Canada's Lakefield College School Secures Wireless Network Across 155-Acre Campus
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Lakefield College School has begun using AirMagnet Enterprise and a suite of AirMagnet mobile analysis tools to plan, manage, and secure wireless networks throughout the school's 155-acre campus. The products allow school IT staff to plan wireless deployments, evaluate and manage network performance, and monitor the security of wireless networks.
Lakefield College School is a co-educational boarding school and day school serving grades 7 through 12 in Ontario, Canada. With about 500 wireless users across the heavily wooded campus, Lakefield maintains a high-performing and reliable network for students and staff. The campus includes 20 buildings, 365 students, and 120 faculty and staff. Lakefield uses wireless access points that can support up to 500 users across a range of about 120 to 150 feet.
"AirMagnet Enterprise enables us to monitor our network for outside intrusion attempts and the attempts of our own students to use the network for purposes that may result in negative consequences," said Jason Ayotte, wireless administrator. "Lakefield has been the home to many prominent and well-known students, and it is essential that their records--and the personal information of all our students--are kept confidential and protected. In the past year alone, there have been literally hundreds of data breaches at educational institutions, including primary and secondary schools, in which social security numbers, medical files, and other confidential records were leaked. We don't want to become a statistic, and, as we transition to 11n later this year, we're confident AirMagnet will remain a key to our success."
"The Lakefield campus presents unique challenges for wireless networking. Not only do we deal with the typical problems that arise with hundreds of students and staff accessing the network, but we also face the challenges of a heavily wooded rural campus," Ayotte said. "When planning and managing our network, it was essential we have tools in place to account for interferences from nature, such as tree groves and water features. AirMagnet has allowed us to plan our networks accordingly and continually monitor and manage them to ensure our students and staff have continual and constant wireless access."
With AirMagnet Planner, Lakefield can use predictive mapping of WiFi signal and performance to ensure wireless network coverage for students and staff. AirMagnet Survey enables the school to collect live signal, packet, and spectrum data during wireless site surveys--in real-time. This allows IT staff to simulate and measure network performance and deliver an accurate depiction of a user's experience in a real world scenario. AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer provides Lakefield with visibility into wireless channels, devices, conversations, speeds, interference issues, and the RF spectrum.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.