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Improving Internet Access Following Meetinghouse Firewall Upgrade - Part 2 Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Howell   
Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Observing best practices when using the meetinghouse Internet will reduce network traffic, improve overall performance, and promote successful network connectivity for everyone. If you use the Internet in your meetinghouse, the suggestions below will provide valuable help.

Connecting your mobile devices to the public network

To use your device successfully, plan ahead. Perform Internet-intensive tasks, such as downloading content, installing apps, and performing software upgrades at home. If you are planning to use web content, download and save content to your device and then use meetinghouse audio visual equipment to project from your device rather than stream directly from the Internet. Where possible, disable wireless on the device and use mobile broadband (cellular connection), but be aware of the provisions of your provider’s data plan and the potential costs.

Technology is sometimes complicated, so teachers should always have a back-up plan for their lessons. Seek help from your local technology specialist. Most are eager to share information that will help you become more independent with things like projectors, adapters, and interfaces for your own mobile device. Become acquainted with instructions for downloading media and using audio visual equipment at www.lds.org/media-library.

Connecting your laptop or tablet inside the Family History Center

When you bring your laptop or tablet to the Family History Center, you should be able to connect to the FHC zone and use your laptop as you would use one of the local computers (except you will generally not be able to print to a FHC printer). When using a tablet you will be constrained by the features of the app you are using to display family history information.

The new meetinghouse firewall configuration is good news when computer stations in a FHC cannot meet user demand. Moving from the FHC to the public network should be as seamless as moving from one access point in the building to another. The FHC zone is unique for each firewall, so if things do not work as anticipated, ask your Family History Director or Technology Specialist. You could also call Family History Support at 1-866-406-1830.

Two General Tips

The Stake Technology Specialist (STS) to may turn off meetinghouse wireless access to allow the full Internet bandwidth to be used for conference webcast. Be patient if you suddenly find no Internet during a conference meeting that is being webcast to a remote location.

Finally, remember that each device that connects to the meetinghouse network consumes resources. If you have set your device to automatically connect to the Church network but you don’t need the Internet while in the meetinghouse, consider disabling your Wi-Fi connection.

Conclusion

Meetinghouse Internet is a valuable tool. Some aspects are impacted significantly by what you choose to do inside the meetinghouse. As a responsible user of technology, the more you know, the more you can contribute to a satisfying experience for all users.

This is part 2. Here is a link to part 1 of this series.

 

Comments  

 
# Eric Gene Peterson 2015-02-06 19:21
What is the maximum amount of bandwidth for meeting houses?
 
 
# Theron Schaefermeyer 2015-02-07 15:40
I believe that the bandwidth is determined by the ISP and is not limited by the building firewall etc.
 
 
# Rich Hovey 2015-02-15 06:49
Quoting Eric Gene Peterson:
What is the maximum amount of bandwidth for meeting houses?


1 specific answer based on a building in the north east with FiOS 75/75Mbps service:
- WiFi 37.29Mbps download, 48.44Mbps upload, 13ms RTT (latency)
- Ethernet 63.04Mbps download, 64.21Mbps, 20ms RTT (latency)


General answer:
As previously mentioned, FM is responsible to select/purchase/provision a building's internet access. The "maximum amount of bandwidth" is primarily driven by the technology selected. Effective end-user bandwidth though can be severely impacted by firewall configuration issues. There are typically 3 options, highly geography and operator dependent: DSL, Cable and/or FIOS. I tested the configuration above using OOKLA (http://www.speedtest.net/).
 
 
# Eric Gene Peterson 2015-02-18 17:50
Wow - we can't get our FM Group to increase our buildings' bandwidth to more than 10 Mbps down and 2 up. They did increase the Stake Center to help with broadcasts to 25 and 10, but the other building they don't want to increase. We have members that are willing to pay for the cost difference. So many of the issues in this thread could be improved with increased bandwidth.
The FCC is trying to re-classify broadband as 25 mpbs so why is it so difficult to get an increase at the buildings when the cost isn't that much more?
 
 
# Larry Autry 2015-02-18 18:11
Quoting Eric Gene Peterson:
Wow - we can't get our FM Group to increase our buildings' bandwidth to more than 10 Mbps down and 2 up. They did increase the Stake Center to help with broadcasts to 25 and 10, but the other building they don't want to increase. We have members that are willing to pay for the cost difference. So many of the issues in this thread could be improved with increased bandwidth.
The FCC is trying to re-classify broadband as 25 mpbs so why is it so difficult to get an increase at the buildings when the cost isn't that much more?

