association Kat Sittenauer said. She also works for Drury Technology Services.

Sittenauer acknowledged that in the past there have been promises of faster WiFi but it has not delivered. This time, though, she said that this system is working faster.

Some students have vocalized complaints of being dropped, or disconnected, from the “Drury” WiFi. Sittenauer said that some locations can be slow because of the amount of people using the internet services.

“There is only so much that a singular network can handle, especially in the dorms,” Sittenauer said.

The dorms are a high traffic area where a lot of students are using WiFi on many devices. There really is not a lot that Tech Services can do to stop it.

“There is no such thing as unlimited broadband and when students reach that limit it is going to go slower and potentially kick them off, it’s just how it works,” Sittenauer said.

But to combat these network connectivity problems Sittenauer works closely with Drury University officials to suggest improvements and make changes. She is working with David Hinson, Drury’s Executive Vice President, COO and CIO. As VP-Technology Sittenauer works as the liaison between Drury students and the administration to voice the technology concerns they have.

One of the installations she hopes to make include increasing the amount of access points around campus so that these disconnections to the wireless services happen less often. She would like to put access points in places like Freeman Panhellenic Hall and the dorms.

“We are trying to invest in putting more hot spots in accessible locations on campus,” Sittenauer said.

Some students say that while the “Drury” WiFi works well, the “Internet of Things” WiFi is the bigger problem.

“My friends and I have found, that the [Internet of Things WiFi] is just really inconsistent. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s more intensive on the network,” sophomore English and political science major Ryan Smith said.

He also said that the download speeds from the “Internet of Things” WiFi are extremely slow. Smith said that because of the inconsistency in the WiFi he connects his gaming consoles directly to the ethernet instead.

“I have no [devices] on Internet of Things because it doesn’t work. in my apartment if I have to use the internet I just transfer my ethernet cable between my Xbox, PlayStation and my desktop PC, which can be a bit of a hassle,” Smith said.

Smith said that his laptop and phone are connected to the Drury WiFi and that it works very well, though. He would like if the University could focus on improving the gaming WiFi because the other wireless services are working well.

“The ‘Drury’ WiFi works fine, I just want to see that same amount of attention given to ‘Internet of Things’, especially because a lot of students are on it,” Smith said.

Sittenauer said that she and tech services are actively working to improve all aspects of wireless across Drury.

“We do a lot for the campus and while it may not seem like much, we are actively guarding their information. We are making sure we have the most up to date ways of doing things,” Sittenauer said.

If students have any technology problems they can contact the Technology Services Help Desk in the Olin Library.

 

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