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General FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a wireless network? A wireless network uses transmitters, called access points, which connect by cable to the existing network. Access points positioned at various locations on campus allow our network to be more broadly and easily distributed. Your laptop with a wireless card communicates with these access points through the use of radio waves.

What do I need to connect to a wireless network? A mobile PC or PDA equipped with a wireless network card. User must install the network card latest updates and firmware. Make sure that you are close to an area where there is wireless connectivity. User also needs appropriate credentials (username and password).

I am a new student how can I find out my user name and password to use the wireless network? You can go to the Account Management page to find this information. After you enter the requested information you will see your user name and password. In order to log in to the BCC-WNET or BCC-NET you will only need to enter you user name and password.

Example:  

User name: john.doe
Password: XXXXXXX

Who to contact if my department want to have a wireless network? You can request assistance by calling the IT Network Office at 718-289-5752. They will gladly sit down with you to assist you with planning your wireless network. Please refer to the BCC Department FAQ for more information.

What types of wireless devices are supported by IT? We are using the Adtran access points for the rollout of Bronx Community College wireless system.

When can I use the wireless access? At any time the college is open. Unless there is an advertisement of wireless or network maintenance taking place.

Can wireless networks be used to replace wired networks? It is not to replace an existing wired network with a wireless network. Wireless networks are currently based on 11Mbps or 54Mbps and is a shared access medium. As you move away from the installed access point, the wireless access speed will drop automatically to compensate for the weaker signal. BCC wired network allows access for 100Mbps, depending on your building wire infrastructure.

Where is the wireless network on the BCC campus? Wireless coverage (see map) on the BCC campus is located in the following areas:
Faculty lounge - Language Hall basement
Community Hall – Colston Hall lower level

What is the speed of the wireless network on campus? The speed of the wireless network is 54mps; however access speed of the network depends on the technology use on the wireless network card. If the wireless network card only supports 11mbps, this will be the access speed of the network.

What is the wireless network best used for? The network is best used for applications that require mobility and for locations that are difficult or impossible to wire conventionally. It facilitates opportunities for research and education. It is also useful for other purposes such as checking e-mail or web browsing. Low bandwidth applications in general are the best fit. The limitations of the wireless system can cause unreliable service for applications that require high bandwidth usage.

What should I not use the wireless network for? Applications that require a lot of bandwidth should not be expected to run reliably over the wireless network. This would apply to things like streaming audio/video, running server based applications, large file transfers, and interactive graphic environments.

What wireless card should I be purchasing ? Although any Wi-Fi certified wireless card should interoperate with the Adtran wireless access points that will be used for the initial rollout, the client software diagnostics are usually manufacturer specific so the Cisco wireless card and software will provide the best diagnostic capability. The Technology Service Center will initially be prepared to support the Cisco or Dell Truemobile wireless cards and client software.

How secure is it? Wireless networks are insecure by default. Any user on the Wireless Local Area Network (LAN) can track unencrypted traffic from other wireless users. Wireless connections on Bronx Community College campus are generally more secure when communicating with other Bronx Community College servers, however when connecting to sites off-campus, only encrypted connections are secure. Users are advised to use SSL to connect to web pages and mail hosts.

For secure connections to the BCC-WNET and BCC-NET always accept the certificated issued as soon as the connection is made. This will ensure that your connection is encrypted. Remember, that although your connection is secure avoid submitting important information such as credit card or social security numbers.

Do I need to worry about security since we are using the built-in encryption on the card? 
Security should be a concern whether you are connecting via wire or wireless. We also require that you authenticate using your network username and password to allow only authorized users access to the network.

Are there any security measures being used on the Bronx Community College wireless network? Yes, we are using the built-in encryption on the wireless cards as well as authentication using your IT username and password. This means you will need a valid BCC user name and password. We are also using a centralized security measure to protect the data transmitted and received from and to a mobile computer.

How do I setup my PC/Mac laptop or mobile PC? See Wireless Standards. You will need user network ID and password to access this area.

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 network username, you can go to the Wireless Standards page to get the information or go to the Technology Service Center Make sure you are in an area where wireless has been setup. Troubleshoot your card using its manufacturer’s manual, to see if you are getting connected to an access point as this differs from organization to organization. If you are still having problems go to the Technology Service Center located in Roscoe Brown Student Center [BC], Room 308 or call @ extension 5970.

My card is now working, now what to I do? Open your Internet browser and you will be defaulted to the BCC Wireless network page for login. You will need your username and password.

How can I tell if I am connected? In an Apple/ Macintosh environment, an Airport Control Strip should appear. Green or black dots on the strip indicate the strength of the connection.
In a Windows environment, a small icon will appear on your system tray: Green bars indicate good connections, yellow bars indicate slower performance, and red bars indicate no performance at all. When you have slow or no performance, it is recommended that you move elsewhere.

What if I am still having problems getting it to work? Check the Troubleshooting page for more assistance. You can also call the Technology Service Center at 5970 or email @ tsc@bcc.cuny.edu from a wired location.

Where do I report problems and get help? For problems accessing the Wireless network, please call the Technology Service Center at 5970 or email @ tsc@bcc.cuny.edu from a wired location.

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