Wednesday, August 19, 2009

University Libraries Upgrade to N-Wireless Connectivity

When using the University Libraries, students, faculty, staff, and other users of netbooks, notebooks, laptops, MacBooks, and other wireless hand-held devices will notice that they now have full access to n-level data network connectivity, technically known as 802.11n. This connectivity is accessible throughout the University Libraries, including the two branch libraries: Architecture Library and Science-Health Science Library.

The benefit to wireless-n device users is that the upgrade allows significantly faster network throughput. With n-wireless, for example, the theoretical capacity is 444 Mbps; whereas it was 54 Mbps with the g-wireless service. Each new access point supports 5.0 GHz band in addition to the 2.4 GHz band already in place. The 5 GHz band has substantial capacity and less radio interference. Because so many WiFi devices are b- or g-level compliant, a dual band wireless network is being configured. These features are important to Ball State students and faculty who increasingly are finding that the Internet is an indispensable tool for research and learning for accessing informational resources.

Students and faculty can also borrow laptops and MacBooks from the University Libraries for a period of up to 18 hours. This allows them to experience a laptop or substitutes one for their own that may be at home or in their residence hall room when visiting the Libraries. In addition, the Libraries provide access to almost 400 desktop computers that provide access to all of the common software used on campus to support project work and research.

Students and faculty using devices on the wireless network will also have access to the library laptop printing service through the Libraries’ homepage.

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