Department of Mathematics - University of Utah

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Wired network access FAQ

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Table of contents

  1. Can I used a wired network port for my portable computer?
  2. Can I attach a network hub to the wired network?

Questions and answers

  1.   Can I used a wired network port for my portable computer?

    Yes, but with some conditions. In private offices, there are generally two or four ports in wall sockets, but due to a lack of network switch ports, the unused wall ports may not be hooked up to the switch. Ask systems staff whether a free port is available.

    Use of the wired ports in the Math Center work areas requires you to first go through a Web browser authentication procedure, supplying your University of Utah network ID and password (these differ from the username and password used to login to our Unix computers) to gain access to the network. Once you are authenticated, your portable computer behaves just like a permanently wired system. When you disconnect from the network, your network session terminates, and the port is freed for the next authenticated session.

  2.   Can I attach a network hub to the wired network?

    Although low-cost network firewall/router hub boxes make it possible to attach multiple machines through a single network port, their use inside the Department is discouraged because they complicate facilities management. Any such use must therefore first be cleared with systems staff.

    By contrast, home computer users are strongly advised to use a separate firewall box to further isolate their machines from inbound attacks from the Internet, and to avoid reliance on firewalls supposedly provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or desktop operating systems.

    Recent studies (2005) have shown that the average lifetime of a Microsoft Windows system newly attached to the Internet is less than ten minutes before it is successfully attacked. The Internet is indeed a hostile place for such machines, and you cannot assume that just because you are one of a few billion Internet addresses, your machine will not be attacked. Although some attacks are stopped at the campus gateway to the Internet, our security logs still record thousands of such attacks daily.

Dept Info Outreach College of Science Newsletter

Department of Mathematics
University of Utah
155 South 1400 East, JWB 233
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0090
Tel: 801 581 6851, Fax: 801 581 4148

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