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Frequently Asked Questions: AirPennNet-Guest

  • How secure is my wireless connection on AirPennNet-Guest?
  • How often do I need to log into the AirPennNet-Guest network?
  • I’m a student, staff member or faculty member of Penn, can I use AirPennNet-Guest?
  • My browser will not redirect to the AirPennNet-Guest logon page. What is causing this?
  • I can see the "AirPennNet-Guest" network just fine, but I can't reach websites or e-mail. What's wrong?
  • If AirPennNet-Guest coverage is available everywhere but in residential halls, why is it possible to receive its signal in some residential areas?
  • It is tough to authenticate to AirPennNet-Guest using my PDA. Would it be appropriate to save my password in an application which authenticates me whenever I walk into a AirPennNet-Guest area?
  • I have a large number of guests that are visiting Penn for an onsite conference. How can I ensure that AirPennNet-Guest network will have enough IP addresses for my guests?
  • Regarding events or conferences, which service will work best for me, AirPennNet-Guest, or should I sponsor a guest?

  • Q: How secure is my wireless connection on AirPennNet-Guest?
    A:

    The initial connection to AirPennNet-Guest is encrypted during the registration process when a user is required to login using his or her PennKey and Password. All subsequent connectivity is unencrypted from the AP to the end device. Exceptions to this would be if you make use of  applications with protocols that encrypt the data stream such as SSL or a VPN. If you are not sure, it is highly recommended that no confidential transactions be performed over the AirPennNet-Guest network. For example, it is not recommended that you use AirPennNet-Guest to access Penn In Touch, U@Penn, or other services that provide confidential information such as your grades, salary, or other personal information.

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    Q: How often do I need to log into the AirPennNet-Guest network?
    A:

    Login data lasts one week from the time a user registered.

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    Q: Iím a student, staff member or faculty member at Penn. Can I use AirPennNet-Guest?
    A:

    Technically you can use the AirPennNet-Guest service. However, The service is limited and does not offer the security that users experience while using AirPennNet. Therefore it is highly recommended that you use AirPennNet as your primary wireless service while on campus.

    If you have a device that does not support 802.1x, you should use the AirPennNet-Guest wireless network. It is also intended for visitors to Penn who do not have administrative access to install 802.1x supplicant.

    Lastly, AirPennNet-Guest is not operational in the residence halls.

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    Q: My browser will not redirect to the AirPennNet-Guest logon page. What's going on?
    A:

    The solution may be something as simple as changing your home page setting. If your home page is set to a secure web page (a page with a url that starts with "https://"), then AirPennNet-Guest will be unable to redirect your browser to our logon page. Changing your home page setting to a non-protected page should correct this problem.

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    Q: I can see the "AirPennNet-Guest" network just fine, but I can't reach web sites or e-mail. What's wrong?
    A:

    First make sure you've registered your wireless device using your valid PennKey.

    Next, make sure that you have opened a web browser and registered your machine.

    Finally, check your network configuration and make sure you are configured to connect via DHCP, and fields for DNS are left blank. DNS information, which is responsible for routing networking requests to the Internet, is automatically served to you via DHCP when you connect to AirPennNet. For assistance in checking these configurations, please contact your support provider.

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    Q: If AirPennNet-Guest coverage is available everywhere but in residential halls, why is it possible to receive its signal in some residential areas?
    A:

    AirPennNet-Guest is everywhere we originally had Wireless-PennNet.  We did not install AirPennNet-Guest in the Residence Halls. However, some Residence Halls are very close to buildings where we have AirPennNet Guest, so there is likely some overlap of the radio signals:

    • Hill House is adjacent to SEAS, DRL, and McNeil Center
    • Kings/English is near Law
    • Franklin Annex, the  Quad is near BioMed Library and Goddard
    • The Quad and High Rises are close to the Vet School
    • Gregory is close to the Dental School

    We can't limit the Guest network coverage without affecting AirPennNet coverage.  It's possible you may have better signal if the adjacent building's AP is physically closer than the AP in the Residence Hall. (The AP or Access Point acts as a central transmitter and receiver of WLAN radio signals.)

    To help illustrate this, take a look at the coverage map for wireless on campus.

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    Q: It is tough to authenticate to AirPennNet-Guest using my PDA. Would it be appropriate to save my password in an application which authenticates me whenever I walk into a AirPennNet-Guest area?
    A:

    We recommend against this approach because of the risk it poses to the security of your individual PennKey. More and more applications at Penn use your PennKey for access to personal data, including U@Penn (salary & benefits), Penn InTouch (course registration and grades). Your PennKey is also tied to network activity, so a stolen PennKey has the potential to associate the owner with malicious activity.

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    Q: I have a large number of guests that are visiting Penn for an onsite conference. How can I ensure that AirPennNet-Guest network will have enough IP addresses for my guests?
    A:

    ISC N&T can assist with network planning for your onsite event. We will need to increase the IP subnet range to accommodate the required number of users in the area(s) that support your event. Its best to give us 3 to 5 business days notice so that we can plan appropriately. ISC will work with you to ensure that IP expansion is in place and then removed for the start and completion of your event. Note that the requestor will need to provide a budget code for the work and for additional IP addresses during the time of the event. These requests should be sent to Service-Requests@isc.upenn.edu.

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    Q: Regarding events or conferences, which service will work best for me, AirPennNet-Guest, or should I sponsor a guest?
    A:

    This depends on the size of the event, the guests' length of stay, and if they will require Penn IDís. If your guest's stay with the University of Pennsylvania is more than one week, or requires more than one week's access to AirPennNet-Guest, it is highly recommended that you work with him or her to obtain a Guest Pennkey and password. Please see http://www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey/guest/index.html for more information on sponsored guest Pennkeys. However, the Sponsored Access service provides the ability for any Penn affiliate to register a visitor for access to the AirPennNet-Guest wireless network.

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