When I first started college, it was hard for me to connect to the wireless Internet. I would have to open my door as if I were inviting the wireless into my room just so my computer could actually find and connect to it. Eventually I was brought a router from home and I never had trouble with connecting to the wireless again – until now.
This year, Residence Life has changed its Internet connection policy for all of the residence halls that have enhanced wireless. This includes Best, Buell, Downing, Phelps, Putnam, Sellers, Walton and Wise. The policy states that the residence halls that have enhanced wireless are not allowed to have routers.
It is great that they are trying to better the university’s wireless for the new herd of freshmen, but why would they take away a good thing like having your own router? There are some nice benefits from being able to use your own router.
The main benefit is that it is easier to connect to the Internet. If you connect to your router and set it as a home connection, each time you are within range, your computer will automatically connect you to the internet. This means that you no longer have to put up with the hassle of typing in your username and password to connect to the Internet just so you can briefly check your Facebook before leaving for class.
Gaming devices such as the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo DS cannot connect to EMU’s wireless Internet. In order to play online using one of these devices, one needs to connect it to a router. If I cannot have a router on campus, how will I get my free Torchic when the new Pokémon games come out?
Speaking of online gaming, without a router, students won’t be able to host servers for games such as Minecraft or Battlefield. When I first met my roommate this year, we got to know each other through playing a game called Terraria – using a server – for several hours.
Instead of upgrading residence halls that already have decent wireless, why didn’t EMU provide wireless to places without it, like The Village? The Village doesn’t have any access to the campus wireless in their residence hall and must rely on Ethernet cables and routers. Even then, they don’t have enough Ethernet ports for everyone. For up to seven people per apartment, there are five ethernet ports.
When my roommate and I were first told by our resident advisor that we weren’t allowed to have routers in our room anymore, my roommate corresponded with EMU’s IT department. He was later told that our RA was misinformed and that there was no new policy.
Routers are a nice, easy way to use the Internet. They make connection faster and more reliable. The availability of Internet access allows for the diversity of the campus to be reflected online and in the gaming community.
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