Tuesday, 22 January 2008

IT will be wireless

We at Templar Truths have heard that the new school building will have a wireless system of computers set up. This is a fundamentally awful idea.

Wi-fi, which stands for "wireless fidelity", allows Internet signals to be thrown around the air. Clever and reduces clutter, right? Well...sort of. The main problems with wi-fi are:
  1. It's unreliable, with lots of wi-fi systems disconnecting every now and then.
  2. Wi-fi dramatically reduces connection speed, and the current connection speed is painfully slow at times, anyway. Imagine being thrust into the early days of dial-up.
  3. Lousy security could mean the school's system is open to hackers
This will make IT lessons that require Internet access truly a hellish task.

But the school's already got a wi-fi system going on, apparently. It's secure though - with WEP security. Both types of WEP, say the people who regulate this sort of stuff, "fail to meet their security goals". Essentially, it's a system that could be hacked. What do you care? Lots - it could contain your private data, and do you really want everything about you to be open to the public?

We probably can't stop wi-fi being implemented, but remember: you've been warned.

Nick makes some good points in his comment. We could respond by saying "but will Temple Moor even bother to do it correctly?", but that's a bit unsophisticated. While we don't know exactly the details of the wireless plan, what we do know is that wi-fi is being planned to be implemented, possibly to aid with the latest plan of using PSPs in classrooms, although the technology block (with its high demand on stuff) will keep wired connections to peripherals. Hopefully mice and keyboards will be wired, otherwise I can imagine hardware being thrown about. I also know WPA is secure, but we've heard that the school is currently using WEP.


Belatu-Cadros said...

I think what we'll get the most laughs out of the new building (if we forget about the lulz building it brings), is going to be the school TV network in every corridor or shool.

I bet this blog still gets more viewers though :p.

Nick said...

I call FUD.

1 - WiFi is only unreliable if badly implemented. A correct installation of enough access points would provide plenty of connection slots and good coverage.

2 - Reduces connection speed. Only on poor or high-contention connections. 802.11g runs at a max of 54Mb/s, and 802.11n runs at a theoretical cap of 248Mb/s, which is actually faster than the existing wired network.

3 - Lousy security. Wireless security is by its nature less secure than a wired network, but doesn't have to be. It's simply a way in to the network, the real security issue lies in how that internal network security is configured. Not to mention that the latest security method, WPA2 (Although not, I will admit, WEP) is classified as fully secure.

The big question is what will it be used for? If the idea is to connect every single PC through it, then the network designer should be hung, drawn and quartered since it makes far more sense to hardwire static terminals. If it's to allow laptops, tablets etc. in lessons then it's good and should be implemented properly, possibly with some EAP behind the WPA. If it's to let anybody get online, it should be a totally different network not physically connected to the school one at all.

Before you start laying into things, double check what's actually happening. TT just seems to be randomly slating things recently, dunno if it's a surplus of guest writers or what.

F43L said...

Not so much Guest Writers, as finding more and more faults to take issue with, Nick. I agree that the Wi Fi article is getting a bit nitty gritty though.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if the connection is changing fucking sadoz fukin bumz