Wireless: Geaux Dual Band


[Return to Connect to Wireless: LSU Overview]

Do you Want a Faster & More Reliable LSU Wi-Fi Experience?

It’s Easy if You Geaux Dual Band…

General Information

To make the most of your wireless experience at LSU and get a Wi-Fi boost, you want your device to support 802.11n 5GHz. The following information explains why this combination of protocol and frequency is best and how to determine what your laptop is currently using.

The LSU Wi-Fi network runs on a family of protocols broadly known as 802.11. Specifically, it supports the following protocols: 802.11a/g/n. This configuration is also known as “dual band”. What is important to know about the different letters is that they support different data rates and different frequencies. The table below provides some specifics among the different protocols and the maximum data rates, as supported on the LSU Wi-Fi network:

Protocol Frequency  Max Data Rate (Mbps)













If we look at the protocols from a frequency standpoint, 5GHz has definite advantage over 2.4GHz.  5GHz means less interference, more channels, and better performance. From a data rate perspective, the clear winner here is 802.11n. For this reason, it is highly recommended that your device is dual band capable. This will guarantee that you will have the fastest and more reliable connection on the LSU Wi-Fi network.

How to Determine if my Device is 802.11n/5GHz Capable

When purchasing a device, pay close attention to the wireless network specifications. If the specifications say “BGN” or “802.11b/g/n”, most likely the device only supports 2.4GHz. If it says “N” or “Wireless-N” only, you still have to make sure that it supports 5GHz. Remember, 802.11n can work on both frequencies. In most instances, if the wireless adapter supports 5GHz, it will specify that it is dual band capable.

If you have a device already and want to know if it is 5GHz-capable, use the links below:

What if my Device is not 5GHz Capable?

If you don’t have a 5GHz capable device, you could purchase a dual band USB adapter. These adapters vary in price but can usually be found for under $50.00. If you do not want a USB adapter sticking out of your laptop, you could look into replacing the internal wireless chipset.

Should I buy a dual band adapter even though my laptop already has wireless?

If your laptop is not currently dual band capable, but you are happy with your wireless speed on the LSU Wi-Fi network, then you don’t need to buy an additional adapter. Next time you start looking for a new device, keep in mind the dual band concept and try to get one that supports it. This will ensure that you will have the best performance on the LSU Wi-Fi network.

I have an 802.11agn adapter but I’m only getting 54Mbps or less, what’s the deal?

Achieving the maximum data rates available on a Wi-Fi network requires a combination of different factors such as distance, amount of interference, and number of users, to mention a few.  When these factors are optimal, you will see the maximum data rates. When they are not, the Wi-Fi network will compensate by lowering the data rates in order to maintain connectivity.

I’m getting Wi-Fi speeds above 100Mbps, but my wired connection seems a lot faster, why?

The data rates shown on the table above are referred to as “theoretical maximums”. In the back and forth communication that takes place between your device and the Wi-Fi network there is additional information referred to as overhead. This information, along with other potential environmental factors take up a good portion of the available bandwidth, thus reducing your effective throughput.      

I bought a dual band adapter but I don’t see a significant difference in my Wi-Fi speed?

The Wi-Fi network is a shared medium. This means that all users must share the available capacity and take turns to transmit and receive information. This, along with a combination of other different factors such as distance and amount of interference will determine what your speed will be. Ultimately, the Wi-Fi network is at the mercy of the environment that surrounds it, but having the best adapter increases your chances of getting the best experience.

What about 802.11ac, will the LSU Wi-Fi network support it?

The 802.11ac wireless protocol is one of the latest standards in the 802.11 family and it promises even greater speeds. Today there are commercial laptops that come with 802.11ac capable wireless adapters. The LSU Wi-Fi network does not yet offer the 802.11ac protocol, but it will eventually. However, if you have an 802.11ac capable device, it will work on the LSU Wi-Fi network, it just won’t be able to take advantage of the greater speeds until it is offered. If you have the option of getting a device that is 802.11ac capable, it is highly recommended that you get it. That way your device will be ready to take advantage of its capabilities once they become available.

12/8/2015 2:41:36 PM