A Guide to the Wireless Network
in the Residence Halls

Note!    Step-by-step instructions for connecting many popular computers, tablets, and smartphones are available on the "How to..." web page.

Wireless network now available in all on-campus residences
During the Summer of 2010, the University completed the installation of a wireless network system in the main-campus residence halls. You should be able to receive a "WiFi" signal in all areas of your suite or bedroom, and in most laundry rooms and meeting rooms, and even some areas outside of the buildings. We hope that you enjoy using the new wireless system, find it convenient, and find ways to use it to enhance your learning experience at the University.

 

Important!!!
You may not operate your own wireless network on campus. See "Limitations" below.

 

How to connect most computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones
(Note: These instructions describe how to connect to the University's more secure WPA-2 Enterprise network. If you have a game console, or an older computer that does not support WPA-2 Enterprise networks, you can try connecting to our WEP network as described in section near the end of this document titled "Connecting via WEP."

Most computers and WiFi-capable devices will automatically "see" the network. Look for and select the network on your computer or device named "hawknet."

Network name:     hawknet

The computer or device will then ask for a Username and a Password. Enter your University of Hartford email name (only -- without the "@hartford.edu" part) and your email password.

If your computer or device displays a message about the network's security certificate, click "Ok" or "Continue" as prompted.

Your computer is now connected to the campuswide network, and the Internet.

For a more detailed discussion of wireless networking on campus, see Wireless Networking at UofH.

 

Limitations
It is important to understand that in such a large wireless installation, there are some limitations to how you can use the "airspace" on campus, as compared to home, and some devices will not work in an authenticated system such as the University's.

 

Why can't I install my own wireless network?

Crowded airspace
There are some things you cannot do in the University's airspace, that you could do in a home situation, due to the enormous size of the University system. Unlike a home environment where you'd likely only have one access point, and where there would be some distance between you and your neighbor, in order to provide a robust and reliable signal to all residents, over 1,000 access points were installed in the residences -- all within a fairly small confined area.

In addition, to ensure maximum network performance (in terms of speed, signal strength, and reliability), all of these radios operate on one of three non-overlapping channels (WiFi channels 1, 6, and 11), and are all carefully tuned to maximize signal strength in all locations while not interfering with each other. If two of the radios are on the same channel (or within 4 channels of each other) and are too close to each other, their signals interfere with each other, causing connected computers to communicate slowly with the network -- if they can connect at all.

The University network was carefully designed, and is continuously monitored to maintain the maximum performance and reliability possible for the potentially thousands of people using it. Introducing a new ("rogue") access point into the system damages the very delicate balance of the system. While you might be able to connect to your rogue device, especially if you were very close to it, the device would "pollute" the airwaves for one or two hundred feet in all directions above, below, and around it, likely denying others access to the University network.

A self-defending system
The Residential Wireless Network Systems is self defending. It continuously monitors the airwaves for "rogue" devices, triangulates their physical locations, and then "attacks" them in an attempt to render them unusable. You must not operate a wireless access point on campus.

University Code of Conduct
Anyone found operating a device acting as an access point will be charged under the University Code of Conduct, as doing so negatively impacts other residents. Penalties may include housing selection ineligibility.

 


Connecting via WEP (only if your computer cannot connect to hawknet as described above)
If you are using a computer, tablet or smartphone, using the University's more secure HawkNet network is recommended as described above. Only use the following directions for devices that do not support WPA-2 Enterprise networks, such as game consoles and older computers.

Most game consoles that have a web browser in them (such as Playstation and Wii) can log onto the University's WEP network. Although it is possible to install a web browser on Xbox360, you cannot use it to log into the wireless network because it requires you to already be logged into Xbox Live to start the browser(!) -- a "Catch-22" -- so Xbox must be connected to a wired network port in your suite to play online.

Look for and select the network on your computer or device named "uhartford."

Network name:     uhartford

The computer or device may then ask for a network password, often called a "security key," a "WEP key," or "WEP-128 key." This is a 26-digit password that is used to encrypt your wireless data to make it more difficult for others to intercept. The University's WEP key (which is the same everywhere on campus) is 0123456789abcdef9876543210. Yes, it's a long password, but we've made it fairly easy to remember and type -- notice that it's just zero through nine, "a" through "f", and nine back down through zero. Most computers and devices will remember this password forever once you type it in, so you shouldn't need to memorize it.

WEP key:     0123456789abcdef9876543210

Then, start a web browser on your device. You will automatically be directed to the Network Authentication System where you must enter your University of Hartford email name (only -- without the "@hartford.edu" part), and your email password. Your web browser will then automatically continue to its usual home page, and your device is now connected to the campuswide network, and the Internet. You will have to start a web browser and log in each time you turn on your device.


Where to get help
Need help connecting to the wireless network? Call the ITS Computer Support Line at 860.768.5999 or bring your computer or device to the Computer Support Center in CC113.


University of Hartford Information Technology Services