Welcome to SBC's WiFi Network!
If you are a member of the community and need instructions on how to connect your system to the private portion of our WiFi network, choose your system type from the list above for step by step details. If you have other questions, read on!
Why am I seeing this Web site? Where the heck are... you know.. the Interwebs and the Googles and stuff?
Odds are, you selected Help with SBC WiFi which is one of the three official wireless options throughout the campus. This particular wireless network's purpose, however, is just to route you to this Web site for assistance. If you selected this by accident or your computer randomly chose it for you, you need to switch to one of the other two: SBC WiFi or SBC Public WiFi to reach the rest of the network and the Internet.
If you're uncertain of how to do that or which one to use, keep readin'!
When choosing a wireless network, I see SBC WiFi and SBC Public WiFi. What's the difference and which one should I use?
SBC WiFi is intended for use by members of the college community. This includes students, faculty and staff. Anyone who has a valid SBC e-mail address (@sbc.edu) has what they need to make use of this network.
SBC Public WiFi is open to anyone and everyone. Its functionality is most similar to other public WiFi hotspots you might find in libraries, coffee shops, etc.
Why the difference? Resources and security. SBC WiFi provides full access to our internal network using our native network addresses and has no set speed restrictions. SBC Public WiFi is more isolated from the inner workings of our network, uses different network addresses and is set to operate at a speed (per user) similar to good fast home broadband. That said, there are no restrictions on its use of the Internet and most, if not all users, will find it meets or exceeds all of their needs.
I am a member of the SBC community and can use SBC WiFi. Should I not use SBC Public WiFi?
Either is fine for the most part. You will be able to reach the Internet, your e-mail and any of our Web sites that would be accessible if you were off campus. If you find the public wifi quick and easy to use and it meets your needs, feel free.
Using SBC WiFi, however, will give you faster download speeds for large files and grant you full access to restricted resources (such as various databases through Cochran library and a number of campus-only Web sites).
What is required to connect to the community-only SBC WiFi network?
Two key things: you need a valid SBC e-mail account and your system needs a few settings so it can properly interact with the security.
The security we're using is entirely standard and most modern computers know how to deal with it just fine. The steps involved, however, vary a bit per operating system. To help, we've written detailed step by step instructions for the most common ones (Mac, iPhone, a few flavors of Windows, etc).
I looked at the instructions for connecting to SBC WiFi and it has several steps. Do I need to do this every time?
Fortunately, this setup process is generally just a one time thing. Once your system has been configured, the most you might need to do is enter your password from time to time. It applies across campus and is not specific to any one location.
The iPhone is the simplest, followed by OS X and Windows Vista. XP requires a few more (or possibly less) steps depending on what kind of software is (or is not) on your computer. (Editorial note: when one sees how easily the iPhone and OS X connect, it leads you to wonder why Microsoft has to make things so much more involved.)
I looked at the instructions for connecting to SBC WiFi, but I don't see my system listed OR my system is listed but looks very different from what you describe!
Especially in the Windows world, there are many different sets of configuration tools and we're unable to document them all. You might also have a completely different system from one we have been able to document. In this case, please refer to the Generic Settings page.
I'm a geek, I like non-sensical acronyms and I really get a kick out of technical specifications. What can you tell me about this newfangled WiFi network?
Our WiFi network is a combination of ethernet-tied and, where needed, meshed radios that operate on the 802.11a/b/g/n standards. Roughly half of them are dual-radio models that can serve g and n speeds without conflict or back-haul traffic when meshed without impacting end-user speed. Theoretical maximum speed on the dual-radio units is 600 megabits.
Our private network is WPA-2 secured using the 802.1x authentication mechanism tying back to FreeRadius running under Linux which, in turns, bounces credentials off of a 389 (formerly Fedora Directory Server) LDAP server. The handshake between client and server is SSL encrypted with a fully valid root-signed certificate.
The radios are built by Meraki and, while configured and controlled by us, are managed collectively through their "cloud controller" which is spread around the world. All connectivity and traffic is local and is not routed through Meraki... they simply provide us with a centralized, Web-based view of our entire fleet of access points and proactively monitor their health and performance for us. Yeah. It's wicked cool. ☺
HELP! I'm lost and confused and I can't get to the Interwebs and the Googles and that site with those cats that lust for cheeseburgers... and stuff.
Give the Help Desk a buzz at x4357 from any campus phone.