Networks & Connectivity
Wireless vs. Wired Connectivity
[updated Jan. 8, 2020] Wireless connectivity can be sweet. Sheridan offers wireless access points at all campuses that provide laptop users with convenient and easy access to the campus data network and the Internet. Wireless nodes, or hotspots, have been set up to cover hallways and other public gathering areas. Coverage also reaches beyond the walls of Sheridan’s buildings and you may sit outside with your laptop using wireless in many areas.
However, there are some drawbacks to wireless networking that you should be aware of:
- A wireless connection is not as fast as a wired connection. Also, since wireless connections are shared, the number of users accessing the signal at a given hotspot affects access speeds – the more users there are, the slower the connection will be.
- 2.4GHz vs. 5GHz WiFI: the 2.4GHz wireless band is more prone to interference from other devices that use that frequency – e.g. microwaves, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, etc. 5GHz-capable wireless network cards have less interference to deal with and offers users the best performance.
- Wireless connections are less secure than wired connections. Data is transmitted through the air via radio waves and could be intercepted by any unscrupulous hacker with an inclination to do so. Some basic tips to keep your data and computer safe are listed below:
- Make sure you are using a legitimate hotspot—Sheridan’s service set identifier (SSID) is “Sheridan Secure Access”. Someone can easily set up pirate routers with familiar SSID names like "t-mobile" and use these to capture unsuspecting user's private information.
- Verify that your computer's firewall is turned on and that your PC’s file-sharing feature is off.
- Never send usernames, account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, confidential emails, or other sensitive data using a hotspot unless you are positive you are on a secure site.
- Always turn your WiFi radio off when you are not using it. Hackers can set up peer-to-peer WiFi connections with your computer and use them to access your personal information directly.
Students and instructors working in classrooms, and Sheridan staff members working in office environments are highly encouraged to connect their computers to a data port whenever possible. Speed, reliability and security will never be better with wireless signals than over the wire.
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