Unfortunately for DSL subscribers, DSL offerings won't be considered broadband under the new rules." That means if your building has DSL the ISP is not compelled to provide 25 Mbps.

Regarding a speed increase, your stake president should be able to request it if he agrees it is needed. You may want to hold off until it is confirmed the firewall has been updated.
 
 
# Larry Autry 2015-02-07 20:46
Your FM Group is responsible for provisioning your Internet. They also decide how much bandwidth to request for your building. For stakes that have webcasts, there are bandwidth recommendations for how much bandwidth is needed on either end of the webcast.
 
 
# Robert Lewis Potts Jr. 2015-02-11 15:48
Local DSL is usual in my area as 10MB download and 1MB upload - with overhead you may get just over half of that (5MB) to share, and in our case 2 wards and a branch. Only 2 APs that don't cover what is needed are installed, 1 on each end of the bldg. and I don't know what the release time is for each IP address acquired. With that said it would help to reduce the lease time to under 60 minutes and then know how many addresses are available. We are providing the resource we need to manage it better so it is used. It doesn't make sense to say here is the resource but don't use and do everything from home first.
 
 
# Robert Lewis Potts Jr. 2015-02-11 15:50
don't now why [cencored] - it refers to Access Points that connect wireless devices
 
 
# Larry Autry 2015-02-11 18:36
Quoting Robert Lewis Potts Jr.:
--- Only 2 APs that don't cover what is needed are installed, 1 on each end of the bldg. and I don't know what the release time is for each IP address acquired. With that said it would help to reduce the lease time to under 60 minutes and then know how many ad[censored] are available. We are providing the resource we need to manage it better so it is used. It doesn't make sense to say here is the resource but don't use and do everything from home first.

I would suggest you contact the Stake Technology Specialist. He can ask the Stake Presidency to direct the FM Group to install additional Access Points in your building. Stake Presidents can do that.
 
 
# Russell Harold Albright II 2015-02-23 11:48
Quoting Robert Lewis Potts Jr.:
... and I don't know what the release time is for each IP address acquired. With that said it would help to reduce the lease time to under 60 minutes and then know how many addresses are available.


The church firewall lease time is 30 minutes, if the person remains active on the network then they automatically are 'granted' another 30 minutes, but if the device falls off the network, 30 minutes later that IP address is once again available.

I hope that helps you.
 
 
# Cabe Grant Miller 2015-02-11 13:40
One problem that they didn't consider that we have run into and can't fix until they change the set up on the firewall is that the Honeywell controllers, that send out our heating and cooling information wirelessly will not work in the port three. Port three accepts only static addresses only. The Honeywell controllers that many of the groups are using, come from the factory with a dynamic address ability only resulting in its inability to coonect with heating and cooling system. The Honeywell controllers will not let you assign them a static IP address. I have already given them this information hopefully they can get this resolved.
 
 
# Matthew Frank 2015-02-11 14:48
I thought I read once about a concept to use a personal LDS Account to log into the public wifi. If such a concept was implemented it seems it would solve for everyone whose devices automatically attach to the remembered network. Could it not also go a step further to set a time limit for each login, perhaps 50 minutes?

As a presenter, I would still need to prepare as though the Internet might not be available through wifi but at least requiring logins and having time thresholds seems as though it would help reduce congestion.
 
 
# Darrell Manning 2015-02-11 14:50
Just curious - do most buildings out there have TVs that can be used to show lds.org, mormon.org and mormonchannel videos? If a teacher in our building wants to share a video, they have to ask the class to crowd around their iPad/tablet or laptop. Just wondering if most other church buildings have flat screens. Thanks.
 
 
# Larry Autry 2015-02-11 18:23
Quoting Darrell Manning:
Just curious - do most buildings out there have TVs that can be used to show lds.org, mormon.org and mormonchannel videos? If a teacher in our building wants to share a video, they have to ask the class to crowd around their iPad/tablet or laptop. Just wondering if most other church buildings have flat screens. Thanks.

Our stake has 32" LCD TVs but we do not have smart TVs. If members want to show videos from the Internet they use their own iPad or laptop and connect it to the TV. A Roku could also be used. In fact, I used a Roku for general conference when our satellite receiver was not working.
 
 
# Chris Brooks 2015-02-11 18:35
We don't have any smart TVs - but we did purchase refurbished Roku boxes for our TVs, and use those to watch Mormon Channel videos for classes. They also have a USB port allowing a teacher to bring a video on a USB device and plug it in. Here's the lds.org page on using a Roku - https://www.lds.org/help/support/broadcasts-roku-overview?lang=eng.
 
