Opinion: UAlbany needs to reconnect by reconstructing its Wifi
After almost four years of attending UAlbany, I’ve come to the conclusion that–and I think most people will agree–the WiFi here stinks. No matter what device I attempt to use the Internet on, there’s always some sort of connectivity issue, and when there isn’t, there’s time where the wifi just refuses to work, and you’ll have to refresh your connection. Not only is this extremely frustrating, but it happens frequently on both wireless networks that the school provides to us: MyResNet and UAlbanyWiFi. We need either a major rehaul of our WiFi networks, or we need to just get a new one all together.
MyResNet has had a myriad of problems since I started going to school here. When I was a freshman, I was allowed only to have two active devices connected to the Internet. The problem was, I had three devices that all needed to be connected: my phone, laptop, and PS4. I decided to keep my phone active the whole year, and whenever I wanted to switch between my laptop and PS4, it meant logging in on my phone to my MyResNet account to switch the internet between the two devices. It was an annoying and arduous process.
It wasn’t until my junior year that MyResNet got a facelift, but now the difference doesn’t stick out to me that much. The internet got upgraded to 75 mbps upload and download, but I don’t think I’ve ever topped out at any higher than 50 or so. There will be times where I’m on the internet on my phone or laptop and a page will refuse to load, so I’ll have to disconnect then reconnect the internet to get it to work again. On these devices, it isn’t so bad, but on my PS4, it’s very frustrating. It also doesn’t help that my room (on Empire Commons) contains the router for my whole suite, so I can’t wire my connection. I’m stuck with the wifi when it comes to gaming, and I’m met with frequent lag as well as being disconnected from games.
The UAlbanyWiFi on the podium is even worse. It works adequately enough in the library, but it works horribly in individual buildings. There’s many times where I’m waiting for class to start and I frequently have trouble with getting content to load on my phone, usually on Instagram or Twitter. And you may as well forget about even trying to use WiFi in the basement of any of these buildings. Just getting a connection down there is a struggle, and if you do, you’ll be hit with the dreaded one or two bar WiFi connection. You might as well not even use it at that point. The only saving grace about internet on campus is that the LTE reception is pretty good across most major networks, but if you don’t have an unlimited data plan, your options are limited.
I’ve had minor gripes about my experience tending UAlbany, but the lackluster WiFi is one of the biggest ones. I have friends who have went to SUNY schools at Buffalo, Binghamton, and Stony Brook, and all of them have never had the Internet problems that I face almost daily. This school seems to be focused on reconstructing practically everything on campus, so why not add something more pressing to that list and improve the Internet that the entire campus depends upon?