Using the wireless network on campus

Prefer the 5 GHz radio frequencies

Mobile devices can use several different technologies to make wireless network connections. Most modern wireless adapters in both Macs and PCs can use several different technologies, and they are supposed to choose the best one in any given situation, but they often don't. For classes, you want to use the 5 GHz radio band (actually it ranges from 5.725 GHz to 5.875 GHz), not the 2.4 GHz band (ranging from 2.4 to 2.5 GHz), if your laptop's wireless adapter has that ability. If not, the 2.4 GHz band will work, but the service level will be poorer. (However, you can get a good signal at a greater distance from the access point on the 2.4 GHz band.)

Here are some instructions on changing wireless modes on internal wireless adapters for various laptops.

Which network to connect to

Several networks are available: ukyedu, ukhc-guest, UK-Guest, and eduroam. The choice of network is independent of the choice of radio band. Insecure networks allow others to read your network traffic. It is therefore especially important to make sure you use end-to-end encryption when sending personal information, such as your LinkBlue password. If you make your connections with ssh or with a browser to a site using SSL (the Secure Socket Layer, indicated by a URL starting with https://), your conversation is encrypted, so intruders cannot decipher your traffic. Secure networks use encryption between your device and the wireless access point, in addition to any end-to-end encryption your software might use. Intruders cannot decipher any of your traffic, even ordinary browser traffic. Still, it is best not to rely on that encryption; you should habitually check for SSL before sending any sensitive information through a browser or mail program.