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Information Technology Services

About Wireless Access

The BC wireless network is available in every residence hall, as well as many other locations on campus, including libraries, classrooms, dining halls, and even outdoor common areas. Faculty, staff, students, and guests of Boston College may use the wireless network at BC.

Note: BC no longer supports 802.11b wireless technology.

Connecting to BC's Wireless

"BostonCollege" is an open, unsecure wireless network that does not encrypt data and is used to connect before connecting to the secure network or for guest access. Information sent across the wireless network using BostonCollege is “in the clear” and others might snoop or intercept data transmitted using this unsecured wireless service. Learn how to connect to the unsecure BC wireless network on your laptop, tablet, or other mobile device.

"bcsecure" is a secure wireless network service that offers a much greater degree of privacy and security (BC username and password required). BC faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to use bcsecure. Learn how to connect to bcsecure (login required) on your laptop, tablet, or other mobile device.

Improving Wireless Access

There are many factors that can disrupt the quality of wireless service for you and your neighbors, including cordless phones, unauthorized wireless devices, wireless printers, and even microwave ovens. Please use the following tips for optimal service.

  • Update Wireless Drivers
    Wireless network cards, even those in new laptops, require updates to the driver to work correctly and provide the best and most secure wireless network service. To update the wireless card driver, go to the manufacturer's website to download and install the latest wireless card driver.

  • Don't Use Unauthorized Wireless Devices
    One major source of interference is unauthorized wireless devices, most commonly wireless routers, as they communicate on the same radio frequency as the BC wireless network. If you require additional Ethernet network ports for wired peripheral devices, you may only use a device that does not include wireless functionality. ITS reserves the right to disable any unauthorized wireless devices that are disrupting service.

    If you experience problems connecting to the BC wireless network, use your computer's network connections setting to view all available wireless networks. If you see wireless networks other than BC's official wireless networks (BostonCollege or bcsecure), contact the Help Center at help.center@bc.edu or call 617-552-HELP (4357).

  • Wireless Printers
    Wireless printers are designed to work in home network environments, and therefore won’t work wirelessly on a campus network environment. Please use a USB cable to connect your printer to your computer, instead of wireless.

  • Don't Use Cordless Phones
    Use a non-cordless phone or cell phone to prevent wireless interference. Cordless phones operate within the same radio frequency range as the BC wireless network. If a large number of devices operate within this range, the radio frequency band becomes crowded, which results in interference. NOTE: DECT 6.0 cordless phones do not cause interference.

  • Microwaves
    Microwaves can also cause interference with wireless devices. We are not suggesting that you never use your microwave, but most computers that are within 10 feet of an operating microwave will experience slow connections.

  • Get a New wireless Card, If Necessary
    Different wireless cards access the wireless network at different speeds. Depending on the type of wireless card you have, you will have different performance. The recommended wireless card is 802.11a/g/n. If you have an older card (ex: 802.11 or 802.11b) you should upgrade to a newer card (802.11a/g/n) to improve your speed on the wireless network. Note: BC no longer supports 802.11b wireless technology.