2024-06-11 Fichtenweg 21

A switch died, we have to exchange it and will upgrade you to gigabit.

You`ll be offline for ~ one hour.

Update 6:20 pm: there a a few tests running, but most of you should be online and faster than before.

2024-06-10 Pestalozzistrasse 65 + 63

In the house at Pestalozzistraße 65, it looks like a device died.

The following rooms are probably affected: 222, 223, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322.

If we have access to the tech cabinets and the locks haven’t been changed again, we can probably install new hardware in the evening and get you back online.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you notice any problems.

Update 3:20 pm: Now all the house is offline.

Update 4:26 pm: got an report that 63 is down.

Update 8:05 pm: last tests, but you all should be online and the number 65 upgraded to gigabit speed.

Why a Router?

Router: With a router, you can create your own small computer network in your dorm room, where your devices usually go online via Wi-Fi through your router. Your router is connected to a device called a switch, which is typically located in the basement of your dorm. This switch is usually directly connected to us at Fichtenweg 5 in Tübingen via fiber optic cable. From there, the connection goes to the Data Center of the University of Tübingen, and from there to BelWü and beyond. The term Internet is based on the interconnectivity between networks.

To communicate between devices on the Internet, they need to find each other. For this, there are IP addresses, which we can compare to phone numbers for this explanation. We have a limited number of these addresses and can provide each of you with one. Since nowadays you have more than one device that wants to go online at the same time, it would cause problems without a router.

Access Point: An access point is not a router and does not create its own network. An access point is an entry point for a network. The access point needs an IP address to function. We give you exactly one IP address. If you connect an access point in your room, it gets an IP address from us. A smartphone connected to the access point does not go online at first, and you can’t access the access point because they don’t know each other’s addresses. The access point usually does not ask for a new IP address and forgets the assigned one after a while. A device in the Wi-Fi of the access point, such as a smartphone, continuously asks for an IP address and gets one from us after a maximum of two minutes if the access point has no more IP addresses. Then the smartphone can go online. Your laptop, however, will not go online through the access point. Therefore, you need a router.

Range Extender: Range extenders increase the range of a Wi-Fi network and do nothing else. So, you can’t do much with a range extender; at best, it might work like an access point.

Important Note: If you unplug your router and connect a laptop directly to the network socket, please wait 2 minutes before assuming there is an error or doing further diagnostics. The limitation to one IP address per room has a timer of 60 seconds. After 2 minutes, you will definitely have a new IP address from us if your devices are configured correctly.

Viktor-Renner-Strasse Update May 2024

We are resetting the settings on our hardware in Viktor-Renner-Straße to the original configurations by the end of the semester, so your devices should work as before.

This gives you the whole semester to replace any devices not allowed in our network (like access points and repeaters).

At the start of the winter semester, we will switch to our standard settings.

Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse SoSe 2024

As announced on January 13, we are now using our standard configuration on Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse, after extending it for an additional month.

The change will prevent access points, repeaters, and incorrectly configured routers from using up too many IP addresses, which can deny other residents access to the internet.

Instructions on how to configure routers can always be found in our tutorials.

Maintenance work announcement Viktor-Renner-Straße

On Thursday, April 18, starting around 6:30 PM, we will finally be able to equip our dormitories in Viktor-Renner-Straße with more modern technology.
For the residents, this means they will be able to use gigabit internet in their rooms afterwards.
For us as Netz-AK the upgrade also brings us major advantages in the management of our network. The switches that were previously installed in Viktor-Renner-Straße are the very last to not support various standard features and needed to be configured very differently from the rest of our infrastructure, hindering any automation efforts.
We expect the installation to take about 3 hours, meaning you will probably have unrestricted internet access again from 9:30 PM.

Update 2024-04-23: After we were initially only able to replace the switches at Viktor-Renner-Straße 2 last Thursday, we have completed all maintenance work at 4 today. If you still have problems with your internet, please contact us individually using our contact form! This is the only way we can identify the individual problems and help you effectively, because the sources of error can be very different.

As everywhere else in our network, the maximum number of IP addresses assigned in Viktor-Renner-Straße is now basically limited to 1 per connection. However, you don’t have to buy a new router now if, for example, you have previously operated a WiFi repeater and therefore need several IP addresses. For all such connections that we could identify, we have temporarily relaxed this restriction. Let us know if we missed one.

