Wireless network in residences
The wireless network is provided by the University primarily to assist residents in their studies. It provides connectivity to University and Internet resources. It may also be used for leisure purposes.
Where can I get wireless in the student residences?
The aim is to provide good wireless coverage in all bedrooms and social areas, plus the Lord Todd.
Which wireless network should I use?
The primary network wireless network is eduroam, which is available in the student residences, across campus, and at Universities and other facilities across the world. The Strathclyde username can be used to connect to eduroam automatically wherever a device can see it.
How do I connect to eduroam?
Connect to the StrathWifiSetup network first, and follow the instructions. There is further guidance on our Wi-Fi webpage.
Which devices will work on eduroam?
Most general purpose devices such as Windows and Apple laptops and mobile phones should be able to connect to eduroam.
Most other mass-market commodity devices are not designed to be able to operate on an enterprise-class wireless network such as eduroam. This includes:
- Gaming consoles (Xbox, PlayStation)
- Online media players/TV streaming devices (Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, Chromecast, Now TV)
- Wireless printers
- Digital assistants/Smart speakers (Amazon Echo, Google Home , Sonos)
What are the alternatives for devices which cannot connect to eduroam?
If the device has a web browser (gaming consoles such as Xbox, Playstation, "smart" TVs, online media players/TV streaming devices (Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, Chromecast, Now TV), try connecting to the Wifi Guest wireless network and running the web browser. A sign-in/register page should be presented. Once registered and signed-in on this device, it should subsequently connect automatically. (This process has not been tested for many types of devices).
Note that per-user bandwidth restrictions apply to this network, which may change according to need in order to effectively manage the service.
A phone could also be used as a "hotspot" – that is, operating it as a wireless access point that bridges traffic to mobile data (3G, 4G) connection. Use in this way will consume part of the device’s data plan allowance. Be aware that there are limited frequencies over which wireless access points can operate, and they have the potential to interfere with each other. Using a phone as a hotspot will potentially add to this interference.
At present, other devices which do not have a web browser to go through this process are unable to be connected to any wireless network. This probably includes wireless printers, smart speakers, digital assistants (Amazon Echo, Google Home). We are investigating other potential solutions.
How do I connect my PlayStation to Wi-Fi?
Try the following:
- Connect to the Wifi Guest network
- Open the ‘Users Guide’. This should cause the Sky/Cloud signup/welcome/login page to appear.
- Sign up if you haven’t before, or else login
Now you should be able to connect to PSN and play games.
Can I get a wired connection?
No. There is no infrastructure to provide a service for wired connections.
My desktop computer has a wired ethernet port but no wireless, how can I connect it?
Purchase a USB Wi-Fi adapter (or ‘dongle’) and connect it to the desktop. Then configure using the usual method for a Windows or Apple laptop.
What do I do if my room has a weak or no signal?
The summer 2019 deployment intends to provide good coverage in all bedrooms. Lack of coverage may indicate a fault, or an oversight. If a bedroom doesn’t appear to receive good coverage, then please report to the IT helpdesk. The room number and contact details will be required. Also, if the signal was previously OK but appears to have become worse, this should be stated. Upon receipt of the report, Information Services will investigate. They may need to gain access to the room to conduct tests.
Can I install a wifi signal booster?
No. This would count as "Unauthorised additions and modifications to the network infrastructure", which is expressly forbidden in the University’s Network Connection Policy.
Is there a data limit?
At present, there is no per-user data limit for use of eduroam.
Is gaming banned on the wireless network?
Not explicitly. However, neither is it supported, and there are technological barriers to connecting gaming consoles to the wireless network (see other questions).
Any activity that disrupts use of the network for study purposes is not permitted, however.
If I have a problem with setup, what should I do?
Most connection problems are caused by not entering the required username correctly. The following are common errors:
- Incorrect password
- Entering email address instead of DS username
- Mis-spelling strath as starth, srath or stath
- Trailing space on the username
- Rather than @strath.ac.uk, specifying an incorrect domain part. The following and similar are all incorrect: @uni.strath.ac.uk, @uni.strath.ac, @strath.uni.ac.uk, @strath.co.uk
Having checked for all the above, if there are still connection problems, contact the IT Helpdesk. For a ‘regular’ device such as a laptop or phone, it will probably be easier to physically visit to work through the setup.
If a wireless connection problem develops, what should I do?
Contact IS Enquiries. The following information may need to be supplied:
- room and hall/block
- type of device
- MAC address of the devicedescription of the symptoms
- how many "bars” of signal strength
- when the problem started
- whether same device works in other locations such as other halls, University buildings
How do I find the MAC address of my device?
Each device is different. We have guidance for some devices, or you may want to try a Google search for the device type and "mac address".
More information about Wi-Fi in residences
How fast is the wireless?
eduroam is a modern enterprise-class wireless network offering robust security and client protection (technically, "802.1X WPA Enterprise security").
The wireless service is provisioned by wireless access points (WAPs), which are distributed around the residences. The WAPs meet the 802.11ac standard, which at the 5 GHz frequency band can deliver over 1000 Mb/s to a fully capable device under absolutely ideal conditions. In practice, there are many limitations that mean a more realistic maximum to a single device is of the order of 100 Mb/s. All devices connected to the wireless access point share this capacity, so the actual "speed” experienced at any time to any particular one of them is generally less than this (see later question on wireless performance for more information).
Some devices are only able to operate in the legacy 2.4 GHz frequency band. The speed available to such devices is much less, and the potential for interference much more.
As an attempt to provide some meaning to these figures:
- 5 Mb/s is recommended for HD streaming from Netflix
- 3.5 Mb/s is recommended for HD streaming from Amazon Prime
- 1.5 Mb/s recommended for an HD Skype video call
- 300 kb/s minimum for a Skype video call
- 256 kb/s is recommended for streaming from Apple Music
- 160 kb/s for high quality streaming from Spotify
Note that where devices are being used for online gaming, other than for download of updates, a more significant factor affecting the gaming experience is the latency (also referred to as round trip or "ping” time). Because of the nature of the wireless medium, an additional 10ms could be added to the round trip time experienced by a wired device in a similar part of the network. However, this round trip time could be quite variable, decreasing and increasing due to changing factors in the environment such as people going by, and other devices consuming some of the WAP resources. This variability is called "jitter”, and can also affect the gaming experience.
Can I use a VPN?
Yes, but it must be able to work through a NAT (Network Address Translation) service. Additional configuration may be required to achieve this.
Different VPN clients work in different ways, and not all have been tested, so the experience may be vary for different users.
What affects wireless performance?
There are a number of factors which affect the performance a device will experience from the wireless network. These include:
Capabilities of the device (modern laptop PCs are generally more capable than cheaper or older mobile phones)
- Distance from device to WAP
- Obstructions between device and WAP (walls, people)
- Interference to wireless signal (from other WAPs, hotspots, mechanical systems such as lifts, microwaves, general electromagnetic "noise”)
- Number of users on the connected WAP and what they happen to be doing
While WAPs try hard to give a 'fair' amount of the available 'duty cycle' to each device, a device that is downloading a large amount of data is likely to gain more of the duty cycle for that operation to the detriment of other connected users.
What is the capacity of the upstream wired network infrastructure?
Each WAP is connected to the enterprise wired network at 1 Gb/s; each network switch supporting a cluster of WAPs in a residence block is connected to the distribution router at 1 Gb/s. The router is connected to the core network at 2x 10 Gb/s. The core network is connected to the Internet at 10 Gb/s. The wireless controllers through which traffic flows are connected to the core network at 10 Gb/s.
For more information, please contact us.