Wireless FAQ

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The following FAQ addresses the most common concerns that wireless users might have. We will incorporate other questions and answers as they arise. This FAQ is divided into four main sections:
[#General]
[#Setup]
[#Services]
[#Other]

General

[#Who can use the wireless services?]
[#Where can I use wireless services?]
[#Where can I get more information on the wireless expansion project?]
[#What do I need for my computer to use this service?]
[#What kind of computers/devices are supported?]

Who can use the wireless services?

Any student, faculty or staff member who has activated his or her account at Brown (http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/CIS/activate/) is eligible to use the wireless service.

Where can I use wireless services?

The Brown and Brown-Secure wireless networks are now available in all areas listed below.

  • Dormitories:  See https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/CISDOC/Wireless+Expansion+Project for a complete listing.
  • Dining areas: Sharpe Refectory ("Ratty" at 144 Thayer St.) , the Gate (194 Meeting St.) and Josiah's (114 Power St., VGQ), the Ivy Room, Verney-Woolley
  • 24-hour study lounges: Barbour, Andrews, New Pembroke #4 and Arnold Lounge
  • Faunce House: Blue Room both lower level and main level; Leung Gallery; outside on the patio and onto the Main Green (until the first statue approximately)
  • Rockefeller Library: all floors
  • Sciences Library: A level, Friedman Center; Lobby Level in the Cafe; Mezzanine Level at the tables and in the cluster area
  • John Carter Brown Library (George & Brown Streets)
  • John Hay Library (conference rooms 124, 204, 222)
  • 169 Angell Street
  • 67 George Street
  • 121 South Main Street
  • 70 Ship Street
  • 70 Waterman Street
  • 131 Waterman Street
  • Alumnae Hall (Meeting St.)
  • Andrews House (Health Services)
  • Barus Lab (Student Lounge )
  • Barus and Holley (includes Prince Labs and the Giancarlo wing)
  • BioMed Center: (Conference room 202
  • Cabinet Building (68 Waterman Street)
  • CIT Building
  • Davol Square
  • Faculty Club
  • GeoChem
  • Gerard House
  • Graduate Center: Graduate Student Lounge
  • Health Services at Andrews House
  • Hemisphere
  • Hillel House: (Brown and Angell Streets)
  • Horace Mann
  • Hunter Lab (rooms 130 and 206)
  • Kassar-Gould
  • Lincoln Field
  • List Art (Main Auditorium)
  • Lyman Hall
  • MacMillan
  • Maddock Alumni Center (basement, first floor)
  • Meehan (Hockey Coaches offices)
  • Norwood House (American Civilization)
  • OMAC (Football Coaches offices)
  • Orwig Hall (room 107)
  • Prospect House
  • Pizzitola (2nd floor offices)
  • Robinson Hall
  • Salomon Hall
  • Sayles Hall (Student Lounge)
  • Sharpe Refectory
  • Sheridan Center
  • Smith-Bounanno
  • Urban Environmental Lab (UEL at 135 Angell St.)
  • University Hall (Corporation Room)
  • Watson Institute

Where can I get more information on the wireless expansion project?

Please see the [Wireless Expansion Project Page] for more information on the progress of wireless exapansion across the campus.

What do I need for my computer to use this service?

Your computer will need either a built-in wireless card, or an external card which can be bought at most computing supply outlets for as little as $49. To ensure that the service will work, you should purchase a card that is 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g (Wi-Fi) compliant. For a complete listing of certified cards, see www.wi-fi.org.

What kind of computers/devices are supported?

While most computers and PDAs that are appropriately equipped with wireless cards will work, the Help Desk will be providing support for the following computers, operating systems and web browsers:

  • Windows
    • OS: XP
    • Browser: IE 6.x, Firefox 1.5+
  • Macintosh
    • OS 10.3.9 or later
    • Browser: Safari, Firefox 1.5+

Setup

[#How do I install and setup my wireless network card?]
[#When setting up my wireless card it mentioned SSID. What is that and what should I enter?]
[#I tried any as well as default for my SSID, but am not able to connect to wireless. Are there alternatives?]

How do I install and setup my wireless network card?

Install your wireless card according to the directions that came with it, based on the operating system you are using. Each wireless card comes with a client manager type application that you typically install from an included CD. This application lets you set profiles for different networks that you may encounter. The default profile usually contains the SSID parameter of 'any' which lets you connect to any available wireless access point. This is the setting you should use to access wireless at Brown. No other profile settings are necessary. Before you attempt to login, check that your profile is correct and that your wireless card is enabled.

When setting up my wireless card it mentioned SSID. What is that and what should I enter?

SSID stands for Service Set ID. It is the name of the wireless access point. Since you may move about and beyond campus with your computer, it is recommended that you set your wireless card to "any".

I tried "any" as well as "default" for my SSID, but am not able to connect to the Brown network. Are there alternatives?

