Computing & Communications Center
Network Operations

Wireless Networking Issues

My wireless connection doesn't work well

We make a best effort attempt to make sure the WPI Wireless network is available to everyone in the WPI Community. However, due to the inherently unreliable nature of wireless, the signal quality and data speed will vary widely within a given location based on numerous factors including, but not limited to:

While we cannot bend the Laws of Physics, we do everything we can to tune the WPI Wireless network. If you discover a location where you are unable to communicate with the WPI Wireless network, you may fill out a Wireless Coverage Complaint. Please provide as much information as possible including:

The more information we have, the better we can respond.

My phone has wireless web... can I use that on the network?

There are two different types of wireless data access that are typically found on phones. The first is data access that uses the same radio component as the voice calls. This includes service such as EVDO, 3G/4G and LTA. These services are managed by your cell phone provider.

Some other phones do include a WiFi compatible radio, which may be compatible with the WPI wireless network. The device must support certificate based authentication, and either WPA or WPA2 encryption. While there is no prohibition against using such devices, due to the wide range of different options we are unable to provide any advice or support on purchasing or configuration.

Problematic Configurations

Some configurations work better than others when using the WPI Wireless Network. Below is a list of problem configurations and recommendations.

OS NameWeb BrowserNotes
Windows 8.x "Tile" or Metro version of Internet Explorer RECOMMENDATION: Use the desktop version of Internet Explorer when setting up WiFi
Windows 7 Safari Automated setup unavailable because Java does not work with Safari on Windows; RECOMMENDATION: Use Internet Explorer to setup Wi-Fi
Windows 8.x Safari Automated setup unavailable because Java does not work with Safari on Windows; RECOMMENDATION: Use Internet Explorer to setup Wi-Fi
Windows 7 & 8.x 360 Versions of the 360 Web Browser and Anti-virus suite cause issues when attempting to auto-configure wireless laptops. RECOMMENDATION: disable or remove the 360 software, reboot and try again.
OS/X Firefox Leads to manual setup ; RECOMMENDATION: Install Java to use automated setup
OS/X Chrome Automated setup unavailable because Java will not work on Chrome ; Chrome is 32bit and OS X is 64bit; RECOMMENDATION: Use Safari to setup WiFi
OS/X Safari Leads to manual setup ; RECOMMENDATION: Install Java to use automated setup
iPhone and iPod (iOS) Safari There are occasions when Safari will produce a too many redirects error. If this happens, please attempt to visit https://wpi-wireless-setup.wpi.edu/enroll/WPI/Production/process. If the problems continue, visit HelpDesk or contact helpdesk@wpi.edu.
Any OS Chrome with AdBlock extension When doing automatic wireless setup, the web browser does not automatically redirect to http://wpi-wireless-setup.wpi.edu/. RECOMMENDATION: either disable AdBlock as you setup wireless OR manually visit http://wpi-wireless-setup.wpi.edu/

Problematic Devices

While we do not place any particular restrictions on which device may connect to the wireless network (beyond those imposed by the AUP), some devices are known to be incompatible. Typically this is because the device does not support the WPA Enterprise authentication required.

DeviceStatusNotes
Google ChromecastWill not workThese devices do not support the required enterprise wireless authentication, and Google appears to have no plans to add it.
Nintendo Wii & Wii UWill not work.No support for WPA Enterprise. The USB wired Ethernet adapter will work instead.
XBOX 360Will not work.No support for certificate authentication.
XBOX OneWill not work.No support for certificate authentication.
PlayStation 3 & 4Will not work.No support for certificate authentication.
Barnes and Noble Nook (all)Will not work.While the underlying Android operating system is capable of supporting the security used by the WPI-Wireless network, this support was removed by Barnes and Noble before the device was shipped.
Windows Mobile 5 PhonesUnlikely to work.Most cannot import the certificates, and those that can do not properly support the high level of encryption.
Windows Mobile 6 PhonesVaries.Even on phones that can import the certificates properly, many still have buggy encryption drivers that will not work reliably.
Windows Mobile 7 PhonesWill not work.No support for certificate authentication.
Windows Mobile 8 PhonesWill not work.No support for certificate authentication.
Windows Mobile 8.1 PhonesRequires Manual SetupNot supported by CloudPath. Requires manual setup.
Windows RTRequires Manual SetupNot supported by CloudPath. Requires manual setup.
Non-English versions of Windows Vista, 7 and 8VariesSeveral incidents have been reports of a CAB Extract error. Other reports of "360 Internet" interfering with CloudPath. In general, manual setup should work.
BlackBerry devices (all versions)Unlikely to workIn testing, we were unable to reliably install the wireless certificates required to connect to WPI-Wireless. To this end, we are unable to support these devices.
Wireless PrintersUnlikely to workWhile there are a wide range of wireless printers available on the market, the vast majority of them lack support for WPA Enterprise. In addition, configuring your machine to connect directly to the printer via wireless has been observed to cause problems reliably connecting to the WPI wireless network.
Maintained by webmaster@wpi.edu
Last modified: Nov 24, 2014, 15:49 EST
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