Connect & Communicate

Connecting in UW Housing

Connecting in UW Housing

Making the Internet Work for You

Welcome to the University of Washington! We are glad that you are here, and we want to help you get connected to all the computing resources that the University provides to you. This guide is designed to make connecting your computer to the UW network as painless as possible. UW Housing includes UW residence halls and UW owned apartments.

Your UW Housing room is equipped with access to the high-speed campus Ethernet network. This gives you fast access to email, UW Libraries, the MyUW website, UW class pages, and information on the Web anywhere in the world. To connect your computer to the campus network, you need:

  • If you are in a residence hall that does not have UW-IT managed wireless, you will need computer with a 10/100/1000bT Ethernet port and a cat-5 Ethernet cable.

  • If you are in a residence hall where UW-IT provides wireless service you will need a computer with a wireless card that supports any combination of 802.11a/b/g/n.

  • Software available on the Securing Your Computer page provides all the virus protection, terminal session, and file transfer software you need to securely connect to and use UW computing and networking services.

  • If you are living in a triple the room may not have enough wall jacks to provide one connection per person. For these rooms, you can check out a hub from the residence hall desk.

It is important that you know that the Internet is not always a safe place. Having high-speed access to the Internet is an important advantage for you in your studies. However, it also means that others have high-speed access to YOUR computer, YOUR files, and YOUR data! You need to take the steps in this document to protect yourself against viruses and other “bad” software being installed in your computer.

Step 1 - Before You Connect

There are important steps that you should take BEFORE you get a working network connection. You’ll want to be sure your computer has:

  • Working, and up-to-date, antivirus software installed.

  • All the available operating system updates installed.

  • Been configured to automatically KEEP these up to date.

The Secure Your Computer page provides all the virus protection, terminal session, and file transfer software you need to securely connect to and use UW computing and networking services.

Step 2 - Making the Connection

Connecting to the UW-IT managed wireless network.

If you live in a new residence hall or one that has been newly renovated, you be able to connect to the UW-IT managed wireless network. To do this, you will need to have a computer with a wireless card that supports any combination of the 802.11a/b/g/n protocols.

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  2. Turn your computer on and wait for it to boot up.

  3. Make sure your wireless is activated and then view the available wireless networks. You should see the “University of Washington” wireless network.

  4. Select the “University of Washington” and set the following properties.

    • No authentication

    • No encryption

    • Connect automatically when this network is in range

    • DO NOT select “Connect to a more preferred network if available”

  5. At this point your computer should make the connection to the UW wireless network and you should be able to reach UW resources.

  6. To reach off-campus resources proceed to “Register Your Computer and Other Devices”

Residents are not permitted to have their own wireless routers in areas where there is UW-IT managed wireless available. See the Wireless Routers in UW Residence Hall Rooms page.

Connecting to the Wired Network in Your Room.

Only use the wired network if there is not the ” UW Housing” wireless network available or if your computer does not support wireless.

Plug the Ethernet cable into the ORANGE wall jack!

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  2. You DO need a cat-5 Ethernet cable long enough to reach from your computer to the Ethernet wall jack. It will look like a “fat” phone cable. Cables can be purchased at the University Book Store.

  3. Your computer DOES need a functional Ethernet (10/100/1000bT) port.

  4. With your computer powered OFF, plug in one end of the drop cable to the ORANGE colored wall jack (see right) and the other to your computer’s Ethernet port. Be careful here, it is probably your one big chance for a mistake. The OTHER wall jack is for your telephone, and won’t work for Ethernet, even though the cable might fit.

  5. Turn on your computer, and start browsing the Web!

If this did not work, then

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  2. Check to make certain that you have plugged your Ethernet cable into the ORANGE wall jack.

  3. Check to make certain that you have plugged your Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on your computer and not into your modem port.

  4. Check that your Ethernet port is configured properly. If you’ve previously configured your computer’s Ethernet port to use something other than the usual defaults, you might have to set it back to the defaults. The most important setting is to “use DHCP” or “Obtain IP address automatically”. You should NOT use a network IP address that you have previously typed in from some other network (like AOL or Comcast), nor should you guess at an IP address. Also, be sure to select “Obtain DNS server address automatically”.

