The VPN Dilemma

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Tre Chestnut

VPNs provide security and connection but have both pros and cons. In school they help with connection throughout the building but still slow down laptops in the building.

Tre Chestnut, Staff Writer

As junior Camden Adams was scrolling through his phone at lunch, suddenly, his phone couldn’t load anything at all anymore. After realizing he couldn’t connect his VPN to the school’s guest wi-fi, he quickly went to his friends just to realize they had the same problem. Then, the word spread like wildfire.
Students’ phone service at Pattonville High School is not the strongest (to say the least) and students viewed it as a big problem at the start of the school year. “Right from the start of school we noticed people jumping on the wi-fi,” said iLearn Service Manager Mr. Travis Harder.
In today’s world, teens are viewed as being addicted to their phones. Whether that be true or not, phones are still a key item in everyone’s daily lives. When using a VPN, Camden Adams said, “It helps students actually use their phone.” Without having a VPN on a phone, it’s almost useless in most areas of school.
VPNs also have their drawbacks, of course. Having everyone’s phone connected to a single wi-fi slows down the overall school’s connections. “I believe students don’t realize it does slow down the service on their laptops, so it comes with some sort of balance,” Mr. Harder said. So during finals, Pattonville is especially wanting to have a stronger connection with less people connected to the network.
Phones are often deemed as one of the biggest distractions in the classroom, but having no reliable connection hasn’t changed that fact. “I have noticed them not being able to access the internet on their phones,” history teacher Mr. Ryan Brueckmann said about any big differences in student behavior.
The biggest reason for weak service is PHS’ building. “It’s an old building with lots of steel and concrete. It’s really a big faraday cage; can’t get signals in and out of the building,” Mr. Harder explained.
Overall, phones are important to everyone and students’ connection is still altered, but Pattonville is not the only school with poor wi-fi and the balancing of laptop connection and speed has to be considered.