A brief history of our College Wireless Network solution.

A brief history of our College Wireless Transport.

I choose to go with a D-Link Wireless Solution, comprising Access Points and Management Switch, altogether it has been a positive experience,  although I feel that D-Link needs to make the management console more intuitive and friendly.  I find this an issue on a lot of D-Link equipment even their home products link Wireless and ADSL routers are unnecessarily complicated.  For example: Have you ever tried to save the settings on a simple XXX.

It was unfortunate timing but at the time we installed N which had not been ratified and I’m thankful we purchased upgrade insurance.  Our new N equipment arrived recently (covered by the upgrade insurance) we installed, activated and reconfigured wireless AP’s  at the same time.  The installation task was completed by our Student IT Team and saved us significant amounts of labour. D-Link very kindly came in to perform the upgrade.

After the N upgrade we appeared to have more issues than previously with the earlier A and G networks  especially with our windows computers/clients.  Teachers and Students were clearly disappointed.  For whichever reasons many of the Windows clients were not able to determine whether N or G were any quicker whereas the Mac clients recognised the N as a quicker network and connected to that.

to be continued …

How am I going to Login to the Domain using Wireless: This is a real issue which any organisation will face when considering how to use the wireless network to gain access to the domain.

Each Macbook or Windows PC will connect using 802.1X with an individual TLS certificate for each Mobile Device. Instead of User Authentication a TLS Certificate on the mobile device will ensure that each device will authenticate to the Network , (this is seamless to the user and they will not  need to login to the Wireless Network). On Apple Macbooks this will be installed using a system profile  Mac or PC and at the present time these will need to be done manually on every Macbook and image until we figure some way of automating this on Mac.

Significant interference in our room on the 2.4GHz network.

Our Wireless Upgrade is Complete

The school shrewdly purchased upgrade insurance when we installed our Wireless Access Points 2 years ago and as a result all our access points have been upgraded to the very newest N Standard (802.11n) which runs at 300Mbps.  To put this in perspective:

802.11b/g = 54Mbps
8 bits = 1 byte.
54 Mbps = 6.75 megabytes p/s  <=== Old Wireless

802.11n = 300Mbs
8 bits = 1 byte.
300 Mbs =   megabytes per second <====  New Wireless at GCCC.

but wait …. that makes the Wireless System at GCCC 3 X  faster than the physical cable network! Yes.. it does … and probably 3x times faster than about 80 % of the schools and many businesses in Australia, but only until our physical network is upgraded too, which is currently in progress.

We will soon be using Gigabit Network throughout the whole school. That is 1000Mbs, (about)  pushing us into the to 20%, that differentiates us from other schools. It’s this sort of Adventurous Spirit amongst our leaders and teachers which differentiate us from other schools for example:

New Modern Building, Ambitious and Practical Architecture.
Excellent computers:  Thus far, with all the talk of Digital Revolution we have only increased our computer count by 11 computers.  …  in other words we did the computer stuff on our own. (currently nearly 300 computers for 550 students), mmn.. makes one think. …
We are a RTO – Registered Training Organization.

Another example of what this ambitious spirit is made of is the  “Open Laptops Policy”. I am unaware of any other school with this approach and IMO this has been successful and our 10, 11 and 12’s  are bringing in and using their own computer equipment (Linux Windows or Mac).

And again, soon we will see the introduction the infamous Apple Mac, an ingenious bit of technology on its own, arguably a little different from a PC but when mixed with the same adventurous spirit aka Steve Jobs, Apple have again become key tools in education and the workplace.

About Roland

Family, God, People, Architecture, Pursuer of Truth, Wisdom, Education, Community, Truth, Patience and Prosperity.
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