WiFi vs Internet

Sadly, we often hear the following two statements:

It can’t be the router settings because my Wi-Fi is working.


Here’s a photo of my working Wi-Fi connection, so my internet must be broken.

The root of the issue seems to be that people don’t understand the difference between Wi-Fi and internet access.

Here are three examples that could explain the difference to you.

Imagine your home is like a big library (which represents the internet). The librarian (your router) helps you find and borrow books (data). You and your family members can chat with the librarian using walkie-talkies (this is your Wi-Fi connection).

Now, even if the librarian’s walkie-talkie is working fine and you can talk to them (you have a Wi-Fi connection), the library might be closed or inaccessible (internet connection is down).

So, having a working walkie-talkie (Wi-Fi) doesn’t necessarily mean the library (internet) is open. The two are related, but different!


Imagine your Wi-Fi router is like a post office in your home. All your devices (like phones, laptops, and TVs) send and receive messages through this post office. Now, just because the post office is open (meaning your devices are connected to the router), it doesn’t necessarily mean it can send or receive mail to and from the outside world.

The Internet connection is like the trucks that come and go from the post office to other places. If there are no trucks coming in or going out (meaning no Internet connection), then your post office can’t actually send or receive any mail beyond your home. Your devices can still “talk” to each other within the home, like sending files or printing, but they can’t access anything from the wider world like websites or online games.


Having a Wi-Fi connection to a router is like being connected to the switchboard inside your house. You can talk to other devices in your home, like your smartphone talking to a smart TV. But that doesn’t mean the switchboard is connected to the outside world.

The router has another job: it needs to connect to the internet, which is like connecting your home switchboard to the big phone network outside. If that connection is missing or not working, you won’t be able to browse the web, watch online videos, or do anything else that needs the internet, even if you’re still connected to the router via Wi-Fi.

So, Wi-Fi connection to the router is just the first step. The router itself also needs to be connected to the internet for you to do most of the things you want to do online.

Welfenstrasse Sept 2023

We currently think that the radio bridge might have a problem. To check this, we need to go to Hohenheim and climb onto the roof of Egilolfstrasse.

Today at 2:50 PM, we restarted the hardware and are now monitoring the transmission values. We hope the issue is due to the current weather, as the weather and our availability don’t match the necessary work.

Please let us know in the next few days about your experiences with the internet connection so far.

Schimpf-Eck (Am Lustnauer Tor 1) September

The rooms at Schimpf Eck (at Lustnauer Tor 1) now all have network sockets!

The only thing left to connect you to the dorm’s fiber-optic network is to lay down the fiber-optic cables. We’ll figure out who’s doing it and how it’s done. In the meantime, there’s a wireless connection.

The construction work for a proper wireless operation should be finished in November. Until then, we have a temporary solution for you.

We are working on getting everything done in September, so you can have some internet by the time the semester starts.

New in the dorm?!

Welcome to the dorm! It’s great you’re here.

If you’re wondering about the internet, don’t worry, it’s really easy! In your room, you’ll find a wall socket that gives you direct internet access. Prefer WiFi? No problem! You can easily set up your own WiFi router.

If you don’t have a router yet, you can get one for around 35 euros. We even have a list of routers that work well here. However, we don’t recommend any specific brand or model. Just a quick tip: FritzBoxes are not the best choice, and there’s really no need to spend more than 50 euros on a router.

If you ever run into a problem or need help, don’t hesitate to write to us using the contact form. Please always use this form so we get all the info we need to help you quickly and efficiently.

Have fun and enjoy your time in the dorm!

Your volunteers of the Netz-AK (short for Netzwerk Arbeitskreis = Network Work-group)

lightning strike Provenceweg 7/9

According to yesterday’s diagnosis, it seems that a lightning strike damaged some chips on the switches in the basement.

We are currently setting up the configuration on the new switches.

Afterwards, we will install the switches in Provenceweg. This will cause a brief network outage, as we will have the cables in hand.

We won’t be able to respond to emails in the basement. If you have any questions about the duration, come visit us in the basement at number 9 (towards the center of the building).

Update 12:30 PM: Everything has been swapped out and upgraded from 100 Mbit/s to Gigabit. Feel free to run our speed test and let us know if something still isn’t working.

Schimpf-Eck (Am Lustnauer Tor 1) July2023

Surprisingly, construction work for Schimpf started last week. Each room, as usual in our dormitories, will have its own network connection with a double network socket, and one connection will be active.

We don’t consider a comprehensive alternative like WLAN networking, which is often desired, to be practical here. Those who have dealt with connecting hundreds of devices to Eduroam will understand why we are avoiding it.

In each room, you can set up your own secure and easy-to-configure WLAN with a simple router for around €35, allowing you to connect everything from a printer to a PlayStation.

The connection of the WG units in Schimpf Eck depends on the work at Pfleghof, whose starting date is still unknown to us. As surprises are possible, we prefer not to estimate when it will be ready. Getting new DSL contracts doesn’t seem sensible to us. We hope that the WG units will find a fair solution to redistribute the internet access costs or find a way to get rid of these contracts once the dormitory is stably connected to our network.

The final connection via fiber optic to our network is planned but not yet confirmed.

Hohenheim Uplink Upgrade 11:30 am till 4 pm

Good morning dear Hohenheim residents!

Today, the Uplink upgrade will be fully implemented. If everything goes well, you will be running on 10G afterwards, and the outages will come to an end.

To transport the Uplink technology from the temporary location at Schwerzstraße 2 to the new location at Egilolfstraße 57, we will need some time. Unfortunately, during this time, the Hohenheim dormitories will be offline.

Since we have to unplug the device and then reconnect it in a different building, it cannot be avoided. However, we will hurry as much as possible.

Hohenheim 26 of May Upgrade

It’s time!

Last night, we were given the task to carry out the upgrade.

As mentioned before, we had already prepared a new location for the uplink, which will enable all Hohenheim residences to go online.

To transport the uplink technology from the temporary location at Schwerzstraße 2 to the new location at Egilolfstraße 57, we will need some time. During this time, the residences in Hohenheim will unfortunately be offline.

Since we need to disconnect the device and then reconnect it in a different building, it cannot be avoided. However, we will do our best to expedite the process.

The estimated duration will probably be around one to two hours this afternoon, with several short outages as we make the necessary adjustments throughout the day, starting in the morning.

We will update this post once we have more information.

Hohenheim 16th of May

We were able to accomplish almost everything we had planned yesterday.

We dismantled and disconnected the three generations of network technology that were stacked on top of each other.

We managed to clean the room to some extent with a broom we found. Once we speak to the janitor, we will find a place for all the electronic waste (see picture).

One of the switches currently in use didn’t look promising during the removal, so we will replace it this Tuesday evening (starting from 6 PM, depending on traffic).

This means that we will need to unplug the cables of the residents of Egilolfstraße 51 to 59 again, and they won’t have internet during this time. Some rooms will be offline for about an hour, while others will experience shorter outages.

Afterward, the room should be prepared for the installation of the main network connection for the entire Hohenheim area.

The relocation and upgrade of this connection still depend on the IT department of the student services.

We hope that with this cleanup operation, we have eliminated any obstacles that could potentially further delay the final resolution of the network issues in Hohenheim.

Hohenheim 15th May 2023

In preparation for a solution to the persistent problem, we are cleaning up Egilolfstraße 57 and bringing it up to the standard required by the working group. Unfortunately, the room looks like in the pictures, so we expect it to take 2 to 4 hours. During this time, there may be intermittent network outages for certain parts of our network in Hohenheim.

We are working quickly, but you are welcome to visit us.