Wi-Fi upgrades underway on Keele and Glendon campuses

Upgrades and expansion to AirYork – York University’s wireless network – are underway as part of a large-scale deployment of new equipment that will improve convenience and performance of the campus wireless network access.

As part of multi-year program, every building on York University’s Keele campus will have wireless or enhanced wireless (Wi-Fi) system. The expansion of the University’s Wi-Fi system is being rolled out in a stepped format with the primary focus on improving service. Work is ongoing to widen the reach of AirYorkPLUS, the University’s enhanced wireless service, which will become more accessible as buildings and equipment are updated. Maps of the Keele and Glendon campuses provide an update of AirYorkPLUS enhancements.

What is AirYorkPlus?

By eliminating the web-based login step, AirYorkPLUS will be more convenient to use than AirYork. For improved performance in high-density settings such as libraries and lecture halls, AirYorkPLUS adds support for the 5 gigahertz (GHz) radio band in addition to the 2.4 GHz radio band used by “traditional” Wi-Fi.  The 5 GHz band contains many more radio channels than the 2.4 GHz band. This means that AirYorkPLUS will be able to provide faster access to the Internet than is possible with AirYork. This performance improvement will only be available when using up-to-date Wi-Fi equipment.

How does it work?

As with AirYork, the enhanced service is free to all faculty, staff, students and academic visitors. To take advantage of the convenience and performance enhancements of AirYorkPLUS, Wi-Fi users will be asked to configure a one-time log-in that uses their Passport York username and password. It will be possible to configure the Wi-Fi client equipment to prefer AirYorkPLUS instead of AirYork.  From then on, the device will automatically connect to AirYorkPLUS whenever it is in range. For those devices that are unable to connect to AirYorkPLUS or have yet to be converted to use the new service, the original AirYork service will continue to be available in all University buildings that previously had the service.

The AirYorkPLUS service will support a maximum of two concurrent logins by the same Passport York identification.  If more than two Wi-Fi devices are setup with the same login identification and password, only two of them will be able to connect to AirYorkPLUS at the same time.

What kind of Wi-Fi device is required for AirYorkPLUS?

To be able to connect to AirYorkPLUS, students, faculty and staff need a computer (laptop, tablet) or a smartphone that supports 802.1x authentication with MSCHAPv2.  Examples of compatible operating systems are: Mac OS X 10.5 and later, MS-Windows XP SP3 and later, Apple iOS 4 and later, Android 2.3 and later, and Blackberry OS 6 and later.

To take maximum advantage of the performance improvements of AirYorkPLUS, the Wi-Fi device itself must support dual-band radios (both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio bands) and IEEE 802.11n.  The device should be Wi-Fi certified.  Students who want to use AirYorkPLUS should bring to the campus only those devices that support IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n or IEEE 802.11a/g/n.  If you have an older laptop computer that does not have 5 GHz capability, it will be able to connect to AirYorkPLUS but will not experience faster Internet access than AirYork. At this time, many smartphones, tablets and even some laptop computers do not include dual-band Wi-Fi radios.

AirYorkPLUS is provided by University Information Technology .

Configuration help for AirYorkPLUS will be posted on the WiFi-Info network, which is accessible via Wi-Fi directly from your computer or tablet.

Details about the roll-out of AirYorkPLUS will continue to become available in upcoming issues of YFile, on WiFi-Info web page and on the University Information Technology website.