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Wi-Fi Etiquette

NC State has thousands of people using our networks every day. To help everyone have a great experience, please be considerate of others in your network use.

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.

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 the right connection for your needs.

NC State offers several options for Wi-Fi: eduroam, ncsu, and ncsu-guest.

Reduce Wi-Fi interference.

  • Avoid using any device that can create a personal wireless network.
    This includes things like This type of ad hoc network is created by individual devices that can communicate directly with each other without using a router. We advise that you use NC State’s WolfPrint system instead.
  • Avoid using a personal Wi-Fi access point.
    While it may be tempting to use a personal hotspot, they interfere with our campus networks and cause problems for other users. If you believe that your situation requires a personal access point, please request assistance from OIT ComTech.
  • 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. Usually, a wired connection will perform better than a wireless connection.

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. 

DeviceImpactRangeSuggested Solution
Microwave ovenVery SevereShortKeep microwave away from wireless devices.
Wireless routerVery SevereVery LongAvoid using a personal router.
Wireless camera / projectorsSevereVery LongDisable wireless and use a wired connection. For classrooms, please contact your unit’s IT support.
Apple Time CapsuleSevereVery LongDisable wireless and use a wired connection.
Wireless media player (i.e. Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast)SevereLongConnect with cable if possible, and only connect through the ncsu (Nomad) network.
Wireless printerSevereMediumDisable wireless and use a wired connection.
Wireless speakerSevereMediumDisable wireless and use a wired connection.
Wireless gaming controllerSevereShortDisable wireless and use a wired connection; power off when not in use.
Cordless phoneSevereShortDo not use 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz cordless phones.
Bluetooth deviceMediumShortPower off when not in use.
Certain computer monitorsMediumShortPower off when not in use.