Computer Services will be shutting down the Wifi4Owls wireless network on July 5, in an effort to improve wireless service and security, according to an email sent out to the university yesterday, June 13.
The wireless network has been phased out recently and will be solely replaced by TUsecurewireless, which will serve as Temple’s only campus-wide wireless service. During the past semester, students were urged to switch off from Wifi4Owls and onto TUsecurewireless.
While both services provided internet access, Associate Vice President of Computer Services Larry Brandolph said that they each have different uses.
“We have found an industry trend in providing two different wireless networks,” Brandolph said. “It is common place with our peers, for a Wifi4Owls like wireless network to be for guests and a TUsecurewireless wireless network to be for all other users.”
From a technological point of view, TUsecurewireless is WPA2 Enterprise meaning that it is encrypted. Wifi4Owls is not encrypted, so there is some risk that content could be captured by third parties. Wifi4Owls was also meant for general browsing, while TUsecurewireless is intended to give students or staff access that is equivalent to a wired connection.
“There’s a lot of infrastructure necessary to make wireless work,” he said. “The old infrastructure in total could only handle 4,000 current sessions and typically by 11 a.m. we were hitting that level.”
The university’s back end infrastructure was built to be able to easily scale to stay ahead of the demand for wireless coverage and bandwidth on wireless networks for clients has been growing rapidly during the past few years. The infrastructure has increased its user limit from 4,000 on Main Campus, to one that currently can handle 10,240. When approaching its limits, it can increase as much as needed to get more users connected.
TUsecurewireless will be the only campus-wide wireless service for students, faculty, staff and guests, though students in residence halls will continue to use TUresnet and TUresnetextra.
Dominique Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.