Wireless Networking - Frequently Asked Questions
are the wireless Access Points?
There are access points in the Library on the San Marcos campus
(all three floors) and in the Student Union building. The
Student Union access points have a very wide range, and are
accessible quite far from the building. The new Natural
Sciences building also has wireless access. For details on
other buildings, contact our IS department help desk at ext. 2140.
Q. Do I need a specific IP address or DNS or gateway
server configured for this to work?
No. The name of the wireless student network at Palomar
College is "InternetOnly". Your wireless card will
automatically find it and connect.
Q. Do I need to login with a username or password to use
the wireless network?
No. Once your wireless network card is configured
correctly, it will recognize our access point and you will have
access to Internet.
Q. Can I print from the wireless network?
No. The best solution to this problem if you must print
immediately is to transfer your document to a floppy or USB flash
drive and bring the disk or drive to the Academic Technology lab on
the ground floor of the library for printing.
Q. Can I do email over the wireless network?
If you are using web-based
mail, then the answer is yes. For security reasons many
non-standard Internet ports are blocked on the wireless network, so
non-web-based email will not work. We recommend that you do not try
to download large email attachments or run streaming media over the
Q. Is the wireless network just as fast as the wired
"Just as fast" is a vague term. It could be that for simple
operations, like browsing web pages, that the wireless network will
be just as fast as the wired network, but there is much more
bandwidth available to the wired network than the wireless one.
Q. Does it matter how many people are using the wireless
network at one time?
Yes. The more active users there are on the same wireless
network, the slower it will work. They share the available
bandwidth, so it depends on what they are all doing. A single access point should
be able to handle about 30 connected users without becoming too
sluggish, unless they are all attempting some high bandwidth
Q. Can I set up my own Access Point on campus?
Absolutely not! This is a violation of our
telecommunications usage policy.
Q. Will I experience interference or disruptions on the
It is possible. The wireless network operates at the 2.4GHz
radio frequency range, the same range used by mobile phones,
microwave ovens and other rf devices. Large physical barriers,
like steel reinforced walls, will cause interference. Access
on the third floor of the library, especially at the periphery of
the room, is especially poor because of the book stacks.
Q. What is "roaming"?
A wireless computer can "roam" from one access point to another,
depending on the strength of signal coming from the access point.
Your wireless network card will negotiate the best connection, and
move from one access point to another transparently.
Q. Are wireless communications between client computers
and access points encrypted?
No. Just like the wired network, they are open,
non-encrypted, and could potentially be intercepted. Use the
network with this understanding.
Q. Why don't I have to login to use the wireless network
Because the wireless network is segregated from the rest of the
network, you are not required to login because you do not have
access to any of the standard network assets. You have
Internet access over wireless, and that is all.
Q. I am a faculty member. Can I use the VPN (Virtual
Private Network) with the wireless network to access my Palomar
Q. Is there a health hazard associated with wireless
Cautions while using
wireless devices include the following:
not touch or move antenna while the unit is transmitting or
"Caution: Do not hold any component containing the radio so
that the antenna is very close or touching any exposed parts of
the body, especially the face or eyes, while transmitting."
It is worth noting, however, that electromagnetic energy
surrounds us, and that wireless networking products produce very
low energy outputs. The following chart compares a wireless
networking Access Point to other common radio frequency producing
Energy Emissions in milliWatts