Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Residential Wireless Upgrade

ITS and Residence Life have an exciting announcement! On Friday, February 10th, we started the residence halls wireless upgrade project. This project has been brewing behind the scenes for quite some time now and we have finally begun installing hardware. The plan is to install approximately 1200 Aerohive wireless access points throughout the resident halls in order to create 100% 802.11ac Wave Two wireless coverage.

Please keep watch over your emails as we will be notifying residents ahead of the installation. We need your help! As most of these access points will be installed in the residents’ rooms, we will need people to clear a path to the network jack in the walls. The more you can help, the faster that this project will proceed. Not having easy access to the network jacks is the largest time inefficiency of the project.

If you need support after the installation, please fill out the form by clicking HERE.

PROJECT PROGRESS

  • All buildings of North Park Quads and Collegiate Park have been completed. If you have questions or are having connection issues please click the link above. Positive feedback is welcome too.
  • Other buildings to be announced soon.

CONNECTION INFORMATION

  • AstateSecure – This is the primary connection option for the wireless network at AState. AstateSecure will allow for full access to the internet and all AState networked resources. Use AstateSecure to connect tablets, phones, and computers. AstateSecure will prompt for a username and password. Please use your AState username and password to connect to this network. If you need to manually set the wireless security option, use “WPA2 Enterprise”.

  • AstateResDevices – If your device cannot connect to AstateSecure, please use AstateResDevices. This network has more limited internet access and will not be able to access many AState networked resources. Use AstateResDevices to connect devices such as game consoles, smart TVs, Chromecasts, AppleTVs and other residential devices. AstateResDevices will not prompt for a username, it will only ask for a password. Please use “resdevices” for the password (no quotes). If you need to manually set the wireless security option, use “WPA2 Personal”, “WPA2 PSK”, or just “WPA2”.

  • USB to Wireless Adapter - If you have a computer that you were connecting to the network via an Ethernet cable, you will now need a wireless adapter for it. Ethernet ports in the Residence Halls will no longer function after the wireless upgrade. We recommend an 802.11ac Wave Two USB 3.0 adapter. These are often referred to by the maximum speed of the adapter. We recommend an AC1750 (or higher) adapter. Other adapters will work as well, but may provide a slower connection.

WHY WE ARE DOING A FULL RESIDENTIAL WIRELESS UPGRADE

For years AState has claimed that the Ethernet port was the fastest and most stable connection that a user could have and that wireless should be considered a secondary connection. This was true in many cases largely due to the state of wireless technology and due to budgetary restrictions that have hampered wide spread wireless deployment. Also, in the last few years, users have increasingly needed better wireless due to multiple devices that cannot use an Ethernet cable such as tablets and phones.

In order to fulfill the needs of our students, we have acquired almost three-quarters of a million dollars’ worth of state-of-the-art wireless equipment with the specific purpose of completely covering the residential halls with the newest, fastest, most stable wireless technology that we could find. We believe that this new wireless deployment will be able to serve all of the needs of our students.

“Why are you getting rid of the Ethernet ports?” is our number one most asked question. There are multiple reasons for this:

  • First, in some rooms (such as in Collegiate Park), we cannot run more network lines and therefore have to use the existing Ethernet port to deploy the wireless.
  • Second, it’s simply more cost effective to not run new lines and to use existing lines.
  • Third, we’re adding around 1200 new devices to the residential hall network. That’s 1200 new network ports if we didn’t use existing backend infrastructure (known as “switches”). If we were to keep all of the existing data lines we would add another 25% to 50% to the budget.
  • Fourth, since we are removing ports, there’s an actual savings to the campus as we can now utilize those switches elsewhere on campus, bringing total IT costs down for the project.
  • And finally, turning off the ports removes the opportunities for users to plug in their own home routers. These routers’ own wireless networks would interfere with the network that we are installing, causing a less than optimal experience for our users.

We understand that this is a completely new direction and strategy for our residential hall networks. We also understand that this might be disruptive in some cases. There will probably be some kinks we’ll have to work out, but please bear with us. Give us as much feedback as you can, positive and negative. We will work our hardest to make sure this project is a complete success and that we give you, the student, the network that will enable you to do everything that you’ve always wanted to do.

Also, please keep an eye out on this page and your emails. The complete wireless upgrade is only phase one of what we have planned for the residential halls...