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Q: Can I deploy my own wireless equipment on campus?


It is very difficult to configure a personal access point at MIT such that it does not interfere with the campuswide deployment and avoids degrading service for other users.

Information Services and Technology has deployed wireless access points in the all public spaces on campus.

If you want to implement your own solutions you should do so with several considerations in mind.

  • First of all, such solutions need to be compatible with, and, at the very least, not interfere with, the campus-wide solution.
  • You may be asked, in the future, to de-commission your solution if it interferes with the campus-wide solution.
  • You should configure your device to only broadcast on the 5Ghz spectrum on channels not in use by MIT's access points.

Note: Many vendors are selling devices that are a combination of a wireless access point, a router, and a switch. These devices are often referred to as "Wireless Routers," "Wireless Broadband Routers" or "Wireless Cable/DSL Routers." Please note that although these devices have 802.11b wireless capability, they are also routers and switches, which are prohibited on MITnet. If you purchase one of these devices, you should be aware that it will not work on MITnet, and use of such a device on MITnet is a violation of the Rules of Use. If you wish to maintain your own wireless network, we strongly encourage you to purchase a standalone wireless access point, also referred to as a "Wireless Bridge."

Most access point systems we have evaluated act strictly as bridges and should pose no problems with network applications. One potentially popular device, the Apple Airport access point, can also act as a Network Address Translation (NAT) device, allowing several wireless machines to "hide" behind one IP address. NAT is known to break several network protocols, including Kerberos v5, and is NOT recommended for use with MIT applications.

Users of Apple Airport devices will need to disable the "Share Internet Connection" option using the Airport Utility program. Note that the Airport access point currently must use NAT when dialing into a modem-based ISP. Therefore, we cannot recommend the use of Airport access points for use with modem-based ISPs and MIT applications.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

December 03, 2015

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