Wireless Overview Content

Wireless Network

Overview

RIT has an extensive wireless network which allows users to access the network from many public spaces and classrooms. RIT's wireless implementation, completed in August 2009, was one of the largest wireless deployments in North America. ITS has over 3,800 access points deployed across the campus, dorms, and apartments operating IEEE 802.11 AGN on 2.4 and 5GHz. Our network supports wireless protocols up to and including 802.11N.

Users have three available wireless networks that devices can connect to:

  • ritwpa2 - Preferred for all devices
  • rit - No Encryption, for devices without Enterprise Encryption (Game consoles and media streaming devices)
  • rit_guest - RIT's Guest Network for Visitors (Access to RIT Network Services are limited)

Most users connecting from a Windows, Mac OS, and Linux should connect to the wireless network ritwpa2. Game consoles and media streaming devices usually do not support WPA or WPA2 enterprise encryption. These devices will have to be manually registered on start.rit.edu and use wireless network rit

Students are not allowed to host their own wireless networks.

 

RITWPA2 Network

We strongly recommend that you configure your computer to connect to the “ritwpa2” network.

RIT's Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) wireless network requires that you authenticate, or log in, to connect; it is not an open network. It provides a level of additional security through encryption especially to allow you to safely login with your RIT computer account username and password of your wireless network transmissions.The primary feature of WPA2 is to prevent unauthorized use of RIT resources, through authentication, so that people who need to use the network do so with a high quality of service and safety. You should still be cautious about transmitting personally-identifiable or RIT's confidential information to Web sites and other systems that do not offer their own encryption, such as afforded by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) or other means. Both SSL and TLS, for example, are traditionally indicated as a lock icon in a Web browser window. If you currently use VPN to access campus applications when on the wireless network, please continue to do so with RITWPA2.

The RIT WPA network carries a different network name, "ritwpa2" instead of "rit" to distinguish it from the conventional RIT wireless network. The network name is also known as an SSID. Other than the login requirement and the addition of encryption, all other settings and specifications for the WPA network remain the same. You must still register your computer for the overall wireless network (although you only need to register it once to gain access to both the rit and ritwpa2 networks). The WPA2 network is available on all of RITs campus wireless access points in academic buildings, residence halls, and apartments: anywhere the rit network name is also broadcast.

 

Issues with WPA

ITS is currently transitioning the RIT wireless network to use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).

RIT’s Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) wireless network requires that you authenticate, or log in, to connect; it is not an open network. It provides a level of additional security through encryption, especially to allow you to safely login with your RIT computer account username and password, of your wireless network transmissions.

While most modern wireless network cards support the WPA standard (as well as WPA-2), some personally and institute-owned hardware may not. In some scenarios, your operating system may allow you to configure the appropriate settings even though the hardware will not function correctly, or vice versa.

 

Troubleshooting

If you are able to configure the appropriate settings but you still cannot connect to the RIT wireless network with WPA, we recommend that you attempt the following steps:

  1. Consult the manufacturer's documentation to determine if your wireless network card or adapter (which may be internal or even integral to your computer) supports WPA. Much of the information can be located on the vendor's Web site. If you discover your device doesn't support WPA you may want to consider purchasing one that does.
  2. Update your device driver software. Updating the device drivers can bring you added functionality, as well as alleviate known technical problems. You can locate the most up-to-date software from the company that manufactured your computer or its wireless network card. Some links to common vendors are:
  3. Contact ITS, your system administrator, or IT support organization for assistance if the self-help steps above.

 

Legacy Devices

ITS is continually attempting to move RIT network resources to a more secure model that will benefit the entire campus. During this transition we acknowledge that some devices may simply lack the capacity to utilize WPA.

The current unauthenticated "rit" SSID is still broadcast and will continue to be broadcast for the foreseeable future. However, it is our intention to limit access to the open network over time. Devices connecting to "rit" must be registered on the RIT network.

 

FAQs

How can I connect to the RIT WPA2 network?

In order to connect to RIT's wireless network, you must first have an active RIT Computer Account.

ITS Managed Computers will receive the RITWPA2 setting automatically. If you are unable to connect from an ITS Managed Computer, please contact ITS.

Mobile Devices:

iPhone / iPad / iPod

Android Phone / Tablet

Windows Computers

Windows 7

Windows 8 & RT

Mac Computers

Mac OS X 10.5-10.9


How does using an authenticated wireless network benefit me?

The primary feature of WPA2 is to prevent unauthorized use of RIT resources, through authentication, so that the members of the RIT community who need to use the network do so with a high quality of service and safety. So individuals without a RIT username and password cannot connect to the ritwpa2 network. It also provides a level of additional security through encryption of your wireless network transmissions.


Are there places on campus where a visitor can access wireless?

Visitors to campus can connect to the rit_guest wireless network in all campus buildings.  Please note that in order to register on the rit_guest network, visitors must be able to provide a 10 digit cell phone number that is capable of receiving text messages. 


Is RIT tracking my use of wireless?

The primary purpose of implementing authentication on the wireless network is to protect the resource. Network records are and will continue to be collected. The authentication information is one data point that will assist in identifying the source of network traffic and issues. RIT intends to use this information to manage network usage, not to track individuals who use the network.


Will connecting to Wireless netowrk serivce cost me anything?

No, there is no additional charge associated with this service.


What if my machine is not compatible with WPA2?

During this transition we acknowledge that some devices may simply lack the capacity to utilize WPA2. The current open authentication rit SSID and ritwpa are still broadcast and will continue to be broadcast for the foreseeable future. Users and administrators are required to apply for an exception through the ITS Service Desk to connect to the open network or WPA. We feel that it is in the community's best interest to transition as many devices as possible to the WPA2 network.


Will using WPA authentication "break" my access to any other service?

No, it should not interfere with any of your other settings as long as you do not delete any other networks you have configured.


May I use my own personal wireless router?

No, RIT Housing Operations now prohibits personal wireless routers. This excludes the RIT Inn and Conference center as well as Riverknoll Apartments as RIT wireless is not currently provided in those locations. Wired routers are still allowed, as are wireless routers that have the wireless radio disabled entirely.


Why does my computer sometimes get disconnected from the access point?

Certain appliances affect the transmissions from the access point, most often microwave ovens and cordless telephones.


What does the colored light on the access point mean?

Green means the access point is on and functioning properly. Blue means the access point is on, functioning properly, and has an active connection to one or more devices. If you see any other color and are unable to access a wireless network, please contact ITS Resnet or the ITS Service Desk.

 

Related Links

Connecting to Wireless (Desktop/Laptop OS

Connecting to Wireless (Game Consoles)

Note for media streaming devices

*Standard Messaging Rates Apply. RIT is not responsible for any mobile carrier charges. For more details visit:  RIT Network Code of Conduct

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ITS is the first point of contact for all your technology questions or issues.
In Person: Frank E. Gannett Hall, Room 1113
Phone: (585) 475-HELP [4357]
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