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PennNet Access Overview

PennNet is the University's gateway to a rich and ever-expanding variety of global information resources. This document gives an overview of how to connect to PennNet and the Internet. It covers on-campus Ethernet and wireless connections as well as off-campus connections. In addition, there are many computer labs available to faculty, staff, and students.

On-campus Ethernet connections

PennNet wall outlets in campus residences, Greek houses, and University offices provide high-speed Ethernet connections to PennNet and the Internet. In addition to an activated Ethernet wall outlet, Ethernet connectivity requires

  • A computer with Ethernet capability (newer computers have this capability built-in; older computers may require a card to be added)

  • An IP address and an appropriately configured TCP/IP software, which together identifiy your computer as a site on the Internet and enable you to use network client software to access information from services (servers) anywhere on the Internet. TCP/IP software is built-in to the operating system of Macs and Windows PCs. IP addresses in residences are assigned dynamically each time you connect your computer. LSPs provide fixed IP addresses for office computers.

  • A suite of network client software (for example, Web browsing software and e-mail software)

Once the necessary hardware and software are installed and configured, just open the appropriate network client and enter the address of the service you wish to reach. For example, to reach the Library, start your Web browser, enter in the browser's location field, and press Return.

See the Supported Products page for information regarding the recommended basic suite of networking software for Macintosh and Windows systems.

On-campus wireless connections

Wireless access is available in

Access requirements vary among locations, so check with your ITA, LSP, or School computing organization to find out what's available and how to participate. Some general access guidelines can be found on the Wireless at Penn web site.

Off-campus network connections

Penn faculty, staff, or off-campus students who need remote access to the Internet need to sign up with a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).

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