New wireless Internet system debuts

The University is rolling out a new wireless system that automatically connects devices to the Internet and remains logged in, a potential fix to chronic student complaints that campus Internet is unreliable.

GW1X – the new network launched by the Division of Information Technology – connects students to the Internet automatically after an initial setup login, Chief Information Officer David Steinour said, and is compatible with Apple OS X computers, Apple iOS mobile devices and Android mobile devices.

Students using other operating systems must continue to use the existing GWireless service.

The current GWireless system commonly prompts users to log in each time they open their computers and access campus Internet, and it also times out, booting users off the Internet and forcing another login.

“The Division of IT wanted to ensure a robust, easily accessible high-speed wireless Internet connection for all members of the GW community,” Steinour said.

GW first introduced a limited GW1X system in 2010, making the wireless network accessible to Android devices and Apple mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. After GW1X proved successful in trial rounds, the department expanded the network to include computers, Steinour said.

The GWireless login page will now prompt users to set up GW1X on their computers with a step-by-step set of instructions, detailing the process with information on the new network’s perks. Configuration pages are specifically tailored to the device being used.

Steinour said the shift from the VPN client students is in response to a growing trend among users to connect more than one device to the wireless system at a time. He said it was also a result of his department’s “vision for the University’s technology infrastructure.”

The new system is already facing minor kinks, as masses of students attempt to log in for the first time. Steinour said the top configuration issues Student Technology Services is seeing with GW1X include a user’s operating system not being up-to-date, incorrect passwords accidentally being saved to devices and users failing to reboot their devices after setting up the network.

“STS has not seen a particularly large number of OS X Leopard machines whose issues cannot be resolved,” he said. “Those computers that have had problems are typically due to the OS not having the latest Apple updates.”

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