Around 7,500 wireless devices are connected to the school's Wi-Fi this semester.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Missouri State University classes have shifted to an online format. However, this transition has not left a lasting mark on MSU’s on-campus Wi-Fi.

Josh Stuppy, coordinator of networking at Missouri State, said Wi-Fi use across the campus has decreased. This directly relates to the decrease in time students, faculty and staff are physically on campus this year.

Stuppy said communications has only seen a maximum of 7,500 wireless devices connected this semester. This is around half of last semester’s recorded connections.

While the move online has required “investments in technology,” according to Stuppy, MSU wireless infrastructure was previously upgraded to handle the extra stress. Wired network jacks have been added to accommodate splitting larger classrooms.

Stuppy said daily peak usage times are at 2 p.m. 

Almost all buildings have at least one individual Wi-Fi connection. Most buildings are covered everywhere, but in certain locations only one portion has a connection.

For example, Bear Park South only has a connection within its shuttle stop and not throughout the parking structure.

Student and academic areas are primarily covered. The outdoor area known as “The Corral” behind the Plaster Student Union also has a Wi-Fi connection, though its peak is 600 megabits per second.

A full map of Wi-Fi coverage through MSU’s Networking and Telecommunications website can be found here.

Stuppy said online classes are not the largest source of data usage. Instead, entertainment takes more tolls on the bandwidth.

“The majority of our wireless network traffic is generated by applications like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, Steam, Xbox Live and other gaming systems,” Stuppy said. “For instance, a single HD Netflix stream can take over 4 times the amount of data as a standard Zoom class.”

Radio frequencies from appliances, microwave ovens and large metal objects such as fridges can reduce Wi-Fi signals and slow the network. This is due to Wi-Fi frequencies being similar to the frequencies produced by these appliances.

Hope Meadows, sophomore communication science major, said the Wi-Fi has been “holding up pretty well so far.” Meadows said she had few problems connecting or having a slow connection, and whenever she had problems, just disconnecting and reconnecting fixed them.

Karis Goodwin, sophomore nursing major, said she also noticed no problems. Goodwin said the Wi-Fi has been “really good” during her time on campus.

For tips on how to fix slowdowns, Stuppy said in most cases it is either the program or computer’s fault. Stuppy recommended closing unneeded software when using Wi-Fi to eliminate unnecessary processing power.

For Wi-Fi problems, students can contact Networking and Communications at 417-836-5100 or Networking@MissouriState.edu. ResNet is also set up to help students with general technology issues. Students must sign in to their Bear Login to request help through the website.