MIT Life Hacks: Find out if that smart device isn’t quite smart enough for MIT’s wireless network
November 28, 2017
Phil Johnson
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It’s the holiday season, the time to ask for and receive all sorts of fun new smart devices, like voice-activated assistants, smart light bulbs, and gaming systems. The good news is these gadgets can make life easier and more entertaining. The bad news is they almost never work on large enterprise wireless networks, such as those at MIT.

Why? These devices are designed to work on small wireless networks that serve a handful of devices, like most home networks. They are not generally compatible with the enterprise-level technologies and protocols (such as WPA2-Enterprise) needed to support and secure thousands of connected devices. In fact, it is the technical simplicity of these home devices that helps to make them affordable for most consumers.

For in-depth details, see two articles from Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) in its Knowledge Base: “Will my home device work at MIT?” and “Which devices cannot connect to MIT SECURE?” FYI, potential workarounds exist for wireless printers and Apple TVs.

Here’s the bottom line, though, when making your holiday gift wish list: unless IS&T specifies otherwise, assume that a smart home device will NOT work on MIT’s wireless networks.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the IS&T Service Desk.