Wi-Fi Welcomes Students Back to

When students return to classes on Monday, August 30th, they may not immediately notice a very significant new opportunity available to them. Genesee Community College has introduced wireless computer technology.

"Wireless Internet access is the latest illustration of Genesee Community College's very real commitment of remaining ahead of the technology curve," Mary Jane Heider, Manager of Academic Computer Services said. "We continue to invest, implement, and then train faculty, students, and staff to use the advancing tools and techniques of the online industry to strengthen our connection to the global community."

The new "Wi-Fi" technology enables computer users to access the Internet, email accounts and many other computer services without being plugged into a data port, wall outlet, or tethered to a desk and a hard drive. Using battery powered personal laptops or handheld devices that are equipped with a wireless network adapter (a standard feature on most new units), users can now access the World Wide Web, email, and other Internet services anywhere in the College's cafeteria, the Alfred O'Connell Library, or in the Conable Technology Building near The BEST Center. Without cables, jacks, wires, plugs, or modems?users will enjoy full mobility while surfing the net or responding to their email.

In addition, students residing at College Village, the Residence Life Community located adjacent to the Batavia campus, will also have wireless computer access throughout the seven apartment-style buildings. The high speed wireless access to the Internet is included in the rent paid by student residents and is contracted by Time-Warner with "Roadrunner" business class service.

Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity, and transmits data using radio frequencies rather than cables and wires. At this point, there is no practical limit to the number of users who can use the wireless computer access at any given time.

To ensure the user-friendliness of Genesee's new wireless Internet service, the College has successfully tested three major wireless connection "cards," including Cisco Aironet, Linksys Wireless B Notebook Adaptor, and Intel Pro Wireless. Genesee's wireless connection supports 802.11a and 802.11b standards.

Although the College cannot provide wireless support services for individual personal laptop and handheld devices, Genesee's Computer Services department recommends the following to help ensure a positive experience using wireless connectivity, on or off campus:

  • All users should maintain up-to-date virus protection software.
  • Avoid private financial transactions, such as connecting with a bank or placing online orders using a credit card for payment unless your system uses encryption software. Wireless messages travel through airspace and can be intercepted by others.
  • All wireless network adapters have driver software and must be properly installed and turned on before access is available.
  • Any trouble shooting problems should be addressed by the wireless device vendor or the computer manufacturers.

    To learn more about wireless Internet access, the following websites provide detailed information about the technology:

    http://www.vicomsoft.com/knowledge/reference/wireless1.html

    http://www.iec.org/online/tutorials/winternet/

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