Understanding Campus Wi-Fi


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Large public Wi-Fi networks like we have on campus operate differently than a simple, private network like you probably have set up in your home. At times, the difference can be a source of frustration to students. This article is intended to help you better understand campus Wi-Fi so that you can eliminate that frustation and navigate it like a pro.

Logging into Wi-Fi

Campus Wi-Fi is available in more than 40 buildings spread out over more than 200 acres. To ensure that campus Wi-Fi is available only to KU students, faculty and staff, all users are required to log in with their KU username and password.

North Campus Wi-Fi (BearNet) - Academic Buildings

The Wi-Fi network prevalent throughout most non-residential spaces on campus is BearNet. Because Wi-Fi users in academic buildings tend to be transient (i.e. regularly moving between buildings and classrooms), BearNet is designed to be session-based. Some facts about BearNet:

  • When connecting to BearNet, you get no Internet access until you log in via the captive portal web page.
  • Due to the transient nature of BearNet users, your network device will automatically be disconnected after a few minutes of inactivity and you’ll need to log in again.
  • BearNet supports Wi-Fi roaming within a building. For example, if you log into BearNet in Rohrbach Library, you can move around anywhere within Rohrbach Library and maintain your network connection (provided you’re still within range of a Wi-Fi signal).
  • BearNet does not support Wi-Fi roaming between buildings. Although the BearNet name permeates throughout north campus buildings, each building has its own path to the Internet. As a result, when you move from one north campus building to another, you need to re-establish your network connection (i.e. log into Wi-Fi again).

South Campus Wi-Fi (ResNet Wireless) - Residence Halls

The Wi-Fi network prevalent throughout residential areas on campus is ResNet Wireless. Some facts about ResNet Wireless:

  • ResNet Wireless is not session-based. When you log into your network device, ResNet Wireless remembers the device and won’t require you to log in again on that device for a period of two weeks.
  • Similar to BearNet, ResNet Wireless requires you to log in via a captive portal web page. However, you may notice that you’re able to connect to the Internet for a short time and aren’t immediately presented with the login page. This is the amount of time it takes for ResNet Wireless to identify your device and check to see if it has been logged in within the past two weeks.
  • ResNet Wireless supports Wi-Fi roaming within some residence halls. Roaming allows you to move around anywhere within the building and maintain your network connection (provided you’re still within range of a Wi-Fi signal). The halls that support in-building roaming are…
    • Beck Hall
    • Berks Hall
    • Bonner Hall
    • Deatrick Hall
    • Dixon Hall (*supports roaming as of Feb. 26, 2015)
    • GB Village West
    • Honors Building
    • Johnson Hall
    • Lehigh Hall
    • Rothermel Hall
    • Schuylkill Hall
    • University Place
  • ResNet Wireless supports some Wi-Fi roaming between certain buildings. The two main areas where roaming is supported are Berks-Lehigh-Schuylkill and Beck-Deatrick.

ResNet Wireless in Golden Bear Village South

To alleviate some of the connection issues associated with Wi-Fi roaming in Golden Bear Village South, ResNet Wireless is split into 10 separate Wi-Fi networks…

  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 10A (west side)
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 10B (east side)
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 20
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 30
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 40
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 50
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 60
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 70
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 80A (east side)
  • ResNet Wireless GBVS 80B (west side)

To access Wi-Fi in Golden Bear Village South, connect to the network where you happen to be. For example, if you live in GBVS Building 70, connect to ResNet Wireless GBVS 70 from your apartment. If you’re using the laundry room in GBVS Building 80, connect to ResNet Wireless GBVS 80A.

Things to try if you have problems connecting to Wi-Fi…

1. Try browsing to any web page

Your device could be waiting to redirect you to the captive portal so you can log in. Open a browser and enter any URL (e.g. google.com) to force a redirection to the login page.

2. Make sure you’re using campus Wi-Fi

If you’re not connected to BearNet or ResNet Wireless, you’re attaching to someone else’s network. Many student-owned devices broadcast Wi-Fi network names that likely aren’t set up to let you connect to the Internet.

3. Turn Wi-Fi off/on

Because of inherent issues with roaming between and within some buildings, turning your device’s Wi-Fi off/on forces it to establish a new path to the Internet.

If you have any questions or a specific concern about Wi-Fi use on campus, please email us at resnet@kutztown.edu.