Can I connect Glowforge on a 5G network?

Any advice on how to connect Glowforge on a 5G network? I am trying to use this at a public school but the school only has 5G. Due to security concerns, the school will not let me use a router. Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks in advance.

Welcome to the forum.

The Glowforge only operates on a 2.4ghz network. You might be able to use your phone as a hot spot.

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That’s sucky, 5ghz is a total no go GF. Many routers are dual band - perhaps your school’s IT dept might be able to enable 2.4ghz on just one of their routers near your location?

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In direct response to your question, no, you cannot connect the GF to a 5GHz wifi network. The wifi module in the machine is only capable of connecting to 2.4GHz wifi. Think of it as an AM vs FM radio.

GF likely chose 2.4 as it’s far more reliable and has much longer range than 5.

As to “security concerns”, the IT folks are ignorant, 2.4 is not “less secure” - but that’s not going to help you. It’s more likely they couldn’t be bothered to configure and enable it. It does take an extra few seconds. As suggested above, you might be able to get them to do that for the one router closest to the machine.

Your best option in my opinion is to use a cellular “hot-spot” to provide your own wifi, whether it be a dedicated “hotspot” device or enabling that feature on a mobile phone. The GF does not need much bandwidth.

… and “5G” is a cellular technology that’s just being rolled out, following 4G/LTE, and completely unrelated to 5GHz wifi. It means “5th generation” vs 5GHz frequency band for WiFi.

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It is possible that they do actually mean 5G, as that is readily available in many communities for home and business internet service.

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I interpreted the statement as “due to security concerns, the school won’t let me put my own WiFi access point on their network”.

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Not to bag on this school sight unseen but I’m willing to bet another wifi access point is the very least of their IT security risks.

(If it’s anything like the school I grew up in)

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The network still needs to be distributed though, which would be via your traditional 2.4/5ghz signals (or Ethernet). Basically, like using your phone as a hotspot.

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I’m simply saying that you can’t assume that 5G doesn’t mean 5G, nor is it reasonable at this point to say that it’s “totally unrelated” to 5Ghz when discussing networking.

As for the rest, networking in schools is always somewhat of a nightmare for a variety of reasons.

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