Wireless Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About Pervasive Wireless
Using UofL's Pervasive Wireless Network (ulsecure)
Using UofL's Guest Access Wireless Network (ulopen)
Pervasive wireless is a term used to describe wireless access that is available almost anywhere. At UofL, pervasive wireless means you can use your wireless devices in most indoor and outdoor spaces on all three campuses.
The pervasive wireless network is available for all UofL students, faculty, staff and their guests.
Is UofL's pervasive wireless network secure?
UofL pervasive wireless uses the most recent authentication and encryption methods to provide an improved level of security and performance. Those methods are WiFi protected access 2 (WPA2) and advanced encryption standard (AES). Additionally, all users are required to log in with their ULink user ID and password. These safeguards ensure the security of UofL’s pervasive wireless network. It is important to use the same safe computing practices regardless of how you are connected to the Internet (wired or wireless). These practices include running antivirus and spyware protection.
While all you need to connect to wireless is an active ULink account, an 802.11a/g/n wireless capable device and be within range of a wireless access point. IT recommends users who are purchasing laptops purchase wireless cards that are dual band capable. Make sure the wireless adapter is Wi-Fi certified. You can find a list of Wi-Fi certified wireless cards online (this link will navigate you away from UofL's web site).
Find step-by-step instructions on IT's Wireless Configuration Guide web page.
I followed the instructions, but I still cannot connect to the pervasive wireless network. What now?
- Make sure you are in a wireless location.
- If you are in a wireless location, follow the Troubleshooting wireless at UofL If you are still unable to connect, contact the HelpDesk at 852-7997 or bring your wireless device to iTech Connect in the lowest level of Miller IT Center.
Students, faculty and staff use the "ulsecure" network. Guests use the "ulopen" network.
The "ulsecure" network is encrypted and requires user log in. The "ulopen" network is non-encrypted and requires UofL faculty or staff to request access for the guest user . Data sent over the non-encrypted "ulopen" network is in clear text and can be easily viewed by others. The "ulopen" network should not be considered secure for sensitive business such as online banking, online purchasing, and sending/receiving personally identifiable information and protected health information.
Due to the roaming nature of wi-fi/wireless (it is a mobile technology, after all), the dynamic load balancing nature of the lightweight AP protocol, and for security reasons, it is not possible to get a campus static wireless IP address. We have implemented policies on ulopen, and ulsecure SSIDs to disallow static IP addresses.
The connection attempt could not be completed
The Credentials provided by the server could not be validated. We recommend that you terminate the connection and contact your administrator with the information provided in the details. You may still connect but doing so exposes you to security risk by a possible rogue server.
The security alert lets you know that the server you are connecting to is not necessarily a trusted source. You can connect to the ulsecure network by confirming that you are connecting to a UofL server and trusting the VeriSign security certificate. To do this:
Open the Details for the security message
Confirm that the Radius Server is rad1.auth.louisville.edu
Confirm that the Root CA is VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority – G5
If the above matches the certificate details displayed on your computer, then you can safely click Connect and use the ulsecure wireless network.
If the Radius Server is not rad1.auth.louisville.edu OR the Root CA isn't VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority – G5, click Terminate and contact the UofL Help Desk at email@example.com or 502-852-7997
What is wireless guest access?
The UofL Pervasive Wireless network includes a guest wireless network (ulopen). UofL faculty or staff must request access for the guest user. Data sent over the non-encrypted "ulopen" network is in clear text and can be easily viewed by others. The "ulopen" network should not be considered secure for sensitive business such as online banking, online purchasing, and sending/receiving personally identifiable information and protected health information. Guests are encouraged to make use of any VPN resources provided by their own institutions for network data protection.
Any guest at UofL who has a faculty/staff member to sponsor their access.
There are no fees associated with the guest wireless network (ulopen).
No. Students should use their ULink user ID and password to log in to the the secure wireless network (ulsecure). Data sent over the non-encrypted "ulopen" network is in clear text and can be easily viewed by others. The "ulopen" network should not be considered secure for sensitive business such as online banking, online purchasing, and sending/receiving personally identifiable information and protected health information.
Wireless is designed for use by 802.11 wireless-capable devices such as those that have a built-in wireless chipset or a wireless network interface card (NIC).
An access point is a single wireless Ethernet device serving a small area. The access point is the "starting point" for wireless service. It functions as a bridge between wireless devices and the Internet.
The signal range for an access point on UofL Pervasive Wireless is roughly 150 feet indoors. Coverage area will vary depending upon physical obstructions in the area.
A wireless LAN (local area network) is networking without wires. It is ideal for laptop users who want to remain mobile while accessing common LAN-based applications like email, Web browsing, and accessing multi-user databases and applications (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.).
Wireless LANs transmit and receive data over the air using radio frequency technology. In wireless local area networking, a device called an access point (which is hard-wired to a computer network itself) broadcasts a signal to the surrounding area. Any device that is equipped with a wireless networking card can receive that signal and communicate with the access point, and through it, with the rest of the network.
The speed will vary, and likely will never approach the speed of a wired connection using modern technology. Performance speeds of up to 54Mbps and up to 150Mbps may be possible, though in a shared environment, and is dependent upon the client type and wireless service type (a, g or n) availability.
Advantages of the central wireless system include:
- The ability to roam between access points, even between buildings.
- Guest access, with separate controls on available services.
- Central firewalling and intrusion detection/prevention for the wireless system.
- Wireless access is tunneled back to a central point, so wireless users don't automatically become a part of the local network in a given building. This provides a layer of protection for servers and staff workstations.
- Central management and reporting of all access points. The management features include automatic power level and channel adjustments, mapping of signal strength and coverage, rogue AP detection, automated distribution of software updates, and more.
These and other features allow a large, campus-wide deployment to have greater management options and access controls.