Wi-Fi Etiquette at NC State

(Adapted from Be a Good WiFi Citizen)

Your Wi-Fi devices can interfere with others’ Wi-Fi connectivity.

  • Wi-Fi networks use a range of publicly available, unlicensed radio frequencies that are shared among numerous types of devices. 
  • When many devices use these same frequencies it can degrade Wi-Fi network performance.
  • Many devices have an impact — wireless printers, microwave ovens, cordless phones, wireless audio speakers, wireless clocks, projectors, cameras, and gaming controllers. See the table below.

By working cooperatively and practicing good Wi-Fi etiquette, NC State network users can help each other get the optimal campus connections we all need. Here’s how.

Choose your most appropriate connection.

Wi-Fi connection

  • eduroam
    Most secure, fastest wireless network.
    For NC State students, faculty and staff and visitors from other institutions that participate in eduroam.
  • ncsu
    For NC State students, faculty and staff only.
    Used mainly for miscellaneous devices.
  • ncsu-guest
    Unsecured, limited usability.
    For campus visitors without university credentials.

Wired connection

  • Always faster than Wi-Fi.
  • Helps free up Wi-Fi for other users.

Reduce Wi-Fi interference.

Avoid using any device that can create a personal wireless network.

This type of ad hoc network is created by individual devices that can communicate directly with each other without using a router.
Example: For a wireless printer, disable its wireless capability and use a wired connection instead.
NOTE: The most common source of Wi-Fi interference at NC State is wireless printers creating ad hoc networks.

Avoid using a personal Wi-Fi access point.

These devices significantly interfere with the campus Wi-Fi network.
If you believe that your situation requires a personal access point, please request assistance from

Minimize interference from your other devices.

Use the table below to learn how your devices impact Wi-Fi and what you can do about it. 

Know your personal impact on Wi-Fi.

The following table lists devices commonly used on campus and their impacts on Wi-Fi at various ranges. It also suggests solutions you can implement to reduce your impact. 

Device Impact Range Suggested Solution
Microwave oven Very Severe Short Keep microwave away from wireless devices.
Wireless router Very Severe Very Long Avoid using personal router.
Wireless camera & projector Severe Very Long Disable wireless.
Use wired connection.

For classrooms, contact your local IT support
Apple Time Capsule
Use only for data backup.
Severe Very Long Disable wireless.
Connect with Ethernet cable.
Wireless media player
e.g., Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast
Severe Long Connect with cable if possible.
Disable wireless unless connecting via NC State’s Wi-Fi.
Miscellaneous Device Connectivity
Wireless printer Severe Medium Disable wireless.
Connect with cable.
NOTE: The most common source of Wi-Fi interference at NC State is wireless printers creating ad hoc networks.
Wireless speaker Severe Medium Use wired speaker.
Wireless gaming controller Severe Short Power off when not in use.
Cordless phone Severe Short Do not use 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz cordless phones. 
Bluetooth device Medium Short Power off when not in use.
Certain computer displays Medium Short Power off when not in use.