Student Network Access Using Wired Connections in Dorms
NSU has adopted network access controls to verify the use of student computers. These controls will check the user’s identity and provide access to important pages that all users need to be aware of when using NSU's network. To do this, we use a technology developed by Cisco Systems called Cisco Network Access Control (NAC).
What do I do?
Connect your computer to the network jack in your room. NAC is only used on the network ports in dorm rooms. When your plug your Ethernet cable into the wall jack and their computer, you will be asked to login with your username and password. This is the same user name and password they user for MyNSU, NSUWIRELESS and lab computers.
Please note that many rooms have multiple ports on the wall. Not all of them are network ports. Some are telephone ports. Most dorms are setup with one Ethernet port per bed. If there are more than one port per bed, it is most likely that some will not be for connecting to the network. Unfortunately, these ports may not be labeled and figuring out which is for network may take some trial and error. When the rooms get painted, repaired or other updates performed, the labeling gets hidden or removed by the contractor.
When connecting to the Ethernet port, be sure to turn off or disable the wireless interface (AKA adapter, NIC, wifi). This can cause your attempts to get online to fail. What happens is: there are two paths to communicate to the network when Ethernet and wireless are both connected. When the request to get online goes through one path, it may try to come back through the other. Because it comes from a different path, the return of the request is not understood by NAC or your computer.
One of the first things suggested to do when connecting to NAC is to try accessing NSU's main page, https://www.nsu.edu. It, any other NSU.EDU pages such as MyNSU, Blackboard, and NSU Spartans email are permitted without logging into NAC.
Do I need to install any software?
While there is an agent available for login, it is not required. The only thing required is Java which is included in most browsers. Internet Explorer will try to use Active X controls, and, if not opening correctly, switch to Java. To check for the latest version of Java, got to the Java home page and verify your version.
Cisco NAC Agent: The Cisco NAC agent is no longer required to be installed. It will still work in Windows XP, Vista and 7. The NAC agent does not work in Windows 8. Use a web browser once Java is installed.
I have the latest Java installed but it still doesn't work.
The latest versions of Java are set at a higher security level. Prior to release 7u51, the default setting was "medium." This has been changed to "high." Users can change the Java 7 security settings using the instructions below.
I have updated to Java 8 with no "medium" security setting, or
Message "Application Blocked by Java Security."
An example of what you might see:
With Java 8, Oracle has removed the medium security option. Therefore, for Java 8 to work, an exclusion is needed for the NAC server. Click here for instructions for Windows and MAC OSX computers.
Maverick and Yosemite versions of OSX still require configuring Safari Preferences as detailed here.
What if I have Windows 8?
Windows 8 has two modes, Metro and Desktop, each with its own version of Internet Explorer (IE). IE in Metro mode does not allow the use of plugins except Adobe Flash Player. This is by design by the manufacturer. To use Windows 8 and connect to NAC, be sure to go to Desktop mode by clicking "Desktop" in from the Metro interface. Review the Internet Explorer link above for a screenshot.
This only applies to Windows 8 or 8.1 computers when using Internet Explorer. Firefox and Chrome always run in Desktop mode.
What if I have a MAC?
Java can be updated through Software Updates by accessing the apple icon in the top left. Alternatively, you can go to java.com and check to see if you have the latest version.
"Inactive plug-in installed" - Some security features in the MAC disable newly installed plug-ins. If you use the "Do I have Java?" link from java.com and receive a message that states "inactive plug-in installed" click the message. It is a hyperlink that will enable the plug-in. This means to click the words "inactive plug-in installed."
"Unable to get client MAC address" - The newest version of Safari, 7, includes additional security to prevent malicious code from infecting the MAC while surfing the Internet. While this is a good thing, an exclusion is needed for the NAC server to run a utility to get the MAC address. Instructions are here.
- Apply all Windows or MAC updates. Reboot. Repeat until no updates are listed.
- Disable/Turn off your wireless adapter when using the Ethernet cable to connect.
- Most devices automatically try to connect to wireless networks.
- This then causes both to fail as data doesn't know which path to use.
- Clear browser cache/history, close the browser and reopen.
- Try different browsers.
- Firefox is available for MAC OSX and has been tested successfully.
- Firefox and Chrome are available for Windows and have been tested successfully.
- Very browser does not have proxy settings configured.
- Uninstall Java, reboot and reinstall Java.
- (Advanced) Verify network adapter is set to obtain configuration automatically. Static settings fail.
What is the AUP?
NSU policy 60.201: Acceptable Use of Technological Resources, is the main NSU policy that governs ALL data and IT resources. All users that connect to or access IT resources here at NSU must adhere to it. The policy is based on the Commonwealth of Virginia's standards and polices. Everyone should be familiar with it as they are held accountable to it.
What about my XBOX or PlayStation?
If you have a gaming console, it will have to be connected to the network port using the network (or Ethernet) cable and granted special access to bypass logging in. Send an email to security @ nsu.edu from your NSU email and include the type of console, the dorm building you reside in, the dorm room number, and MAC address of the network interface of the console. The MAC address can be accessed using the settings for the game device. It is imperative the MAC address be 100% accurate. If it is wrong or missing, our system cannot see it and give it access.
We verify the information provided is correct. So, please have connected your game console to the network before sending the information. We check to see if it was on the network at one time before authorizing it. This allows us to be sure the MAC provided will be found and will work.
The Wii and Wii-U have USB Ethernet interfaces that can be purchased separately. Once you have one, connect it to the Wii and plug it into the network. Follow the same procedure as above.
How do I connect my router or wireless access point?
NSU prohibits the use of personally owned network gear in order to protect you and your data. When these are connected, there is no such thing as security. Anyone can then save all your data, including email, web sites, pages, videos, pictures and anything that can be sent across a network. It is as if you have handed them the keys to everything.
Still need assistance?
Contact Client Services (Help Desk) for OIT (Office of Information Technology) at 757-823-8678.