October 2012

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Most people are using ResNet Wireless this year, probably because it’s really convenient (who doesn’t want to be able to lie on their bed and watch endless videos of kittens on youtube?) but did you know that ResNet Wired is up to 5 times faster?

Internet speeds are limited by the slowest technology in the path in the chain.  At home that’s usually the bit between your broadband router and the internet, but on ResNet Wireless our connection to the internet is so blisteringly fast that the bottle neck can be the wireless technology used by your laptop.  There are two main wireless technologies on ResNet Wireless, 802.11g and 802.11n

We have the newer, faster 802.11n technology in place on about 80% of ResNet, and in our tests the speeds work out something like this:



Although these tests were done using an actual ResNet Wireless connection, your wireless connection might well be slower.  Our tests were done at a quiet time of day, and we were sat in the same room as the wireless router.  If all your flatmates are using ResNet Wireless at the same time as you, or if there are any walls between you and the access point then you can expect your wireless speeds to be a bit slower than ours.

However, neither of those factors effect the ResNet Wired service!

ResNet Wired

Blimey! That’s a bit quick that is!

To set up your computer to use ResNet Wired, just plug your computer into the ResNet socket in your room using the cable provided and follow the connection guide we gave you when you moved in.  If you don’t have a cable or a connection guide, ask your hall office or senior resident.

ResNet Activations

This year has been to smoothest start for ResNet subscribers with nearly 4900 people activating their connections – this is over 98% of our customer base.  For the first time we’ve seen a significant shift towards wireless usage with over 3100 (62%) of you choosing to only use ResNet Wireless.

Here is a pretty graph from last week:


ResNet Wireless v ResNet Wired

The ResNet team have worked hard over the summer to complete the roll-out of ResNet Wireless to every Hall and House – we are now at 100% coverage http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/locations.  In an ideal world we’d want every room to have a really strong wireless signal but unfortunately reality is different.  We really want customers to be happy with ResNet and if you are one of the small number of people that is struggling with a slow wireless connection speed then please consider using ResNet Wired.

What is the speed difference between ResNet Wireless and Wired?

This is a difficult one to answer because of the different wireless technologies we are using but a good 802.11g speed is about 30Mbps and you are sharing the wireless with 5 or more people in the area.  ResNet Wired will give you 100Mbps download and upload and you are not sharing this with anyone.  Basically for a fast and reliable connection please use ResNet Wired.

We’ve got an interesting post about the speed of ResNet:


You too can test your speed by visiting http://www.speedtest.net

Wireless Printers

Every year we get lots of requests to connect wireless printers to ResNet.  Unfortunately our wireless network is significantly more complicated than the home wireless networks these printers were designed for and so do not work well on ResNet Wireless.  Please see a forum post on this topic.



The ResNet Team


Freshers Week 2012

It’s 3pm on the Tuesday of freshers week, and we’ve already got 4675 customers set up and connected to ResNet!  This is our fastest freshers week ever, and we’re almost 300 active connections ahead of where we were this time last year.

The graph in this post also shows how many of those 4675 customers have only ever used their wireless connection (3140 people!) and how many have only ever used their wired connection (only 587 of you!) which is a pretty big swing compared to last year which was mostly wired connections.

Wireless is clearly going to be a big thing this year, but if you want a much faster connection than the wireless provides, you really should give ResNet Wired a spin.  We’ll post more details about that in the near future, but lets just say that at 100Mbps download/100Mbps upload – it’s the fastest ResNet connection we’ve ever provided and even under ideal conditions it’s over twice as quick as the fastest the wireless network can provide.

This issue has now been resolved – see updates at bottom of post.  If you believe you are still having wireless problems then please contact the IT Service Desk.

We are aware of some specific ResNet wireless connection problems at Deans Court and Unite House and would like to assure our customers that we are working to improve the coverage.  If you’re affected by these problems, we recommend using the ResNet Wired service until we’re able to resolve the coverage issue.

ResNet Wireless was installed in these buildings within the last six months.  Once installed it was essential to survey every room to see if the installation met our expectations.   Unfortunately because the building was occupied we were unable to do this survey work until the last two weeks of September.

We’re still analysing the results for most halls, but we’ve already highlighted a number of rooms at Deans Court and Unite Hose which had poor or no wireless signal strength.

We are not happy about this situation because we aim to provide the best possible connection for all our customers.  Over the next few months we will be installing additional Wireless Access Points into low signal areas .

We plan to complete the work required before Christmas 2012.

We’ll post updates about the process here when we have more information, including details of any other halls where we’re not happy with the coverage.

Update 6th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

We really wanted to get the service in Deans Court and Unite House up to the high standards you expect of the Residential Network but due to circumstances beyond our control we have not me the Christmas deadline we set ourselves.

The good news is that we are really close to commissioning the 38 additional Wireless Access Points (WAPs) installed into Deans Court and the 26 additional WAPs into Unite House.  We’d love to give an exact date but unfortunately we can’t although we really hope to get fully working wireless by Friday 8th February.

Update 7th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

We’ll be on-site today in both locations installing network equipment so we should have everything working by Friday 8th.

Update 8th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

Great news, we have managed to get all Wireless working in Deans Court and Unite House today so coverage is greatly improved.  We are really sorry this has taken a little longer than originally planned but hope you are happy with the results.