Nintendos and the Network

Game DevicesAs students arrive on campus, they might find some of their favorite gaming devices not being able to get online. Older Nintendo devices, such as the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, & Nintendo3DS, cannot connect to SMU’s wireless network.

OIT’s Networking Specialist Scott Casebere explains.

Wireless networks support multiple data rates (speeds). Your wireless network adapter automatically selects a data rate which will provide you the best possible throughput given your distance from the nearest access point and based on how much interference it is receiving from other devices nearby.

In a large wireless network, when the very low data rates (ie: 1Mbps and 2Mbps) are used by a client, it degrades the performance of all other wireless clients on that same access point. So, in order to provide a better wireless experience to all users and devices, SMU (and any large wireless network provider) must disable these lower data rates to ensure that clients are only using the higher rates.

Unfortunately, the Nintendo Wii, DS & 3DS cannot connect to the network if these lower rates are disabled. It requires the 2Mbps data rate.

Luckily, SMU’s wired network connections allow for these devices to get online. All rooms in the residential commons provide at least one wired jack per bed. These wired connections will even provide faster access and reliability than the wireless connection. While the Wii does not have a built-in wired network adapter, a USB adapter can be purchased from several vendors for less than $20. As for the Nintendo DS, & Nintendo3DS, this option is unfortunately unavailable.

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle an Adobe Creative Educator and the Senior IT Communications Specialist and Trainer for OIT. Since 1996, he has helped the SMU community use technology and implement digital and web media through managing the SMU STAR Program and now as part of OIT's Customer Service Team. In his free time, Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family.