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Frequently Asked Questions about Dartmouth's Wireless Network

How Secure Am I?

It depends on which network you connect to.

  • Dartmouth Secure will encrypt data being transmitted between your computer and the wireless access point you are connected to. This is the most secure wireless network at Dartmouth.
  • Dartmouth Library Public is unencrypted, but if you are using this network and you start a VPN connection, the data being transmitted will be encrypted.
  • Dartmouth Public is unencrypted, but if you are using this network and you start a VPN connection, the data being transmitted will be encrypted.

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What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Computer's Configuration to Use the Wireless Network?

People using the Dartmouth Secure wireless network will need to provide their Dartmouth NetID and password the first time they are configuring Dartmouth Secure on their computer. See Configuring Your Computer to Use Dartmouth's Wireless Network for additional information.

People using the Dartmouth Library Public or Dartmouth Public wireless networks will need to select the network if it is not the default on their computer. It is important to note that the Dartmouth Library network is only available within the on-campus Libraries. The Dartmouth Public network does not allow access to resources restricted to Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students, unless a VPN connection is also started.

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I Share a Computer with Someone Else. What User Name and Password Should I Enter When Running the Setup Wizard for Dartmouth Secure?

If you each log into the shared computer with your own user name and password, the access to the Dartmouth Secure network that you set up will only be for your login. If you all log into the shared computer using the same user name and password, everyone who logs in with those credentials will use the user name and password to access the Dartmouth Secure network that was entered when it was first set up. In this situation, we recommend using a departmental user name and password for the Dartmouth Secure set up.  

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I Am a Dartmouth Faculty, Staff, or Student. How Do I Use the Wireless Network?

Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students should all use the Dartmouth Secure wireless network (SSID). This is an authenticated and encrypted network that allows you access to Dartmouth resources.

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How Do Alumni, Guests, Seminar Participants, or Members of the Public Use the Wireless Network?

Alumni, guests, seminar participants, and members of the public should select the Dartmouth Public wireless network (SSID). No authentication is required to use this network. After you start a web browser and click Continue, you will be routed to a public Internet Service Provider (ISP) for access to the Internet.

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I Am On Campus to Use the Dartmouth Libraries. How Do I Use the Wireless Network?

Patrons of the on-campus libraries can use the Dartmouth Library Public wireless network (SSID). No authentication will be required. This SSID only exists in the on-campus buildings that house the Dartmouth libraries.

  • If you have trouble connecting to the Dartmouth Library Public network, each of the libraries has prepared a handout with information on how to connect. It is available at the Information or Reference desk of the library you are visiting.

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I Don't Want to Authenticate to a Wireless Network. What Can I Use?

The wireless network named Dartmouth Public does not require authentication. Users will be routed to a public ISP for access to the Internet.

  • Note that some Dartmouth services (e.g. GreenPrint, some library resources, etc.) will not be available to you if you use Dartmouth Public.

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I Run Linux. How Do I Connect to Dartmouth Secure?

Dartmouth Secure uses open standards, such as 802.1x with WPA2 and PEAP. These standards are supported by the latest versions of Linux. However, not all Linux systems are alike; some have graphical tools to use these standards, while others require you to use command line configurations. There are many user groups on the Internet that may be able to help you determine the correct configuration for your Linux operating system and hardware. The most commonly reported problem is with out-of-date or unavailable hardware drivers. 

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What Is an SSID?

SSID stands for "service set identifier" and is the unique name given to each wireless network. Many wireless networks will broadcast their SSIDs so that users can see the names on their computers and determine which one to connect to.

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Which SSID Should I Use?

People accessing the wireless network at Dartmouth should choose from the following SSIDs:

  • Dartmouth Secure is intended to be the primary wireless network used on campus by Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students. Connections made to this network will require authentication, and will encrypt data between the computer and the wireless access point. A Dartmouth NetID and password will be required to authenticate to this network. Devices using this network will have a private IP address of 10.xxx.xxx.xxx while on campus, and will have a public Dartmouth IP address of 129.170.xxx.xxx when connecting to resources that are off campus. Any resources that require a Dartmouth IP address will allow connections from this network.
  • Dartmouth Library Public is intended to provide access to Dartmouth's Library resources for people who are on the Dartmouth campus, but who are not current Dartmouth faculty, staff, or students. It is only available in buildings that house one of Dartmouth's libraries. This is an unauthenticated, unencrypted wireless network. Devices using this network will have a private IP address of 10.xxx.xxx.xxx while on campus, and will have a public Dartmouth IP address of 129.170.xxx.xxx when connecting to resources that are off campus. Any resources that require a Dartmouth IP address will allow connections from this network.
  • Dartmouth Public is intended to provide Internet access for people who are on the Dartmouth campus, but who are not current Dartmouth faculty, staff, or students. This includes alumni, conference participants, and guests. This is an unauthenticated, unencrypted wireless network. The connection to the Internet is provided by an outside Internet Service Provider (ISP). Devices using this network will have a private IP address of 10.xxx.xxx.xxx while on campus, but will have a non-Dartmouth IP address when connecting to resources that are off campus. This means that any resources that require a Dartmouth IP address – including Library resources – will not be accessible from this network, unless a VPN session is started first.
  • Kiewit Voice is used for wireless IP phones and is maintained specifically for that use.

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I Can't Connect to the Dartmouth Secure Network. What Is Causing This Problem?

There are a number of possible reasons:

  • You changed the password associated with your Dartmouth NetID and your wireless configuration on your machine did not get updated. Try re-running the Dartmouth Secure configuration script to correct the problem.
  • The wireless network management software your computer is using may not be configured correctly. Try re-running the Dartmouth Secure configuration script to correct the problem.

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What Will Happen to My Wireless Connection As I Roam Around Campus?

It depends on how far you roam. There are twelve major sections of the wireless network across campus. If you happen to move from one section to another, you will need to re-authenticate - although this should be transparent to you. If you stay within the same section, you will maintain your connection.

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Can I Set Up My Own Access Point?

No. Access points set up by others on campus can interfere with the access points owned and maintained by Dartmouth.

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Last Updated: 8/21/13