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Using the UA Wireless Network

The University currently has a wireless network available in many areas across campus. To use this network, you must have a computer with a wireless network adapter. Over the next year, the UA WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) wireless network will be implemented to provide a higher level of security for wireless connections. Wireless guest accounts are available.

Setting up Your Wireless Connection

You should always follow the instructions that came with either your computer or your wireless network adapter to set up your connection. The following is a brief summary of how to configure your computer to use your wireless adapter to connect to the network.

Windows 7

Most software provided for wireless adapters places a connection icon in the task tray (bottom right of your screen, next to the clock). Help for setting up a wireless connection is available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/View-and-connect-to-available-wireless-networks. Clicking or right-clicking this icon allows you to monitor your wireless signal strength as well as open the wireless connection window.

You may also find the wireless connection window by going to “Network and Sharing Center” (from Control Panel on the Start menu) and under “View your basic network information and set up connections,” there should be an icon for your wireless connection; double-click on it.

The wireless connection window (which may have a slightly different name, depending on the manufacturer of your wireless network adapter) will allow you to view all publicly-broadcast wireless networks available. If more than one is listed, select the network named according to your physical location (i.e. Ferguson Center). You will not need to enter a WEP key.

To connect to the campus wireless network, you will have to register using a Bama account and password. When opening any website, you will get a page requesting your Bama account information, and the next page will give information about how to proceed.

The wireless network allows you to surf the Web and do e-mail. To use other Internet applications, such as FTP or SSH, or to secure your connection, you must connect to the University’s VPN.

Macintosh OS X

Start your wireless network setup by going to the System Preferences and choosing “Network.” There should be a drop-down menu labeled “Show.” If your wireless (or Airport) card is listed, select it.  If it is not listed, select “Network Port Configurations,” turn on your card, and then select it from the drop-down menu. If there is no wireless or Airport card listed under Network Port Configurations, it has not been installed correctly.

On the TCP/IP tab, make sure that “Using DHCP” is selected for “Configure.” You can leave the rest blank. Go to the “Airport” tab. Select “Join network with best signal” and “Show Airport status in menu bar.” Make sure that “Allow this computer to create networks” isnot checked. Click “Apply Now” and close System Preferences.

You will then have an Airport status indicator next to your clock in the menu bar. You may use it to turn Airport connectivity on and off.

To connect to the campus wireless network, you will have to register using a Bama account and password. When opening any website, you will get a page requesting your Bama account information, and the next page will give information about how to proceed.

The wireless network allows you to surf the Web and do e-mail. To use other Internet applications, such as FTP or SSH, or to secure your connection, you must connect to the University’s VPN.

Creating your VPN connection

Once you have connected to the University’s wireless network, you may surf the Web or do e-mail. If you need additional connectivity, or if you want to secure your wireless connection, you need to connect to the University’s VPN (vpn.ua.edu) over your wireless network connection.

You must have a valid myBama account to connect to the VPN. Separate instructions are available to help you connect.

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