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Smith users can connect many different types of hardware devices to the Smith wired and wireless networks, as long as they follow the steps required to register each device on the network.

Note that some wireless devices, including the Nintendo Wii, cannot currently be connected to Smith's wireless network. This includes wireless printers and consumer devices that wirelessly transmit a signal to a television set, such as Chromecast or the wireless versions of Roku and Apple TV, to the Smith wireless network.

This situation is likely to change over the next few months, so that many currently unsupported wireless devices will be supported by the spring semester. Updates on supported devices will be posted on this page.

Why don't some wireless devices work on the Smith wireless network?

Some consumer electronics, including wireless printers and the wireless Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast, are designed to work only with computers, mobile devices, etc., that are all connected to the same wireless network segment. This is ordinarily the type of wireless technology people have in their homes.

In a campus environment like Smith's, even though the wireless network has the same name (SSID) everywhere, it is actually made up of dozens of different underlying wireless network segments that are not location-specific.

When you connect a device to the Smith wireless network, the equipment that controls the network chooses a segment to place it in based on total network loading and device distribution. A person’s wireless devices almost never end up in the same network segment as each other. For that reason, devices that are not designed to find each other on different network segments generally will not be usable on the Smith wireless network.

This problem has been growing as the number and variety of wireless products available to consumers continue to expand.  Aruba, our wireless network equipment provider, is currently updating their technology to address the problem. They have not yet specified when a solution will become available, but we expect it to be incorporated in a future upgrade.

Are there WIRED alternatives available?

  • Most printers have a port that allows you to connect the printer directly to your computer using an appropriate cable. See your printer's documentation for more information.

  • Apple TV can be used as a wired device with the addition of a special Apple HDMI cable. Click here for more information.

  • Roku makes a wired version of their device for use with an HD television set. Click here for more information.

We will add information about other wired alternatives as they become available.

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Copyright © 2015 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Stoddard Hall 11  |  Northampton, MA 01063
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 |  Last updated October 1, 2014

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