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Fixing your wifi

In our school buildings, the wireless network is provided via many (over 100, district-wide) wireless Access Points, a.k.a. APs. You've probably seen them glommed onto ceilings or walls, or occasionally on a shelf:

When your computer connects to the wireless network in your school, it uses the (closest and/or least busy) of these that it can reach. If you move to another part of the building, you're likely to leave that particular AP's effective range, and your connection gets picked up by another AP. Typically this is unnoticeable to you -- that's the goal! 

However, sometimes different kinds of devices -- and even the same devices running different versions of operating system software -- tend to be "stickier" than they should be. So the computer tries to hang on to its originally-connected AP, instead of joining what might be a closer/better AP. This can manifest as a slow connection or poor signal. 

Any time you experience unusually laggy network speeds, this might be what's happening. The easiest/quickest thing you can do is turn your wifi off and then right back on again. This is done on a Mac by clicking the wifi symbol in the upper right portion of your screen and selecting "turn wifi off" (older Macs may say "turn Airport off", it's the same thing), then clicking it again and turning it back on. 

For the visual learners:

1. Turn off...

2. Turn on.

It should jump right back onto the network you were on before, but this time, it'll probably pick a closer or less-busy AP, and your connection will be improved.

On iThings, you can "swipe up" to Control Center and just tap the wifi symbol til it goes dark, then tap again to light it up:

The process on a Chromebook is similar to a Mac, but it's in the lower right. Click it, select the network you're on, and click the wifi symbol again to disable it. Then re-enable it.

This won't always fix your problems, of course -- there are a multitude of other things that can be wrong -- but it's quick and easy to try, and it frequently helps!