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CSAIL Wireless

CSAIL operates three parallel wireless networks. All are implemented by the same physical infrastructure, which currently (March 2012) consists of 73 Meraki MR14 access points. Each access point has two radios, and is configured for 802.11a/n on the 5-GHz band and 802.11g/n on the 2.4-GHz band. The improved channel separation of the 5-GHz band allows us to use 40-MHz channels for .11n support, providing a maximum data rate of about 300 Mbit/s. In the spring of 2014, we are replacing some access points with Meraki MR34 units, which support IEEE 802.11ac; we will be rolling out this new technology on the 2nd and 4th floors first, with other floors to follow in future years.

The access points are configured to do autonomous channel assignment. You can determine which access point you are using, and some basic parameters of the radio connection, by visiting in your browser. Current network status information is available.

Three networks, two network names

Although there are three networks, there are only two SSIDs (wireless network names), StataCenter and CSAILPrivate. StataCenter provides two of the networks, both open and unencrypted. The first, which is the default, allows access for all users, with some restrictions on what unregistered users are able to do. Registered users use the second network, which has no restrictions, and these users may optionally request a static IP address assignment following the usual procedure. CSAILPrivate provides authenticated, encrypted access for active CSAIL members and affiliates only. Connecting to CSAILPrivate requires a CSAIL certificate and a client capable of WPA2 Enterprise authentication. Users on CSAILPrivate may also request a static IP address.

Duing 2014, we will be phasing out the registered wireless network; clients desiring a static IP address or access to printing will be required to use an authenticated connection. Details of this change will be announced in late April.

Address ranges

CSAILPrivate authenticated
StataCenter registered
StataCenter guest


  • The original 802.11 and 802.11b data rates (1, 2, and 5.5 Mbit/s) are not supported.
  • Dual-band clients which connect on a 2.4 GHz chanel will be steered to the 5-GHz band when possible.
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Topic revision: 17 Apr 2014, GarrettWollman

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