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Internet of Things (IoT) Best Practices

A summary of guidance for units and IoT vendors for deployment where Cornell wireless services are present

This article applies to: Wi-Fi


This article identifies common wireless IoT technologies and provides guidance to units and IoT vendors considering deployments in areas where Cornell wireless services (eduroam and RedRover) are also present. Even if you are not leveraging Cornell wireless services for IoT, these best practices will limit the interference between IoT deployments and Cornell wireless services.

Network Services encourages campus units to reach out to our team with any questions or concerns about current and future IoT needs on the Cornell campus. We’re willing to consult with your team and the IoT vendor you’re considering to ensure the IoT technology will meet your needs and the needs of campus wireless services already deployed. 

IoT on RedRover (IEEE 802.11) (2.4ghz and 5ghz bands)

  • RedRover uses MAC address-based authentication.
  • IoT MAC addresses must be registered to a responsible party with a Cornell NetID to comply with Policy 5.7 - Network Registry.
  • RedRover is unencrypted.
  • RedRover IP addresses are assigned by DHCP and are not static.
  • RedRover IP address space is not segmented and is available campus-wide.
  • Please request a consultation with Network Services if RedRover does not meet your IoT requirements.

IoT on eduroam (IEEE 802.11) (2.4ghz and 5ghz bands)

  • eduroam requires Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) Enterprise authentication.
  • eduroam requires a Cornell NetID credential to authenticate.
  • eduroam is encrypted.
  • eduroam IP addresses are assigned by DHCP and are not static.
  • eduroam IP address space is not segmented and is available campus-wide.
  • Please request a consultation with Network Services if eduroam does not meet your IoT requirements.

IoT on non-Cornell wireless access points (IEEE 802.11) (2.4ghz and 5ghz bands)

  • Non-Cornell wireless access point MAC addresses must be registered to a responsible party with a Cornell NetID to comply with Policy 5.7 - Network Registry.
  • Non-Cornell wireless networks MUST be secured (at a minimum) with a password.
  • Using the 2.4ghz band IS NOT RECOMMENDED. It will interfere with Cornell wireless services.
  • Using the 5ghz band configured for channel 144 IS RECOMMENDED. Cornell wireless services do not use this channel in the 5ghz band.
  • Configure the radio output power to the minimum level that meets your requirements.
  • Please request a consultation with Network Services if your IoT deployments cannot follow these best practices.

IoT on Zigbee (IEEE 802.15.4) (2.4ghz band)

  • Zigbee systems should have the ability to use specific channels in the 2.4ghz band. 
  • Using the Zigbee 2.4ghz band configured for channels 15, 20,25, and 26 IS RECOMMENDED. These 4 channels will cause the least amount of interference with Cornell wireless services on the 2.4ghz 802.11 wireless bands.
  • Please request a consultation with Network Services if your IoT deployments cannot follow these best practices.

IoT on 900mhz (900mhz band)

  • 900mhz systems are deployed across the Cornell campus and are used by many different units.
  • 900mhz systems are optimal for low-bandwidth wireless connectivity at distances greater than 802.11 2.4ghz and 5ghz can support.
  • Please request a consultation with Network Services if your IoT deployments include 900mhz.

IoT on cellular (4G LTE / 5G)

  • There are 9 commercial cellular sites on the Cornell campus.
  • Distributed antenna systems (DAS) are installed in some Cornell buildings.
  • 4G LTE does not interfere with Cornell wireless services.
  • 5G deployments may interfere with Cornell wireless services.
  • Please request a consultation with Network Services if your IoT deployments include 5G.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 8:52am

Audience: 

IT Professionals

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