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Wireless Networking Frequently Asked Questions

COSTS

  • What do I need to buy and how much will it cost to use the Wireless Network?
  • How much will a Wireless Network cost if I want to install it in my department?
  • SERVICES

  • Can wireless networks be used to replace wired networks?
  • Who do I contact if my departments want to have a wireless network?
  • INSTALLATION

  • I.m having a problem with installing my wireless card, where can I get help?
  • I followed all of the instructions but the wireless still doesn't work.
  • My card is now working, now what to I do?
  • LOCATION

  • Where can I use my wireless PC on the Manoa campus?
  • Are there plans for expanding the wireless network on the Manoa campus?
  • Why do I need to authenticate again when I move to different areas of the wireless network?
  • SECURITY

  • Are there any security measures being used on the Manoa wireless network?
  • How do I configure my wireless software?
  • Do I need to worry about security since we are using the built-in encryption on the card?
  • What should I do to be better protected?
  • APPROVED DEVICES

  • What types of wireless devices are supported by ITS?
  • What wireless card should I be purchasing?
  • Are there any recommended brands of wireless cards?
  • What about Macintosh computers?
  •  

    COST

    What do I need to buy and how much will it cost to use the UH Manoa Wireless Network?

    You will need to purchase a wireless card that conforms to 802.11b specifications that is Wi-Fi certified. We are recommending the Orinoco cards as this has proven to perform the best with our access points.  We are working with vendors to find cards at reduced costs. Students and departments may purchase Orinoco (Silver or Gold) cards for under $100 via the State WSCA contract. GeminiTech, LLC is offering a Compaq OEM of the Orinoco Gold for under $100. Contact Jordan Wrenn for current pricing at GeminiTech, LLC at 843-1000. The UH Bookstore is selling the Orinoco Silver card  (Note that the original Orinoco comes with drives to support both the PC and Macintosh).

    For Apple powerbooks with the Airport slot, you can purchase the Airport card from the Apple Store, http://www.hawaii.edu/bkstore/Applestore.html, for under $100.

    For Powerbooks without the Airport slot but have a PCMCIA slot, you can use the Orinoco card.

    How much will a Wireless Network cost if I want to install it in my department?

    There is no easy answer to this question. There are many factors which go into designing a Wireless Network such as the materials used in your building, area of coverage, the number of users, other wireless networks in the building, etc. ITS strongly recommends that you contact the ITS Telecom Office at 956-6033 for assistance.

    SERVICES

    Can wireless networks be used to replace wired networks?

    It usually not a good idea to replace an existing wired network with a wireless network. Wireless networks are currently based on 11Mbps and is a shared access medium. Also as you move further away from your access point, the wireless speed will drop automatically to compensate for the weaker signal. With planned upgrades to the Manoa network you will be able to get 100Mbps, depending on your building wire infrastructure.

    Who do I contact if my departments want to have a wireless network?

    You can request assistance by calling the ITS Telecom Office at 956-6033. They will gladly sit down with you to assist you with planning your wireless network.

    INSTALLATION

    I.m having a problem with setting up my wireless card, where can I get help?

    You will need certain information for setting up the software for your wireless card.  With your valid ITS username, you can go to the Wireless Access page to get the information or go to the ITS Help Desk. Make sure you are in an area that your computer can connect to a access point. Check with your wireless card manual on how to tell if you are getting connected to an access point as this differs from company to company. If you are still having problems go to the ITS Help Desk in Keller 105 for assistance.

    I followed all of the instructions but the wireless still doesn't work.

    If your notebook comes with a built-in wireless card there may be a button/switch to turn on and off the wireless. This feature allows you to turn off the wireless to extend the battery life of your notebook. Check your notebook documentation on how to use the built-in wireless.

    My card is now working, now what to I do?

    When in an area where you get a connection to a access point, start your browser (Netscape or Internet Explorer) and you should see a page "YOU ARE BEING CONNECTED" then the USG Authentication page.  Enter your valid ITS username and password.  You will have access to the network once you have completed authenticating .

    LOCATION

    Where can I use my wireless PC on the Manoa campus?

    As part of the initial rollout of the ITS wireless Network, wireless access points have been installed on the Manoa campus to serve the Mall area fronting the Paradise Palms Café (across from Keller Hall) and extending to Varney Circle. A general coverage map can be found at Wireless Map.

    Are there plans for expanding the wireless network on the Manoa campus?

    Yes, as we rollout the new Manoa network we will be able to expand the coverage of the wireless network. This is due to the fact that the wireless is placed on a separate Virtual LAN (VLAN) to segregate the network traffice and allow authentication measures to be implemented. ITS will initially concentrate on coverage for the common areas of the Manoa campus to provide network connectivity where no wired connectivity exists.

    Why do I need to authenticate again when I move to different areas of the wireless network?

    The wireless network is setup in what are called zones. Each zone is managed by its own authentication systems. As you move from one zone to another, you will need to authenticate to the new zone. The zone areas will probably change as we fine tune the wireless network once we start to have people using the network.

    SECURITY

    Are there any security measures being used on the Manoa wireless network?

    Yes, we are using the built-in encryption on the wireless cards as well as authentication using your ITS username and password. This means you will need a valid ITS account and know the proper Network Name and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) key to use the wireless network.

    How do I configure my wireless software?

    If you have a UH Username, the wireless "network name" and password can be found by logging in to the UH Account Management system at http://www.hawaii.edu/account. Once you log in to the Account Management system, look for the link titled "UHM Wireless Network Settings". Clicking on that link will give you the wireless network name and password.

    Otherwise, if you are a visitor who has been sponsored through the Visitors Internet Access (VIA) for UH site please visit https://www.hawaii.edu/via/password.php to retrieve the wireless "network name" and password.

    Do I need to worry about security since we are using the built-in encryption on the card?

    Yes, you should always be concerned about security whether you are connecting via wire or wireless. We also require that you authenticate using your ITS username and password to allow only authorized users access to the network.

    What should I do to be better protected?

    You should be using end-to-end security such as ssl and ssh  for both wireless and wired networks.  You can commonly find ssl working in your web browser when it displays the padlock.  The padlock shows that you have a secured connect to the website you are visiting.  If you need to telnet to a site, you should be using a ssh software instead of a simple telnet software.  You can get a copy of a ssh client from the following locations:

    APPROVED DEVICES

    What types of wireless devices are supported by ITS?

    We are using the Orinoco access points for the rollout of Manoa wireless system.

    What wireless card should I be purchasing?

    Although any Wi-Fi certified wireless card should interoperate with the Orinoco wireless access points that will be used for the initial rollout, the client software diagnostics are usually manufacturer specific so the Orinoco wireless card and software will provide the best diagnostic capability. The ITS Help Desk will initially be prepared to support the Orinoco wireless cards and client software.

    Are there any recommended brands of wireless cards?

    At this point the only card that we have fully support and recommend are the Orinoco wireless cards. In our small comparison thus far, the Orinoco card has shown to provide better performance than other cards. Other brands that we found to work can be seen at About Wireless Cards. We will continue to update this list as we complete our testing. Note that the Compaq (OEM verison of Orinoco Gold) card performed just as well as the original Orinoco Gold. But the Compaq card does not come with the software to support the Macintosh computers.

    What about Macintosh computers?

    The Orinoco cards will work with both PCs and Macs.