Ethernet and Wireless Service

Students using laptops with network service

** Please note: The following information is intended for University owned residence halls, Frederiksen Court and SUV only. Residents of University leased properties, Legacy and Maricopa-Walton, receive internet service from an outside vendor not associated with Iowa State University. These residents should contact their service provider to receive network details, connect instructions, and assistance with network issues. See your CA for contact information.

On-Campus Network Connections

The Iowa State University data network provides high-speed connectivity across campus. Each student who lives in an University owned, on-campus assignment can access the ISU network from their room as follows:

  • WIreless service is available via an access points. Ethernet data ports are located at the bottom of wireless access point boxes. It is recommended that residents connect via these ports for the most stable, solid connection. 
  • In Frederiksen Court apartments, wireless access points are located in common areas. Residents may connect via the included Ethernet ports on the device for the most stable, solid connection.
  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) service is available in SUV apartments.

All residents are responsible for providing their own connection cables. Additionally, residents in double or triple rooms may need a splitter or hub. Because of the vast variation in rooms, we suggest you wait until you check in to purchase these items.

The Student Network Access Program (SNAP) is available to help residents in the halls, Frederiksen Court, and SUV connect their computers to the campus network. A SNAP team member can install Ethernet cards, configure the card for an on-campus Ethernet or DSL connection, and help load networking software. For more information about SNAP, or for instructions on how to configure your computer yourself, please visit the Information Technology Services web site.

Connection Tips

  • If your device has Ethernet capabilities, you can plug in to one of the Ethernet data ports located at the bottom of wireless access point boxes.
  • Your device should be attached to an ITS supported wireless access point. You should see network names of ISU-CARDINAL, eduroam, or IASTATE.
  • Make sure the wireless adapter on your device is activated.
  • Make sure your device is net registered (
  • DO NOT use your own wireless router. Doing this interferes with the current wireless system and makes it slower. Personal routers are also a security concern. Any security issue can be tracked to a router and the student who used it is responsible.


How can I connect to the ISU wireless network? The network name (SSID) in the residence halls and Frederiksen Court is ISU-CARDINAL. The first time you connect, you will be required to register your computer through a process called NetReg. NetReg requires a valid Iowa State University Network-ID and password. This is the same ID and password used to access other on-campus computing resources. For assistance using NetReg, contact the Solution Center by telephone at 515-294-4000 or by email at

Do I need any special hardware or software? To connect wirelessly, you will need an 802.11n compatible wireless card. To connect to the Ethernet ports on the device, you will need an Ethernet cord.  These items are available via TechCYte, in the University Book Store, or at other area electronics retailers. Most new laptop computers are typically sold with integrated wireless cards.

What data speeds should I expect? Speeds will vary depending on community usage and your equipment, but you should expect speeds up to 10Mbps, with some locations offering up to 100 Mbps at each access point.

Can I have a private wireless router in my room? The use of personal wireless routers or hubs causes interference with and degradation of the ISU provide wireless network. If you use a personal WAP which disrupts network access within your community, you will be blocked from accessing the network. SUV residents can use their own WAPs.

Can I connect my video gaming system to the ISU network? If you have a wireless adapter on your gaming system, you can connect wirelessly or you can use the wired Ethernet ports located on the bottom of the wireless access point box. There will be no encryption issues. To NetReg the gaming system, call the Solution Center at 294-4000.

Who can I call if I need assistance or there are problems with the network? Residents of the residence halls, Frederiksen Court, and SUV should call the Solution Center at 294-4000. Residents of Legacy and Maricopa-Walton should contact their internet service provider.

I seem to be getting interference with my wireless connection. What can I do? To combat this, we recommend that students turn off any wireless enabled devices they are not actively using. Additionally, if you have a wireless enabled device that you do not use to connect to the network, follow the manufacturers instruction to disable the wireless receiver. Other items, such as microwaves, cordless phones and Bluetooth devices can temporarily interfere with the signal. We also strongly suggest that residents connect via the wired Ethernet ports in their room whenever they need a stable network connection.

How has the Department of Residence worked to maintain a stable network as the use of wireless devices increases? The Department of Residence upgraded wireless access during summer 2014, increasing wireless connection options by 500 percent. This $1 million investment also doubled the number of Ethernet ports previously available.

I'm not getting the wireless service I want/expect. Can I get a refund/cancel my contract? Network issues are not considered a rationale for providing a refund or cancellation of the housing contract. First, despite the current issues, the on-campus wireless network offers connectivity, speed, and security not currently available off-campus. Second, the cost of the wireless service is not a factor in setting room / apartment rates. When the wireless network was added, student room / apartment fees were not raised to cover the cost. Finally, while we understand that most residents would prefer to connect wirelessly, during times when that is not possible, we still provide an Ethernet jack in each room through which residents can achieve a stable, wired connection.

Learn more about the summer 2014 upgrade.