Network Access Issues

12 Dec
Guides > FAQs > Nightscout at School / Day Care > Network Access Issues

Internet access

Your Nightscout uploader requires basic Internet access to send Dexcom data to the cloud.  Obtaining Internet access at school can range from extremely simple to frustratingly complex.  This guide should help you find the easiest solution, whether you use mobile data or school WiFi.

Mobile data

The first rule of Internet access for Nightscout is “Keep it simple.”  If you have good mobile data coverage in and around school, use it.  Good mobile data should provide better coverage than WiFi outside school buildings and on playgrounds.  Using mobile data also avoids the additional technical and administrative complexity of accessing school WiFi for Internet access.

School WiFi

If you must use school WiFi, there are some potential challenges to overcome.  You will need to work with school administrators and IT staff to define a network access plan.  Understanding your school’s WiFi network coverage and school district policies will help you manage expectations and have a good experience at school.  If you encounter resistance to WiFi access, you may need to put Nightscout requirements into your 504 plan, or get help from legal or local advocacy groups.

Issues to consider for WiFi access

  • To minimize potential challenges, convert your uploader from Mongo direct upload to REST API before talking to your school about WiFi access.
  • Internet access requirements
    • REST API Uploads
      • HTTP (TCP port 80) to Nightscout website
      • HTTPS (TCP port 443) to Nightscout website
    • MongoDb Uploads
      • HTTP (TCP port 80) to Nightscout website
      • HTTPS (TCP port 443) to Nightscout website
      • MongoDb (TCP port above 40,000) to Mongo database server.  Your server name and port number are in your Mongo URI and are available at at the top of your database configuration page.
  • WiFi network coverage
    • Is there complete coverage throughout all campus buildings?  If not, how will this affect Nightscout access during the school day?
    • Is there coverage outside on the playground?
  • WiFi network authentication
    • Will you be using the internal or Guest wireless network?
    • If using the Guest network, do you need to login with username and password?  If so, must this be done every day?  How will you and/or your child integrate this step into their day?
  • Internet Filtering
    • If your school limits access to school appropriate websites, your Nightscout website may need to be white listed by the school district IT staff.
    • If your school limits WiFi access to specific network devices, you may need to provide school IT with the MAC address of the WiFi interface of your uploader phone.
    • Your school IT staff may have mobile device management requirements such as software to restrict phone access during school hours.