Wireless Internet

What are Digital Certificates?

Digital certificates are electronic files that are used to uniquely identify people and resources over networks such as the Internet. Digital certificates also enable secure, confidential communication between two parties. When you travel to another country, your passport provides a universal way to establish your identity and gain entry. Digital certificates provide similar identification in the electronic world. Certificates are issued by a trusted third party called a Certification Authority (CA). Much like the role of the passport office, the role of the CA is to validate the certificate holders' identity and to "sign" the certificate so that it cannot be forged or tampered with. Once a CA has signed a certificate, the holder can present their certificate to people, Web sites, and network resources to prove their identity and establish encrypted, confidential communications. A certificate typically includes a variety of information pertaining to its owner and to the CA that issued it, [including] the validity period (or lifetime) of the certificate (a start and an end date). From' Understanding Digital Certifications and Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS), by Alan MacPhee. Jan. 2001 http://www.entrust.net/ssl-resources/pdf/understanding_wtls.pdf

How do I update my certificate?

Device

Steps to update:

iPhone/iPad

iOS will see that a different certificate is being presented. It will display to you the updated information and ask for you to accept the changes.

Android

This varies per device / software level. It will hopefully ask you to update the certificate by showing you the new information. If not, you can run Cloudpath or forget and re-add SacLinkSecure.

Mac OSX

OSX will warn that the certificate has changed and ask you to see the Network Administrator.

You have three options:

  1. Run Cloudpath ahead of the change to avoid the problem
  2. Remove the network configuration and then re-join SacLinkSecure
  3. Use the SacLink open SSID, and click on the "Automatic Setup" to run Cloudpath to fix the problem

Windows

Windows should warn of a new certificate, it may just provide a "Thumb Print" of the new certificate to use.

Who can access the wireless networks on campus?

Valid SacLink account holders can access the SacLink Secure wireless network. Laptop computers, mobile phones, tablet computers and other 802.11 enabled devices can connect. Valid SacLink account holders should connect to the SacLink Secure wireless network. For directions on how to connect to the SacLink Secure wireless network while on campus, click on About Wireless below. If you don't not have a valid SacLink account you can access the SacLink wireless network, which was intended for guest access.

Additional Resources:

Students, faculty, staff and others with a valid SacLink account should always connect to the SacLink Secure network. The SacLink Secure network is faster and encrypted, which enhances the safety of your data transmission on the network. Use your SacLink username and password to gain access. 

Additional Resources:

Visit the IRT Service Desk (AIRC 2005) for any additional wireless networking assistance you might need.

Where is the wireless networking?

The wireless network is installed in all state owned buildings and additional coverage is available throughout most of the campus. Signal strength is dependent on campus location.  You can visit the Wireless Location page to find all coverage locations. 

Additional Resources:

You're getting a new device, or you want to upgrade your existing wireless adapter, what should you look for?

The best bet right now is to get a wireless card with that supports all the options out there, typically listed on the box as "a/b/g/n".

What does all that mean?

b/g runs in the 2.4 Ghz frequency, officially known as 802.11b/g a runs in the 5 Ghz frequency, officially known as 802.11a. n is an enhancement to both a and b/g, its supported across campus and is worth getting. You need to watch out though, some boxes simply say "N", and that typically means 2.4 Ghz space only. Make sure you see that it covers both a and b/g, again, you should see "a/b/g/n" on the box. b/g is the most common, and has the widest coverage on campus, it is also the busiest and most constrained/congested. a has wide coverage across campus, about 90% of the b/g, but is much less congested and more efficient and faster. Having a wireless card that does both, gives you the best of both worlds. The wireless cards automatically swap between 2.4 and 5 Ghz as they search for the best connection.

What about the new standard, 802.11ac?

It advertised as backwards compatible with our current network, check to make sure it does support a/b/g/n. The only risk is that 802.11ac is new and still maturing, but they should work on campus just fine, but we have not yet tested any 802.11ac units. We will be piloting a few high usage areas with 802.11ac as it becomes feasible. Getting an 802.11ac card now might give your new device a little extra life down the road.

Are USB wireless cards ok?

Absolutely, but again, make sure they have "a/b/g/n" listed, or 802.11ac.

What about older 802.11b adapters?

We no longer support 802.11b, we have seen very little use of cards that are b only, and supporting the b only cards causes performance issues, so make sure that any card / device you buy has at least "g" capability.

How does the automatic wireless configuration process through XpressConnect by Cloudpath work?

The automatic setup feature for the SacLink Secure Wireless Network uses a tool called XpressConnect by Cloudpath to automatically configure your network settings. Once configured, your device will automatically connect to the SacLink Secure network whenever you’re on campus. Your SacLink Username and Password information will be saved in your settings so that you will not need to log in each time your device connects to SacLink Secure.

When running the XpressConnect, you may be presented with prompts to start/continue/finish the configuration process along the way. You may also be prompted to accept a certificate; if you see this certificate prompt, please accept the certificate so the process will complete successfully. The configuration process will also require you to enter your SacLink Username and Password which will then be saved so they won’t need to be entered each time you connect to the network.

Please note that your device may also require you to enter the account information used to log in to the device in order to start the configuration process.