Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wireless Issues

Net_DiagnosisEarlier this school year at Niles West, our wireless infrastructure hardware experienced a critical malfunction, causing a lack of connectivity and ongoing disconnects throughout the building. The hardware manufacturer, Meru, has provided us with a replacement controller, which is now in place. We have also increased the bandwidth to the controller four-fold, for better throughput between the wi-fi and the rest of our network. As a result, connectivity has improved exponentially. 
One thing to be aware of: during the first 3-5 minutes of a class period, when all the students in the building are authenticating to the Wireless Web Portal at the same time, a slowdown may occur in loading the authentication page. This is a known issue and we are currently addressing it with Meru's engineers. 
Meanwhile, here are some tips for improving your students' wireless experience:
  • Firefox loads the Wireless Web Portal page faster, and times out less often than Chrome; when students experience the above scenario, have them switch to Firefox.
  • When a netbook does not connect to the NTHS-STUDENT network at all, please have students delete all the locally cached wireless networks and reboot the netbook - see this video for step by step instructions
  • If the same students have repeated problems, have them stop by the AAL Help Desk to have their netbooks reimaged. We've noticed that the students who have connectivity issues also tend to be the ones who make changes to the netbook's Operating System or perform other system tweaks, which in turn can render the wireless drivers unstable. Reimaging the netbook will bring it back to the District's tested and approved specs.
As we are continually testing and assessing the state of the network, one important component is your input regarding any outstanding Wi-Fi issues in your classroom(s). Please fill out our Wi-Fi troubleshooting form with the specifics of any particular issue you are experiencing and we will contact you directly to further address your specific issue. The Wi-Fi troubleshooting form can be found at:

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