3rd Tübingen Digital Freedom

On July 6, 2024, the Tübingen Digital Freedom Day, organized by Chaostreff Tübingen, will take place. This event features workshops and talks on ethics, politics, creativity, data protection, sustainability, and artificial intelligence. Its goal is to promote self-determination and digital literacy. The event is open to everyone and will be held at the Westspitze in Tübingen. For more information and participation details, visit the event website.

2024 new in the dorm?!

First of all, it’s great that you’re here – welcome to the dorm and our volunteer-managed network.

If you’re new to Tuebingen, you’ll probably want to meet people. A good reason to start a conversation could be because you have a question – whether it’s about living, where to shop, or, likely why you’ve landed on this page, about accessing the internet from the dorm.

There’s internet in the dorm; it’s fast, and you don’t have to pay anything extra for it.

You can only get online in the rooms wirelessly through WiFi if you get yourself a WiFi router, which is what most people do. If you already own a router, make sure to read our guide on Wireless internet in your room. If you don’t have a router and are looking to buy one, I’ve just finished a blog post describing what I would do if I were faced with this task.

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

Unfortunately, we can only help in German and English as a group, but in all communication, we advise you to use the language you speak best and not to use automatic translators. The quality of your German or English shows us what you might mean if you’re not well-versed in technology. If you send us a technically perfect text using AI, you will get a response that matches the level of your request, and it could unnecessarily complicate things if you’re not an expert.

Have fun and a pleasant time in the dorm!

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

How Would I Choose a WiFi Router?

Finding the right WiFi router can still be a challenge for some. Let me walk you through how I would approach this as someone hypothetically moving in today, March 3, 2024.

I start by reading the guide on Netz-AK.de about Wireless internet in your room. This tells me exactly what features I need in a product:

  • WiFi Router
  • 5 GHz
  • Gigabit WiFi connection preferred
  • No Fritzbox, no D-LINK DIR-809

Next, I use a search engine to find a price comparing website for router in Germany. I find three German websites, which unfortunately tend to be exclusively in German: billiger.de, geizhals.de, and idealo.de. Knowing Geizhals, I start there.

On Geizhals.de, under the category Hardware > Netzwerk > WLAN-Router, I set the “Price range (€)” (“Preisbereich (€)”) generously up to 50€ including shipping. For availability (“Verfügbarkeit”), I select “in stock” (“lagernd”) and choose providers from Germany (“Anbieter aus Deutschland”). For the total 5GHz transmission rate (“Übertragungsrate 5GHz gesamt”), I select from 867Mbps to exclude outdated devices that only support 433Mbps. In the “additional filters” (“weiteren Filtern”), I find “WAN 1Gbit/s (exkl. Sets) ab:” and activate it. I then get results, which I sort by price including shipping, finding suitable routers from €27.99 including €5.99 for shipping.

To ensure the router I’ve chosen is compatible, I check it against the list on Netz-AK‘s site. If it’s not listed, I send the router’s name and, if possible, the product link via the contact form to receive a prompt reply about the device’s compatibility according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

I attempt the same at idealo.de but encounter difficulty as there appears to be no option to set a minimum WiFi speed or the minimum WiFi standard.

Lastly, I try billiger.de. Initially, I find no network technology category and almost give up after 5 minutes. Searching for “Router” eventually yields results. I also set the price limit to €50 here. Under product type (“Produkttyp”), I choose WiFi Router (“WLAN-Router”), for the WiFi data transfer rate (“Datenübertragungsrate WLAN”) I set the minimum to 866 Mb/s, and I use the LAN data transfer rate of 1000 Mb/s (“Datenübertragungsrate LAN”) as a proxy, though it doesn’t necessarily reflect WAN speed. This should suffice.

Now, I find suitable options here as well, unfortunately without shipping cost details. Where you decide to purchase is up to you, but personally, I don’t mind spending an extra €10 to shop locally. However, for a €30 router, an additional €10 is a significant 30% more, so don’t hesitate to return a product if local advice from a so-called specialist leads to a purchase that doesn’t meet your needs.