Graphic of a dripping tapWhy is my WiFi connection so slow?

Marjon University provides a wireless network connection facility for students and staff in almost all buildings and residencies. Occasionally the connection speeds experienced by users can be very slow. There are two main reasons that this happens.

1. Video Downloading.

The College has a lot of bandwith to the rest of the internet and there will usually be plenty to spare, however the same cannot always be said for your wifi connection. A graph to demonstrate that video downloading uses a lot more bandwidth than web surfing.

When your computer is connected to the College WiFi network it will 'lock on' to the signal from the nearest WiFi access point. All data you are transmitting or receiving will go through that point. Our WiFi access points have enough bandwith to cope with several other people also accessing the network at the same time. Unfortunately, from time to time, several people in close proximity will be using using WiFi for video downloads or other high bandwith activities on the internet. The demand for data this causes can exceed the ability of the WiFi point to supply it, resulting in an unacceptably slow performance for everybody using the affected WiFi point.

Computing Services are unfortunately unable to provide the means for everybody to watch videos over the internet at the same time. If this is affecting your ability to study you could either have a polite word with your neighbours in halls or houses or take advantage of our networked computers available in the Library and in the 24 hour study room which do not suffer from these problems.

2. Dead Zones

Diagram illustrating the creation of a dead zone.Getting a complete WiFi coverage of campus buildings is a delicate balancing act. If we put the access points too far apart it can leave areas with very poor coverage or result in too many people accessing the same point at one time. If we put the access points too close we can create 'dead zones' where signals of roughly equal strength from two WiFi points can result in a very poor quality of service.

If the WiFi signal in your residence is almost always very poor and causing you to have problems completing your work then please inform Computing Services. We will do our best to resolve the problem.

Other Problems

There may be other reasons for occasionally receiving a poor quality of service which are nothing to do with the WiFi signal but with other network problems either within the University or on the Internet. In Computing Services we do our best to resolve problems which are within our purview as soon as possible but we have no control over what happens once the connection leaves the campus.

Finally, please remember that individual web sites often have their own problems (yes, even YouTube) so if you are experiencing problems with a web site it may just be that site which is having problems.

Last modified: Monday, 14 April 2014, 2:45 PM