Common MITnet connection problems for end users at MIT
March 8, 2021
Robyn Fizz
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A wireless access point
A wireless access point. Photo: Ron Hoffmann

If you’re an MIT community member with a Kerberos ID, Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) strongly recommends that you use the MIT SECURE network for wireless connections. But what if you’re on MIT SECURE and the connection is poor? Why might this happen and what are your options?

A poor connection on MITnet can be caused by

  • A sticky client
  • A malfunctioning access point or one with problematic signal strength
  • A consumer device, such as a voice-activated assistant or gaming system

Here’s a quick look at each of these.

Sticky clients

Your device can “stick” to the last access point it connected with, despite weakening signal strength. For an in-depth description of this issue, see What Are Sticky Clients.

Malfunctioning access points or problematic signal strength

An access point with a steady red LED has failed and will require attention from IS&T.

Signal strength can be an issue when radio frequencies can’t pass through brick walls or other dense material. To help minimize this type of interference, IS&T has been moving access points into rooms so that they’re closer to client devices.

Consumer devices

Consumer devices like Alexa and the Fire TV Stick are designed to work on small wireless networks that serve a handful of devices. They aren’t generally compatible with enterprise-level technologies and protocols. To learn more, see Find out if that smart device isn’t quite smart enough for MIT’s wireless network.

Getting help

If you spot an access point with a steady red LED signal, you can report the issue to the IS&T Service Desk.

If your device has a weak connection, go to the Knowledge Base article, Problems connecting to the wireless network at MIT. Write down the information requested in the “Reporting a problem to IS&T” section and then contact the IS&T Service Desk for help.