The following FAQ addresses the most common concerns that wireless users might have. We will incorporate other questions and answers as they arise.
- Who can use the wireless services?
- Where can I use wireless services?
- What do I need for my computer to use this service?
- How do I install and setup my wireless network card?
- What is the difference between the Brown and Brown-Secure?
- How does logging in to the Brown wireless network work?
- 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@Brown. Are there alternatives?
- What kind of computers/devices are supported?
- 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 watch IPTV with a wireless connection?
- Are there services I cannot use with a wireless connection?
- 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?
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.
Wireless services are available in the following locations:
- CIT Building: all floors
- Rockefeller Library: all floors
- Sciences Library: A level in the vicinity of the Reference Desk and the Periodicals Reading area as well as the Biomedical Reading Room; Lobby Level in the entry area and out onto the patio; Mezzanine Level at the tables and in the cluster area
- 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)
- 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
- Sheridan Center: all floors
- Graduate Center: Graduate Student Lounge
- BioMed Center: Conference room 202
- Horace Mann: all floors
- MacMillan: all floors
- GeoChem: all floors
- Lincoln Field: all floors
- Hillel House: (Brown and Angell Streets)
- Urban Environmental Lab (UEL at 135 Angell St.)
- Alumnae Hall (Meeting St.)
- Barus and Holley (includes Prince Labs and the Giancarlo wing)
- Cabinet Building (68 Waterman Street)
- John Carter Brown Library (George & Brown Streets)
- 131 Waterman Street
- Prospect House
- 70 Ship Street
- Faculty Club
- Andrews House (Health Services)
- Pizzitola (2nd floor offices)
- OMAC (Coaches offices)
- Meehan (Coaches offices)
- List Art (Main Auditorium)
- Sayles Hall (Student Lounge)
- 67 George Street
- John Hay Library (conference rooms 124, 204, 222)
- Watson Institute
- Norwood House
- Biomed Center (Selected areas)
- Gerard House
- Lyman Hall
- Orwig Hall
- Salomon Hall
- Robinson Hall
- Maddock Alumni Center (basement, first floor)
- Barus Lab (Student Lounge )
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.
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.
Please see the [Brown versus Brown-Secure Wireless Network] document.
To log in to the Brown wireless network, install your wireless card according to the directions that came with it, based on the operating system you are using. Then:
- Activate your wireless card, if it is not already activated.
- Launch your web browser window. If you do not have the browser set to go directly to a web page, enter a destination URL for the web browser.
- You will be redirected to the wireless@brown login page. To login, enter your Brown username and password. Your Brown username is a maximum of 8 characters, usually the initial letter of your first name and the first seven of your last name. This is the same ID you would use to check email.
- After logging in, you should be taken to the web page you requested. You are now using the wireless network.
- Keep the small window open with the logout button. You will need that when you have finished using the wireless network. Note that as long as the small window is open and your signal is not broken (should you wander outside the broadcast area), you will remain logged into wireless@brown. Your session will not time out.
- If you move from one active area to another, you may need to restart your computer to use wireless services elsewhere.
- Once the window is closed (intentionally or otherwise), your session will not immediately shutdown.
- If you are having trouble please see [Connecting to the Brown Wireless Network]
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". Select this profile and retry connecting to wireless. If you are still having problems please see [Connecting to the Brown Wireless Network]
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:
- OS: XP
- Browser: IE 6.x, Firefox 1.5+
- OS 10.3.9 or later
- Browser: Safari, Firefox 1.5+
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. You can also send email by setting your client's SMTP address to secure-relay.brown.edu and enabling SSL. 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.
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]
Yes, however, you must check off the 'Using a Proxy' box when logging in when connected to the Brown network.
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.
See our Email documentation to learn how to configure your email client.
Yes, but you must be connected to the Brown-Secure wireless network.
No, you must be connected to the wired network to watch IPTV.
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 a wired connection to download large amounts of data.
We have heard about five problems, all of which have solutions:
- If you experience any connectivity problems, check 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.
- If you experience problems with strength fluctuation, check 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.
- If you experience problems with the Brown and Brown-Secure wireless networks disappearing from your available network list, check that you wireless card is up to date. Drivers can usually be found on the support page at the card manufacturer's web site.
- If you encounter problems switching between the Brown and Brown-Secure wireless network, check 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.
- 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. Disabling pop-up blocking should fix this problem.
Additionally, we have heard about two problems that we are currently investigating:
- You experience significant lags authenticating to the Brown-Secure wireless network.
- 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.
Yes, you can use it until wireless has been installed in your dorm. Additionally, you must first register your wireless router before you can use it on the Brown network. You can find out more about registering devices here
NOTE: if your dorm already has wireless you will not be able to register your personal wireless router. In these dorms, personal wireless routers will interfere with the newly installed wireless network.
Please email email@example.com