 
# Max McGregor 2015-02-11 15:20
When new media guidelines came out a year ago FM did not have the budget to purchase new TVs so our Stake purchased two new TVs for each of our three buildings. We went with mid-range Samsung smart TVs. However, our internet bandwidth is poor, so we have trained members to use USB drives and we provided adapters allowing them to connect their phones, tables and PCs to the TVs. Each Library also maintains 4-5 USB drives and keeps the latest videos on them. Members know they can't rely on streaming at this time. FM did provide one new TV per building about 4 months ago.
 
 
# Sharon Leslie Howell 2015-02-11 16:53
It does seem counter-intuitive to provide more capacity on the internal network, when the ISP's bandwidth does not increase proportionally. Buildings are more likely to run into problems if they are shared by overlapping congregations, are particularly large, and as units acquire more flat screen (digital) TVs that all are used simultaneously in various locations, while small classes are streaming direct from the internet on tablets. Hence precautions are given to have a back-up plan that does not depend on your ISP.
 
 
# Larry Autry 2015-02-11 18:17
Quoting Sharon Leslie Howell:
It does seem counter-intuitive to provide more capacity on the internal network, when the ISP's bandwidth does not increase proportionally.


The problem being addressed is that users are using available IP addrsses. Often, members bring two devices to church and set them to connect to WiFi automatically regardless of whether the member uses it or not. The new configuration will provide more addresses so that all users will at some point be able to connect. Please also note that members are being asked to use their own data plan if possible.

Please understand that they are increasing the number of addresses and not the actual capacity.
 
 
# Larry Autry 2015-02-11 18:29
I used the misspelled word "addrsses" because this forum censors the real word. It showed up as "ad[censored]" until I changed the spelling. ???
 
 
# R. Matthew Read 2015-02-12 11:09
Suggestion: add a link to part 1 of this article. I received the link to this page in an email, so it's not clear how to navigate to part 1. I can figure it out, but having a link would be nice. Thanks.
 
 
# Mark Charles Stewart 2015-02-12 11:21
Quoting R. Matthew Read:
Suggestion: add a link to part 1 of this article. I received the link to this page in an email, so it's not clear how to navigate to part 1. I can figure it out, but having a link would be nice. Thanks.

Here is the link: https://tech.lds.org/blog/659-improving-internet-access-following-meetinghouse-firewall-upgrade-part-1
 
 
# Tim 金龙Λ̊™ Riker 2015-02-12 14:08
Done. Thank you for the suggestion. :)
 
 
# Robert A Dunham 2015-02-18 17:43
As many have found out, it helps to educate the members of the ward about how bandwidth works and the need to not automatically connect to the wireless. We used the 5th Sunday lesson to talk about all the technology available and to express its limitations to the adults in the ward. That was a couple of months ago but it is better on Sunday now than it was.
 
 
# Bobby Thigpen 2015-02-27 17:46
If the site has the bandwidth available, the address pool can be increased in size to allow for more simultaneous connections. In my ward that limit is 254 simultaneous connections. This could be increased to a larger number. The downside to increasing the address pool size is, the more devices using the bandwidth, the slower the speed is. Each ward would need to determine their needs and do what is best for them.
 
 
# Larry Autry 2015-02-28 12:10
Quoting Bobby Thigpen:
If the site has the bandwidth available, the address pool can be increased in size to allow for more simultaneous connections. In my ward that limit is 254 simultaneous connections. This could be increased to a larger number. The downside to increasing the address pool size is, the more devices using the bandwidth, the slower the speed is. Each ward would need to determine their needs and do what is best for them.

You are referencing the address space of a firewall that has not been upgraded. That number will vary according to the local configuration. The pending upgrade will increase the number of available addresses to 990. However, your concern about the increased usage is shared.
 
 
# Dan Eliason 2015-03-29 04:37
Since reliable wireless functionality has been (and probably will continue go be) a challenge, I have recommended to our ward that they don't ever attempt to use it for any type of presentation. Pre-load your media on your own device and then hard wire that device to the projector/TV. We have equipped our library with a variety of adapter cables, which were a bit expensive initially but are nearly foolproof if you test the connection in advance.
There have been many cases where wireless connectivity has failed, even though it had been tested successfully in advance. Once they are made to work right, cable connections seldom fail. Wireless has many potential pitfalls from overloading the system to someone get in the closet to change settings--or even to turn it off on the day/time you want to use it.
I am not really a hard core techie, have I missed something here?
 

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