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Once you have established a reliable wireless connection between the devices in your classroom, there are some settings within the Tutor Console that you can change to optimise performance on your wireless network.

A school will have a finite amount of network bandwidth available; viewing the student’s screens, distributing files or broadcasting the teacher’s screen simultaneously will consume this bandwidth.

NetSupport School provides multiple configuration options designed to reduce the amount of data sent across the network – this will result in improved performance. These options can be found under their respective configuration sections in the Tutor Console.

For a wireless environment, it is recommended that both of the options within the Performance section of the Tutor Configurator are selected:

Colour reduction – Allows you to set the maximum colour depth when viewing and showing to Students. By default, this is set to 256 (high) colours.
Low bandwidth mode – The number of video frames transferred will be reduced to around 5 per second.

To configure these options, select {School}{Configuration}{Performance} from the Tutor Console drop-down menu and ensure that both options are enabled.

Additionally, within the Network and Wireless Settings section of the Tutor Configurator, it is recommended that the following option is enabled when using NetSupport School on a wireless network:

Enable Broadcast Show and File Distribution – When broadcasting the teacher’s screen or distributing files to multiple students, enabling this option will result in the screen data or files being sent to all machines simultaneously.

Finally, performance can further be enhanced by reducing the speed that the Tutor Console sends data onto the network to match the speed that the wireless access point can deliver the data. Sending data onto the network too quickly may result in packets being lost, which will result in the students requesting the data again and additional traffic being produced on the network.

For a wireless environment, it is recommended that the following options are set in the Network and Wireless Settings:

Wireless Network – Select this option to optimise NetSupport School for best performance in a wireless environment.
Maximum Throughput – This option provides the ability to fine tune the speed that the Tutor Console sends data to the connected student devices.

When configuring NetSupport School for use in a wireless classroom, consideration should be given to the number of student computers that will be connected to the access point at any one time. Due to the nature of wireless networking, only one device at a time can send and receive data through the access point, so performance will reduce as the number of students increases.

For a typical class of 30 students, we recommend starting with the default Maximum Throughput value of 8 Mbps. However, depending on the actual performance of your wireless network and whether the teacher’s device is connected to the network using a cable (which will result in better performance), this value could be increased to match the faster network speed – or decreased accordingly until the optimal settings are found.

IEEE 802.11 protocol Protocol data rate (maximum) Suggested maximum throughput value
802.11a 54Mbps 8Mbps
802.11b 11Mbps 6Mbps
802.11g 54Mbps 8Mbps
802.11n 600Mbps 12Mbps

 

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