Why Personal Wireless Routers and Printers are Not Your Friend

I know, they seem so convenient, but bringing your own wireless router or printer onto the UMF network causes more problems than it solves.  The reason is those devices cause interference that slows down the real UMF wireless access points that supply internet access to everyone.

The reason is most wireless routers broadcast on one of three frequency channels, and they’re the same channels that our (or just about anyone else’s) wireless access points use.  For example, if your device is broadcasting on channel 6, and it’s near one of ours that’s also using channel 6, neither one will work well.  (And it wouldn’t help even if you changed your channel, because ours are using all three – not to be selfish, but because it lets use provide more wireless coverage.)

Any time two devices are competing for the same channel, they have to take turns communicating, and that slows down both devices.  It’s similar to what happens when you’re driving, and the radio goes back and forth between two stations as you move from town to town.  If you’re able to pick up both signals, the radio can’t play one or the other all the time.

Some people bring wireless routers, thinking it will help them get a better signal. But it actually does the opposite–and it affects your neighbors. You should be able to connect just fine without it, and if you can’t, please stop by the Help Desk or call us at 778-7300 to let us know, so we can fix it. Or, if you have a wireless printer, most of them also have an option to connect directly using a USB cable.

Finally, if you’re still on the fence about whether to give up your wireless router, it might help you to know that we can see all of them, and when one becomes a problem, we can disable it remotely to prevent its interference. It would probably be easier to just turn it off yourself, and your neighbors will thank you.