Skip to main content
IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Configuring for Wireless Networking

At the University of Washington we provide 802.11b at all locations with wireless coverage. In many of these locations 802.11g and 802.11a are available as well. See the List/Map of Wireless Service Locations for additional details regarding what type(s) of 802.11 service is available in your area.

What Hardware Do I Need to Use the UW Wireless Network?

To use UW wireless services, you will need 802.11 connectivity hardware either built in or installed on your wireless capable device and properly configured. Most newer laptops and handheld devices come with wireless hardware and networking software built-in.

Note that you will receive the best overall wireless service in many places on campus by using wireless hardware that supports 802.11 ‘b’, ‘g’, and ‘a’ protocols (also commonly depicted as “802.11a/b/g”).

While many vendors are now selling products branded as 802.11 ‘n’, ‘pre-n’ or ‘draft-n’, it is important to note that 802.11n is not yet official. While significant hardware changes are not expected at this point, purchasers of these ‘pre-n’ products may find they need to upgrade firmware in the future in order to communicate effectively with ‘true-n’ products. If you purchase one of these ‘n’ cards for use at the UW, make sure it is compatible with 802.11 a/b/g products. At the time of this writing, the University has no plans to replace any of its existing installations with ‘n’ capable devices once the standard is ratified, however we will continue to evaluate its potential value at regular intervals and for special cases.

Connecting Your Device to the UW Wireless Network

The following are recommended settings for using the UW wireless services:

Setting Recommended Value
TCP/IP address Acquire address dynamically with DHCP
DNS Servers Dynamically acquire DNS server addresses. This will result in use of default DNS servers.
Network name (SSID) “University of Washington”
Encryption None


If you are still having problems configuring your wireless device to work on the UW wireless network, contact your device vendor or the UW Information Technology Service Center at or 206-221-5000.