Academics / Community

Faster and safer internet for Dana Hall this year

While Dana Hall students were commencing and graduating last June, the Technology Department was already busy at work, creating a firewall, streamlining the campus wifi, replacing network hardware, updating software, and moving machinery in fourteen buildings, all in the span of 9 weeks. As of October 1, Dana Hall campus is using one wifi network that will minimize confusion and streamline the collaborative process between teachers and faculty.

The firewall creates what Fred Clayton, Director of Technology, calls a “Dana Bubble,” completely isolating our campus from the public internet. The Technology Department was able to eliminate the possibility of outside technology threats.

Connecting to wifi at Dana Hall has been what Gabrielle De Weck ’17 calls an “annoying and confusing” process at Dana Hall. There were four wireless internet connections students and faculty could connect to, making it difficult for collaboration to happen between students and faculty. For example, applications such as Reflector were malfunctioning because students and faculty were on two different networks that would not cooperate. This year however, Jordan Goodnough of the Technology Department created one internet connection called DHS Campus Wireless for both students and faculty. This happens through a system of authentication that reacts to the user and their status. The system identifies the user’s grade or position and reacts accordingly.

The wifi password is the user’s Google Apps account password, making these passwords all the more important. Weak passwords are a problem, Mr. Clayton says, and so he advises an industrial password, with a combination of letters and numbers.

As a result of the Technology Department’s summer work, there has been a reduction in problems and faster internet connection. That being said, it is important to balance internet access so “everyone has an equal share and there is less internet traffic jam,” says Mr. Clayton. Any type of streaming or non-educational use of the internet uses a bigger share of the internet and slows everything down for everyone.

Photo: Students use laptops. Photo Credit: Kierst Doolittle. 

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