FAQs wireless

What is wireless networking?

Wireless networking (also known as “WiFi”) is the use of radio waves and/or microwaves to maintain communication channels between computers or other network devices. In short, wireless is a radio signal between a transmitter and a receiver access point.

While conventional networking ('wired networking') makes use of copper or fibre optic cabling between network devices, wireless networking instead relies on radio signals to connect network devices such as laptops, smart phones and tablets. Wireless allows users to be mobile, by providing network access from areas which are not usually wired, such as green spaces and other outdoor areas.

Wireless networks are affected by environmental conditions such as physical obstructions, weather conditions, and other radio equipment which can cause interference and reduce signal strength and range.

 

What are "wireless hotspots"?

Wireless hotspots are physical locations in which you can use wireless-enabled devices. A wireless signal is sent out from the access point (AP), and users with wireless-enabled devices can receive this signal on their device, in order to gain access to their organisation’s network, or the Internet. At UCT, wireless access points are located across all campuses.

 

Where can I use wireless at UCT?

Most buildings on campus, along with certain outdoor areas, are covered by the eduroam wireless service.

 

The wireless service is weak or slow in my location. What can I do?

If you’re in a busy location, the WiFi will be slower because lots of people are connecting to the same hotspot(s) as you. If you can, find a place where there are fewer wireless users. For other tips, read these 7 tips for boosting your WiFi experience at UCT. However, if you suspect your nearest wireless hotspot is faulty, please let us know. If you’re in residence, contact your Residence IT rep. For other locations on campus, log a call with the IT Helpdesk.

 

Can I set up my own wireless hotspot on campus?

No. You may not use your mobile phone as a wireless hotspot or install routers, wireless extenders and other network equipment on campus as this can severely disrupt the performance and security of UCT’s eduroam service – which is critical for wireless users at UCT. These unapproved hotspots (also called “rogue devices”) violate UCT’s Core Network Policy and are prohibited. Learn more about rogue wireless devices at UCT.

If you need a wireless access point installed or would like ICTS approval to set up your own wireless hotspot, contact the IT Helpdesk.

 

I use a mobile data connection off campus. Will this affect my eduroam connection?

After setting up and saving your eduroam connection, eduroam will allocate an IP address to your device. If you then connect your laptop to a different service that controls your wireless connectivity (e.g. a cellular 3G connection), you may experience issues with eduroam. If this happens, seek assistance from ICTS.

 

How many devices can I simultaneously connect to eduroam?

You may connect up to 5 devices to the network simultaneously, but you must use the internet responsibly, in moderation, and within UCT policy. You must also abide by eduroam policies, and keep your UCT username and password private. If you violate these requirements, you could lose access to eduroam. Learn more about the rules for using eduroam at UCT.

After setting up and saving your eduroam connection, eduroam will allocate an IP address to your device. If you then connect your laptop to a different service that controls your wireless connectivity (e.g. a cellular 3G connection), you may experience issues with eduroam. If this happens, seek assistance from ICTS.

 

How do I grant a visitor access to the internet?

The method of acquiring access depends on the visitor’s circumstances:

  1. If their home institution is an eduroam affiliate, they can simply log in to eduroam using their own username and password (from their home institution).
  2. If they will be visiting for more than a month or if they also need access to other services (e.g. libraries, UCT network drives), apply for a Third Party account.
  3. If they are here only for a short period and won’t need any other UCT services, you (as a staff member) can sponsor their access to the Guest WiFi Service.
     
What are the rules for sponsoring visitors via Guest WiFi Access?

As a UCT staff member, you may sponsor any number of visitors. Each visitor may connect up to three devices to the WiFi service, with access lasting between one and seven days – depending on the type of account you’ve given them.

Both you and your visitors are bound by an Acceptable Use Policy. Violations will be dealt with appropriately and could include disciplinary measures being taken against you (as the sponsor).

 

Is it possible to extend the account period?
  1. In the Guest Sponsorship Portal, select the Manage Accounts tab.
    • Select the guest accounts you'd like to extend.
    • Click Extend.
  2. In the Extend dialog box, enter the number of days you want to extend by, then click OK.

When extending the account period, bear the following in mind:

  • You may not extend access on the first day of the account's usage.
  • From day 2 onwards, you may extend access, however, the extension must be equal to or less than the time the guest has already had.

For example:

You gave a guest access for seven days - running from 10th November to 16th November. However, on 12th November, you find out they will be at UCT for longer, but you're not sure for just how long. As a result, you want to extend their access.

Because the guest has already had 2 full days of access, you can only extend their access by another 2 days at most.

If you wish to extend beyond this - to a later date, you will need to process the extension a few days later (i.e. once the guest has had more time on their current access period).

 

How do I suspend a guest account?
  1. In the Guest Sponsorship Portal, select the Manage Accounts tab.
    • Select the guest accounts you'd like to suspend.
    • Click Suspend.
  2. In the Suspend dialog box, enter the reason for the suspension, then click OK.
     
How do I delete a guest account?
  1. In the Guest Sponsorship Portal, select the Manage Accounts tab.
    • Select the guest accounts you'd like to delete.
    • Click Delete.
  2. In the Delete dialog box, confirm the deletion.
     
Can I edit the guest and account details?
  1. In the Guest Sponsorship Portal, select the Manage Accounts tab.
    • Select the guest whose account details you'd like to edit.
    • Click Edit.
  2. On the Edit Account page, update all the relevant details, then click Save.
  3. Click Done.
     
Can I re-send the login details to my guest?
  1. In the Guest Sponsorship Portal, select the Manage Accounts tab.
    • Select the guests you'd like to notify.
    • Click Resend.
  2. In the Resend dialog box:
    • Choose the notification method(s).
      Note that the SMS and Email options will not work if you've entered invalid contact details when creating the account. (If need be, you can verify and correct this information by editing guest details.)
    • If you've selected the Email option, you can either get the notification sent to you (select Copy me) or get a summary sent to you (select Send me a summary). Just make sure that your correct email address appears in the Sponsor's Email address text box.
    • Click OK.
  3. Click Done.
     
My visitor needed just internet access at first, but they now need access to other UCT services. What should I do?

Apply to get your visitor a Third Party account.