  5. If you are living in triple resident room, you won’t have enough wall jacks to provide one per resident. In this case a “hub” can be used and should be available at your Residence Hall desk.

If you are still having problems, then

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  2. Check to make certain that your Ethernet cable is not defective. Try using a different Ethernet cable.

  3. Very rarely, but it happens, you might have a bad Ethernet port on your computer. You should check your warranty and have your computer serviced.

  4. If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to telephone the UW Information Technology Service Center at 206-221-5000.

Step 3 - Register Your Computer and Other Devices

Once you have a connection working, you will be able to connect to UW websites such as the UW Home Page . However, when you try to connect to an external website (such as Google ), you will be asked to register the device that is using Wi-Fi or connecting to the wall jack (usually your computer).

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  2. Enter a URL to some site external to the UW (such as Google ).

  3. You will be prompted to enter your UW NetID and password. Doing so will register the your UW NetID as the owner of the computer, as identified by its hardware address (also known as the MAC address, it is a unique number identifying that specific device).

    • For most computers, the process will detect your hardware address automatically. For some devices that you intend to plug into your wall port you will need to find their hardware address yourself and manually enter it. See the Manually Entering Hardware Addresses section below.

    • Until this step is successfully completed, anyone using the WAP device will only be able to access on- campus sites.

    • If there is not no UW-IT managed wireless in your room and you are setting up a wireless router (also called a Wireless Access Point or WAP) see the Wireless Access Points in UW Residence Hall Rooms page.

  4. You can now use the computer to access Internet sites on- campus and beyond.

Manually Entering Hardware Addresses

For some devices which you may want to connect to the network — such as a router or video games consoles — you will need to be manually register the device. To do so, take the following steps:

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  2. Look through the instruction manual for the device you want to register for instructions on how to find its hardware address. Sometimes it will be printed on an external label. On other devices you can navigate through menus to an information screen displaying the hardware address. The address consists of a string of six two-digit numbers hex numbers (which include 0 — 9 and a — f) separated by colons (for example: 00:1a:22:b3:04:55). Note that number.

  3. Using a computer connected to the wall port you intend to use, or associated with the “University of Washington” Wi-Fi service, go to the Network Access Manual Registration  page.

  4. Toward the bottom of that page you will see a link for “manual registration”. Click on that link. You will be asked to enter your UW NetID and password.

  5. In the field labelled “Enter a MAC address” enter the address of the device you are registering (found in step 1).

  6. In the field below it, enter a name for the device you are registering.

  7. Click on “Register”

  8. Repeat the process for each of the devices you plan to use on a UW network in your residence hall roomthrough your wall jack.

Finding a Device Hardware Addresses

The following are examples of how to find the hardware address of some common devices:

Device Finding the Hardware Address
Microsoft Xbox
  • Turn on your Xbox with no disk in the drive
  • Go to the Dashboard, select Settings, and press A
  • On the Settings screen, scroll down to high Network Settings and press A
  • On the Networking Setting screen, in the lower right quadrant of the screen, you will see the MAC Address displayed (this is the same thing as the hardware address)

Xbox 360
  • Go to the System area of the XBox 360 Dashboard and select Network Settings
  • Select Edit Settings
  • From Additional Settings, select Advanced Settings
  • At the bottom of this screen you will see a heading called Wired MAC Address

Nintendo Wii
  • From the Wii Channel menu, select “Wii Settings” (the round button on the bottom-left of the screen with “Wii” on it)
  • Select “Internet,” then “Console Settings”
  • The MAC address of the Wii console is displayed on the first line

Sony Playstation
  • Select Settings on the PS3 Home Menu
  • Navigate down and select [System Settings]
  • Select [System Information]. Here you will find your MAC address. Be sure to note down the entire code, including colons

For other devices, see your instruction manual or visit the wWebsite of the device manufacturer for how to find the hardware address.

Step 4 - Using The Connection

Confirm that you have completed STEP 1 and that you have antivirus software installed, active, up-to-date, and configured to automatically update.

Confirm that you have configured your computer itself to perform automatic updates of the operating system:

  • Microsoft Safety and Security site

  • Macintosh OS X: Updating Your Software article

If you are running MS Windows, then you might also want to install an antispyware program and regularly scan for spyware.

Last modified: July 9, 2013