WKU adds wireless networks

Caitlin Carter

Students and visitors will notice changes in the wireless networks available on campus this semester.

The “WKU-WIRELESS” network will now cover the dorms, replacing “WKU-RESIDENTIAL,” said Bob Owen, vice president for Information Technology.


At any given time, students will use “WKU-WIRELESS,” Owen said.

The “WKU-RESIDENTIAL” network was previously only available in the dorms, said Edwin Craft, director of Communication Technologies.

“When students in the residence halls went to class, they would have to log in to ‘WKU-WIRELESS,'” Craft said. “To make that process easier, we took the same protocols that we were using on ‘WKU-RESIDENTIAL’ and migrated it over to where there was only one network name that they have to log in to.”

Campus guests are now receiving a network of their own.

In the past there had been requests for exclusive guest access, Craft said.

“We have a lot of visitors to campus,” he said. “Visitors could be potential students, people coming to our sporting events – basketball, football, baseball games – that want Internet access, and we didn’t have a good way for those people to have Internet access.”

Unlike students, users on “WKU-GUEST” won’t have to download the Cisco Network Admission Control client, Craft said.

Cisco NAC ensures that students have adequate virus protection and updates installed to make the internet as safe to surf as possible, he said.

Owen said that even though students can access “WKU-GUEST,” they aren’t advised to use it. The guest network is 30 times slower than “WKU-WIRELESS” and is only designed for basic surfing.

“All who step on this campus should be able to get wireless access,” Owen said.

Louisville junior Lindsay Cleavinger said she’s had a guest on campus who wanted to use the Internet.

“It wasn’t a big hassle,” she said. “They used my laptop. I just logged into the network for them.”

Craft said he believes there will be plenty of visitors who benefit from guest access.

“Let’s say it’s a tailgating event, or let’s say they’re going to a football game,” he said. “Then those people can just click on the ‘WKU-GUEST’ access and accept the network policy, and they’re on with very little intervention.”

In addition to the new guest wireless network, officials will unveil “WKU-SECURE” sometime during the fall semester, Owen said last week.

This network will be useful for devices that require a “revamped security,” such as the iPad, he said.