Help, my Wi-Fi does not work!

Wireless networking in a dense living environment, like a residence hall, is significantly different from wireless networking in a typical single family home. Multiple access points per floor try to maximize the experience for everyone, but interference coming from personal routers, wireless printers and other sources can cause trouble spots. Here are some tips to get the best experience:

  1. Plug into the jack - Clearly today’s student prefers mobile networking. However, you might be engaging activities that simply need a faster, more stable connection, such as taking an online test or using Netflix. In this case, it is wise to plug into an Ethernet jack. You’ll get faster speeds and you won’t be susceptible to interference from your neighbor.
  2. Turn off that router – Personal routers are not allowed in residence halls that have University wireless for good reason; they interfere and prevent the network from functioning properly.

    Have you ever driven down the road listening to your favorite station when, suddenly, a different station plays over your speakers? You look over at the driver in the next car and see them mouthing the words to this new tune. They have a transmitter that is interfering with your radio station. Once the other car gets far enough away, your music returns.

    The same interference issue applies with residence hall wireless. Your neighbor’s - or perhaps your own - router will block or degrade the signal from UA wireless access points. Since radio frequency travels in 3 dimensions, interference could also be coming from above or below you.

  3. Plug in that printer – Wireless printers also create interference issues. Wireless printers are not currently supported on the network, and wireless features should be disabled. It is recommended to use a printer that allows you to physically connect via a USB or similar cable.
  4. Microwave on, Wi-Fi off – Does your Wi-Fi quit working or get slower when you roommate makes popcorn? Microwave ovens and other devices can create interference that interferes most commonly on the 2.4 Gigahertz network. If your network cuts out when the microwave is on, it might be the source.
  5. Upgrade your network card – If your wireless network card does not support 5 Gigahertz, you can still upgrade it on some devices. USB wireless cards (i.e. Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter) are available for around $30 and up that permit you to connect to “UARK WiFi”. In general, the 5G network has less interference, fewer users and supports faster connections.
  6. Avoid peak times – The speed of the WiFi network will vary with the time of day. Planning a marathon viewing of “The Walking Dead” during peak hours might leave you feeling a little slow.

Following these tips should allow you to have a good experience on the University Wi-Fi. If you have concerns with the Wi-Fi or you see a router that should not be in the building, please let a staff member with ResNet know.

Technical Support

If you are unable to access the Internet after following these instructions, or if you need further assistance, please contact the ResNet Help Desk.

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