Wireless Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About Pervasive Wireless
Using UofL's Guest Access Wireless Network (ulsponsor)
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.
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.
Contact Information Technology Communication Services through the or contact the IT HelpDesk at 502-852-7997 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 "ulsponsor" network.
The "ulsecure" network is encrypted and requires user log in. The "ulsponsor" network is non-encrypted and requires UofL faculty or staff to . Data sent over the non-encrypted "ulsponsor" network is in clear text and can be easily viewed by others. The "ulsponsor" 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.
Probably not. At this time, Information Technology is not aware of any printers that are compatible with UofL wireless.
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 ulsponsor, 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 AddTrust security certificate. To do this:
Open the Details for the security message
Confirm that the Radius Server is PositiveSSL Multi-Domain
Confirm that the Root CA is Add Trust External CA Root
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 PositiveSSL Multi-Domain or the Root CA isn't AdTrust External CA Root, click Terminate and contact the UofL Help Desk at email@example.com or 502-852-7997
The UofL Pervasive Wireless network includes a guest wireless network (ulsponsor). UofL faculty or staff must. Data sent over the non-encrypted "ulsponsor" network is in clear text and can be easily viewed by others. The "ulsponsor" 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 (ulsponsor).
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 "ulsponsor" network is in clear text and can be easily viewed by others. The "ulspnsor" 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).
Apple TVs & Chromecast are designed for, and work well in, simple home networks. They do not work across IP address subnets. On the UofL wireless network, devices are likely in different subnets and will not be able to communicate. Many universities are experiencing the same issue with Apple TV & Chromecast. See the Apple TV & for more information and technical explanations
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.
A rogue access point is a wireless access point that has been installed on the UofL network without explicit authorization from UofL Network Services.
Rogue access points on campus present several issues:
- Security risk
- Radio Interference with UofL wireless access points
- Diminished effectiveness of the UofL Wi-Fi, impacting service to everyone nearby
From a security perspective, a rogue access point can allow unauthorized users and devices on the UofL network. Additionally, a rogue access point can be used by a hacker to conduct a man-in-the-middle attack and steal user information.
From a radio interference aspect, UofL wireless access points are all linked together in order to maximize wireless channel use and radio power levels. UofL Wi-Fi access points will communicate with each other and coordinate channel use to avoid CCI (Co-Channel Interference) and radio power levels to maximize coverage and minimize signal overlap. UofL Wi-Fi is especially tuned to service a high number of wireless clients at high speeds. Personal access points diminish the effectiveness of the UofL Wi-Fi in those areas, impacting Wi-Fi service to all around them.
For example, in the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi frequency, there are only 3 useable (non-overlapping) channels (1, 6 & 11). When a rogue access point is activated, it takes up one or more of these channels, eliminating at least 33% of the usable channels (bandwidth). Additionally, since rogue access points do not coordinate with UofL wireless access points, they turn their radio power all the way up and essentially 'shout' over the UofL Wi-Fi, interfering with UofL radio signals. This is analogous to trying to have many people in the same room shouting over each other and makes communication less efficient and less effective for everyone.
In order to service the high number of clients on campus, UofL Wireless Network has been designed and optimized for high speed communications which allows the wireless clients to get on and off the air very quickly, freeing up the radio to talk to other clients. The personal access points are designed to maximize compatibilities and support many older low speed protocols (such as 802.11b) which take significant more airtime, resulting in less available airtime for other wireless devices.