Your wireless client application will likely have a way for you to setup user profiles. Try making a new profile with the SSID set to "Brown" or "Brown-Secure" depending on which network you are using. Select this profile and retry connecting to wireless.  If you are still having problems please see:
[Connecting to the Brown Wireless Network]
[Connecting to the Brown-Secure Wireless Network with a Mac]
[Connecting to the Brown-Secure Wireless Network with Windows]

Services

[#What is the difference between the Brown and Brown-Secure?]
[#What can I use on the Brown wireless network?]
[#What can I use on the Brown-Secure wireless network?]
[#Can I use the Brown WebAuth service with a wireless connection?]
[#What about using VPN with a wireless connection?]
[#How do I get my e-mail program to work with a wireless connection?]
[#Can I use PAWPrints with a wireless connection?]
[#Can I print to a departmental printer with a wireless connection?]
[#Can I watch IPTV with a wireless connection?]
[#Can I use Library e-resources with a wireless connection?]
[#Can I use Windows file-sharing to share files with my friends over the wireless network?]
[#Are there services I cannot use with a wireless connection?]

What is the difference between the Brown and Brown-Secure?

Please see the [Brown versus Brown-Secure Wireless Network] document.

What can I use on the Brown wireless network?

Basically, a web browser. However, more specifically, while on the Brown wireless network, you will be able to use web services (HTTP and HTTPS) and secure shell (SSH). You can make secure IMAP and POP connections to download Brown email using a mail client. Additionally, you can check your Brown email using OWA.  Note that to use any of these applications, you will first need to open a web browser window to login to the Brown wireless network, then launch your application. Please note that Library e-resources will not work on this network.

What can I use on the Brown-Secure wireless network?

While on the Brown-Secure wireless network, you can use all internet services on an encrypted network. You can use all applications offered for download on the Software Distribution website, all email clients and printing services. To use any application, you must first configure your wireless network card for the Brown-Secure wireless network. Use the following links to obtain information about configuring and connecting to Brown-Secure:

[Connecting to the Brown-Secure Wireless Network with a Mac]
[Connecting to the Brown-Secure Wireless Network with Windows]

Can I use the Brown WebAuth service with a wireless connection?

Yes, however, you must check off the 'Using a Proxy' box when logging in when connected to the Brown network.

What about using VPN with a wireless connection?

Yes, however, it is recommended you connect to Brown-Secure instead.  If your card does not support authentication to the Brown-Secure wireless network, you can continue to use the VPN on the Brown wireless network.

How do I get my email program to work with a wireless connection?

See our [Email documentation] to learn how to configure your email client. Please keep in mind the SMTP (outgoing) server that you need to use will be dependent on whether you are connected to the Brown wireless network or the Brown-Secure wireless network.

Can I use PAWPrints with a wireless connection?

Yes, but you must be connected to the Brown-Secure wireless network.

Can I print to a departmental printer with a wireless connection? [anchor:Can I print to a departmental printer with a wireless connection\?]

Yes, but you must be connected to the Brown-Secure wireless network and using a Novell queue. For more information on departmental printing please see [this document.]

Can I watch IPTV with a wireless connection?

No, you must be connected to the wired network to watch IPTV.

Can I use Library e-resources with a wireless connection?

Yes, but you must be connected to the Brown-Secure wireless network. If your card does not support authentication to the Brown-Secure wireless network, you can use the Library e-resouces with a VPN connection on the Brown wireless network. See our [VPN Documentation] for more information.

Can I use Windows file-sharing to share files with my friends over the wireless network?

No, this service is disabled to prevent the rapid spread of viruses and other malware over the wireless networks.

Are there services I cannot use with a wireless connection?

Besides IPTV, there are no other services at this time that you cannot use with a wireless connection. However, the wireless networks are a supplement rather than a replacement to the wired network. Primary access to internet services is provided through the wired network. For this reason, it is recommended that you use the wired network to download large amounts of data.

Other

[#What kinds of problems have been reported?]
[#If my dorm does not have wireless yet, can I use my personal wireless router?]
[#How can I give feedback about wireless at Brown?]

What kinds of problems have been reported?

So far, we have been notified about five problems, four of which have the same solution. The problems identified include:
1. You experience connectivity problems.
2. You experience problems with strength fluctuation.
3. You experience problems with the Brown and Brown-Secure wireless networks disappearing from your available network list.
4. You encounter problems switching between the Brown and Brown-Secure wireless network.

Solution:
Verify that your wireless card driver software is up to date. Drivers can usually be found on the support page at the card manufacturer's web site.

5. If you are prompted to log in every few minutes, you probably have pop-up blocking enabled. Safari in OS X has been the most common browser for this, but it could happen in any browser with this sort of functionality.

Solution:
Disabling pop-up blocking should fix this problem.

Additionally, we have been notified about two problems that we are currently investigating:
1. You experience significant lags authenticating to the Brown-Secure wireless network.
2. You are unable to connect to the Brown or Brown-Secure wireless network.  If you try to reconnect immediately, you can connect without any problems.

If my dorm does not have wireless yet, can I use my personal wireless router?

Yes, you can use it until wireless has been installed in your dorm.  You must first register your wireless router before you can use it on the Brown network.  You may register your devices here.

NOTE: If your dorm already has wireless, you will not be able to register your personal wireless router.  Personal wireless routers will interfere with the newly installed wireless network. 

How can I give feedback about wireless at Brown?

Please email wireless@brown.edu

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