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Most schools that we visited this spring on a college tour had unsecured high-bandwidth WiFi that worked just fine for visitors. This was the case, too, for the College up until a few years ago. Today there is a distinction between the Dartmouth Secure and Dartmouth Public networks, the latter being open to visitors and alumni only after you have OK’ed a connection on a slow-loading splash screen (right) each time you get onto the network — and which has download speeds that make me recall the days of dial-up. Come on. A snail-like 0,49 Mbps from the school that pioneered academic computing? That may be better than my first 2,400 baud modem, but watching a YouTube video is a no-go.
However, despite explanations that Public was throttled down to ensure that students migrate to Secure, there is another high-speed network that is freely available in several places on campus sans passwords or splash screens: Kiewit Voice. No offence, but as a student might say: WTF? Why have a snail-like Public and then have download speeds on my iPhone 5 of 9.40 Mbps on Kiewit Voice — over 19 times the speed of Public.
This state of affairs makes no sense, but then a great many things about the College are irrational and inefficient. Why should computing be different?
Addendum: Although DHMC makes visitors endure a splash authorization screen, too, the other day its open WiFi network had a quick ping of 13ms, download speeds of 5.49 Mbps and upload speeds of 8.37 Mbps.
Addendum: An alum writes in:
You missed the real loophole: Dartmouth Library Public. High speed and not secure by design. Available in any building that houses a library.
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