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Frequently Asked Questions about Network Registration

Who Needs to Register?

Anyone attempting to plug into and use the wired campus network will need to be registered in order to use the network. Computers with static IP addresses are already registered.

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Who Is Allowed to Use the Wired Network?

You must be affiliated with the college (faculty, student, and staff) and be able to provide campus credentials (DND, PKI certificate) to register.

A capability also exists to register guests on the wired network for short periods of time. Please contact the IT Service Desk at 646-2999, send e-mail to, or contact your department's IT support office if you need to register a guest.

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Why Do I Have to Register to Use the Ethernet Network?

Under the terms of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), Dartmouth selected the option of modifying the campus network to an architecture that is considered a “private network”. As a result, we implemented access controls for users that are attaching to the campus network. Users must be affiliated with Dartmouth College in order to use the campus network.

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Who Has Access to This Information?

Each user can access and manage their own registration data at

Only authorized Computing staff will have access to all the registration data. This information will only be shared outside of the authorized group when required by law enforcement.

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How Are Off-campus Students/Visitors Affected?

The change to the wired network does not affect off-campus users. The changes impact users when they plug an Ethernet cable into a campus network port. If a visitor arrives on campus and plugs into a campus Ethernet port they will be routed to our registration page. Since they will not have valid credentials, they will not be able to register. Visitors to campus should use “Dartmouth Public” on our wireless system or a public computer in the Library to gain access to the Internet. Any valid Dartmouth user can also register a computer for a visitor.

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If I Only Use the Wireless Network, Do I Need to Register?

No, the network registration system only affects the “wired” network. Only computers that use an Ethernet cable to plug into a network jack are required to be registered.

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I Got a New Computer. How Do I Transfer the Registration from My Old Computer?

There is no need to transfer registrations from one computer to another. A user may have multiple computers registered under their name. A user can always contact the IT Service Desk at 646-2999, send e-mail to, or contact their department's IT support office to have old registrations deleted from the system.

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How Do I Register a Device Other Than a Computer or a Device That Doesn't Use a Browser to Use the Ethernet Network?

Examples: gaming consoles, robotic devices, lab equipment, building sensors, routers

If you have a device that needs to use the wired network and the device does not support a web browser, go to Enter the hardware address (MAC address) of the device that needs to have access and a description of that device, then click Add.

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What Computers Need to Register?

If you have a static IP address for your server or computer, you do not need to register.
Any computer that plugs into the wired network and uses DHCP (dynamic host communications protocol) to obtain a network address will need to register.

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Will My Registration End When I Turn My Computer Off?

Registrations (except guest registrations) are valid for 1 year from the date of registration, so if you shut your computer off it is still registered and can use the network at anytime within the 1 year period.

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How Often Will I Have to Re-register the Same Computer/Device?

Registrations (except guest registrations) are valid for 1 year from the date of registration.

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Will I Receive a Notice When My Registration Is About to Expire?

Once the anniversary date approaches, a user will receive an e-mail notifying them to re-register their computer in order to maintain access to the network. This notification will include the MAC address of the machine that needs to be re-registered as well as the descriptive information about the machine that was entered when the system was registered.

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What If Someone Else Uses My Computer? Do They Have to Register It Too?

Once a computer is registered to the network anyone can use the computer to access the network. Registrations are done on an annual basis and once a computer is registered it can use the network until the next anniversary date. It makes no difference who is using the computer during the 1 year term.

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How Many Computers Can One Person Register on the Network?

There is no limit to the number of computers a user may register.

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If I Have Problems Registering, Who Can Help Me?

The IT Service Desk and your department’s computing support staff are available to assist anyone having a problem registering a computer. Please contact the IT Service Desk at 646-2999, send e-mail to, or contact your department's IT support office if you need assistance.

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How Do I Unregister a Computer?

Please contact the IT Service Desk at 646-2999, send e-mail to, or contact your department's IT support office if you need assistance unregistering a computer.

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Do I Need to Install Any Software on My Computer In Order to Register It?

There is no software required to use the registration system. Registration of computers is completed through the use of a web browser.

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Is There a Way to Support Guests?

This registration process only impacts the wired network. If a visitor requires network access and they use wireless, they can use the Dartmouth-Public wireless network. If a guest needs to access the wired network, any valid Dartmouth user can register the computer. A sponsor within a department can register a computer for a guest visitor. There will be a description field available so a sponsor can enter some information to identify sponsored computers later and subsequently have the sponsored computers deleted from the registration system. 

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I’m Registering Computers for My Department. How Do I Do That?

On the registration page there will be a box for supplying general information. For most users, it is a description of the machine they are registering so they can easily identify the device later. This space should be used by an individual that is registering lab computers; they should enter the contact information for the department. When the time comes to re-register the lab computers, the department contact will be notified.

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I Have a Computer Running Mac OS 9. How Do I Register?

You need to use Netscape Communicator since Internet Explorer 5 will not work. Also, within Netscape Communicator you will need to update the preferences to make sure that Javascript is disabled.

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I Was Not Prompted to Register. Is It Because I'm Running a VPN?

If you automatically start a VPN connection each morning, your computer will have connectivity via the VPN connection. You should disconnect from the VPN, then start your web browser and register your computer, then restart your VPN connection.

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 I Am Registering a Device to Be Used on the Network, But Not from That Device. The Registration Process Is Asking for the Hardware (MAC) Address. How Do I Find That?

This information should be found on the FCC label on any electronic device. On many devices (computers, game consoles, phones) it is found under the battery. It is often found in the format 00:00:00:00:00:00 - with the zeros being any combination of numbers and letters. Note that some manufacturers do not include the colons between the numbers.

On a Windows computer, you can also find the hardware address by clicking Start then Run. In the Open box type cmd and press Enter. In the window that appears, type ipconfig /all and press Enter. The hardware address is found in the "Physical Address" field in the "Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection" section.

On a Macintosh computer, you can find the hardware address by clicking About this Mac found under the Apple menu. Click More info, then Network in the Contents column that appears in the left side of the window. Click Built-in Ethernet in the Active Services column. The MAC address, along with other information, appears in the lower half of the window.

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Last Updated: 8/19/10