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Frequently Asked Questions About RIT's Wireless Network

What is the difference between the "rit" network and the "ritwpa2" network?

RIT's Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) wireless network requires that you authenticate, or log in, to connect. 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. However, the encryption for subsequent network traffic should not be considered the primary feature of the WPA network. The primary feature of WPA is to prevent unauthorized use of RIT resources, through authentication, so that the people who need to use the network do so with a high quality of service and safety. 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.

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 this service 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 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.