Slow network explained -dlh

Emily Gonzalez

Students and faculty members who returned to the Lawrence campus this past weekend most likely experienced feelings of frustration when their internet services were either down or very slow. Over the past few days, computer services has identified the main sources of the problem and staff members have been working overtime to fix it.
There are two different problems which ultimately combine to slow the network. The first problem, computer viruses, is one that students have been alerted to frequently, yet it still remains an issue. This is due to students not having up-to-date anti-virus software.
Students without anti-virus software are often unaware of the problems they create mainly because “viruses cause false traffic and run behind the scenes,” explained user services manager Dana Rose-Schmalz.
Messages from computer Services have been sent out via e-mail and voice mail, urging students to get up-to-date anti-virus software. Students that already have anti-virus software are urged to make sure it is updated. Software that may have come with your computer, such as Norton, will require that you update your subscription, typically annually.
There is anti-virus software available free of charge from computer services, which students can download by going to www.lawrence.edu/dept/computer_services/av/.
Downloading the software takes little time and as long as you are on the Lawrence network and running Microsoft Windows, you will be protected from viruses. Those that use Norton distributed from Lawrence should remember that updates only occur when you are connected to the Lawrence network. For that reason, you may want to purchase your own anti-virus software or to use free anti-virus software such as AVG (www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php).
The second problem concerns music downloading and game-playing on the network by students. When files are shared via music programs like Limewire or Kazaa, students risk bringing in viruses, spyware, and using up Lawrence’s network bandwidth.
Michael Corbett, director of computer services, said, “Our internet connection has a capacity of 10 megabytes. A student downloading music can use a couple megabytes by themselves. We basically run out of bandwidth when numbers of students are engaged in that type of activity. We understand we’re not going to eliminate the sharing of music so we need to get more sophisticated tools in place so that we can better ensure a responsive network.”
Computer services has tracked down many of the sources of the viruses, which in all cases are PCs, and has been working with students to correct the problems. What students can do right now is make sure anti-virus software is up to date, and if they are without software, to download it from the Lawrence site.

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