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SCC Wireless Hotspots FAQs
- What can I access on the SCC HotSpot wireless network?
The SCC HotSpot wireless network provides access to the Internet only. Applications, which are available via the internet (e-services, etc.), are also available using the wireless network.
- What wireless network cards are recommended and/or supported?
For PCs and Macs, we recommend use of a network card that is 802.11b/g or /a, WIFI compliant.
- How many people can be on the wireless network at once?
The wireless network can handle hundreds of users logged in at any one time, but the more active the users, the slower the network becomes. On average, one access point can handle 25 web users without a noticeable degradation in performance. Fifteen access points have been installed to provide radio coverage and service the expected user network demand.
- I heard I should be getting 54 Mbps speeds; my speeds are slower than this. Is my card defective?
54 Mbps (megabits per second) is the theoretical maximum speed for an 802.11g/a wireless network (11 Mbps for 802.11b). If the wireless signal is strong you could see a "connect speed" of 54 Mbps, however the actual network performance will be something less than this due to the relative inefficiency of the wireless protocol and bandwidth shaping on the access point. Your wireless card will automatically adjust its speed to the access point, based on a few factors such as support for the 802.11g/a protocols and signal strength (distance from access point and interference). In general, you will typically see much better network performance on a wired network than on a wireless network.
- Why is my wireless connection disrupted more frequently than my wired connection?
Wireless access points operate within either the 2.4GHz (802.11b/g) or 5.5Ghz (802.11a) unlicensed, frequency ranges and are prone to interference from microwave ovens, other unknown access points in the area, some cordless phones and many other environmental factors that may be passing between you and the access point at any given time. Though the wireless protocol was designed to be robust, it is still a radio frequency and it can be interrupted by various pieces of equipment and/or structures.
- Is there a charge to establish a wireless connection?
There is no charge for this service.
- May I privately conduct financial or personal business over the wireless network?
The SCC HotSpot Wireless Network has no privacy safeguards or security mechanisms in place and is therefore not an appropriate network for this type of activity. The installation of virtual private network (VPN) client software could facilitate such privacy if your host server supports this connection. The installation and support of VPN client software is the User's responsibility.
- Should I install personal firewall software on my PC before participating on the wireless network?
Yes, it is a very good idea to install personal firewall software on a PC that is exposed to the Internet, along with up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software and the installation of current Microsoft patches. The network does reside behind the Los Rios firewall and is afforded some protection from Internet exploits and worms. However, there is no anti-virus or protection provided.
- What should I do if my computer does not connect to the wireless network?
If your laptop does not connect for some reason, you will need to contact your hardware support team. Wireless network configuration setups are different depending on your operating system
(Windows 2000, Windows XP, OS10, etc.), wireless network card, and wireless network software. Things to check:
Make sure your wireless network card is physically turned on.
Make sure your wireless connection is enabled in network connections.
Make sure your wireless connection is set to obtain a TCP/IP address automatically
- The service is available only in certain areas of the campus; will it be available all over
There are plans to expand coverage. We will make announcements as new service areas are rolled out. Please look for the "SCC Hot Spot" Logo.
- Is my information safe when using the SCC network?
The network is not secure. However, the data is more secure if you have your own firewall and if you are using a secure site (https or SSL). Otherwise, your best security measure is having updated anti-virus software.
- Do I need a logon or password to access the network?
Yes. Each employee and student of the Los Rios Community College District has a unique Windows based login. The username is W+StudentID. For example, if my student number is “9999999” then my username would be W9999999. On March 15, 2009, you now login to eServices, Consumer River College student computer labs, and the hotspot using the same username and password. If you haven’t reset your password since March 15, 2009, you will need to reset your password by following the onscreen instructions at https://www.losrios.edu/password. For more information regarding the recent password changes, how to change your password, and hints on picking a good password, see the Login and Password Issues section of the eServices Support Center Page at http://www.losrios.edu/lrc/eserv_faq.html
- Where can I print while using the wireless service?
You can't print from your wireless connection. Computer lab facilities are available.