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The why’s of WiFi at UVU

4 April 2011 2 Comments

Ray Walker, assistant vice president for information technology

On a daily basis, almost 10,000 computers and other wireless devices jump on to Utah Valley University’s wireless network. Guests, employees and students all use this wireless access, with up to 3,000 users simultaneously connecting to the University and world through its nearly 400 access points spread across campus.

UVU was the first campus in Utah to have a campus-wide wireless network. When it was first built, users funded the wireless network by paying a monthly fee that was used to build it out across campus. Later, with the help and support of student government, the funding was allocated by the University from tuition, and the user fees ended.

There are three parts of the wireless network: the UVU-Guest network, the UVU-Open network and the UVU-Secure network. Each is secured in a different way based on who the target audience is and the needs to secure each of them in order to have a safe environment.

UVU-Guest is designed for visitors coming on campus that do not have a UV ID and will only be here temporarily. Because of the many visitors under the age of 18, such as high school students, a K-12 internet safety filter is deployed that protects the users from unsafe sites such as pornography and social media sites. The network is meant to be compliant with the Internet Child Protection Act. In addition, all traffic except standard internet traffic (port 80 or http and port 443 or https) is blocked so that unprotected computers are protected from viruses, worms and other malware threats that almost always spread through other ports. Most students and employees would be unhappy with these restrictions, but they are necessary to protect our guests.

UVU-Open is designed for students and employees with a minimal amount of setup. It requires a client — the Cisco NAC Agent — and is the default network that most computers see and attach to. The NAC agent enforces the network policy that computers have current software updates and virus protection on them. Without these protections, viruses, worms, and other malware could quickly spread from computer to computer. The data on this network is not encrypted.

UVU-Secure is the best network to be on! The UVU-Secure network not only protects your data by using the most advanced form of wireless encryption but also makes logging into the network a thing of the past. Most computers will require some setup to connect to the UVU-Secure network for the first time, but once the setup is complete, your machine will automatically connect to the UVU-Secure network and automatically log you into the NAC agent each time you come on campus. To connect your laptop to UVU-Secure, go to www.uvu.edu/wireless and click on the UVU-Secure icon.

Most complaints about wireless on campus involve the Cisco NAC Agent. Many have found that going to the UVU-Secure network has helped, since it automatically logs you in. If you keep your computer updated and protected, it really helps things go smoothly. Few things are as detrimental to a positive experience as viruses, trojans, worms and other computer security breaches. If your system’s security is compromised, speed may be noticeably affected and you risk the chance of losing your important files and even personal information that can lead to identity theft. The NAC agent has been required to help ensure computers connected to this high-speed network have the security in place to help protect them and you from these threats. The IT HelpDesk is available to help you should you have problems.

Happy Surfing.

— Ray Walker

Links:
UVU Wireless
IT HelpDesk

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2 Comments »

  • IT Consultancy Services said:

    thats reallu cool. I wish I could also have it at my campus :(

  • Karianne said:

    Is there an iPad friendly version of Cisco nac agent?

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