McDaniel Tech Cracking Down on Rogue Routers

Katelyn McGinley
Staff Reporter

Beware all students who have been sneaking ‘contraband’ routers onto campus ? the McDaniel IT team is onto you, and the school is serious about getting rid of them.

Esther Iglich, the head of the McDaniel IT Team, explains that the reason for this crackdown comes from the problems caused by the routers.”Misconfiguration,” says Iglich, is one of the main issues. “A router is usually configured to support a household with a single DSL or cable uplink,” which makes it fairly simple to connect the router in a way that it sees the rest of ResNet (the school’s network) as the household it is meant to support.

“Once the router has declared itself as the central repository and authority for network configuration, other users on ResNet use that configuration,” Iglich says. Since the configuration of the networks is wrong, the students cannot connect to the network properly, which is a problem that is difficult for the IT team to diagnose and fix.
“Until we can find the offending piece of equipment,” says Iglich, “many users are suffering from a lack of connectivity.” This kind of problem can affect an entire hallway of a dorm hall.

Another problem, according to Iglich, is that of wireless interference, which has become a common issue with almost all routers.

“The chances are good that any routers brought on campus by students have wireless capabilities. Just by turning one of these routers on, there’s a good chance it will be on one of the channels used by McDaniel’s wireless network,” says Iglich. This can interfere with radio reception on campus, and makes using the school’s wireless network difficult for others.

“The problem with routers,” explains Iglich, “is their effect on students?they can prevent them from getting online, often when they need it most.” The analogy that Iglich thinks best fits the issue is that of one person blocking a staircase and preventing everyone else from getting to their destination.