WirelessCanes FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions regarding WirelessCanes

 

General Information

1. What is WirelessCanes?

2. How do I get on WirelessCanes?

3. How do I know where WirelessCanes is available in the Coral Gables campus?

4. Why should I use WirelessCanes?

5. What should not be used on WirelessCanes?

6. How do visitors to UM access the WirelessCanes network?

 

Technical Information and Requirements

1. How secure is WirelessCanes?

2. How fast is WirelessCanes?

3. Will my PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) work on WirelessCanes?

4. Is there are recommended wireless network card?

5. Are there any other limitations on the Guest Wireless Access Network?

 

Troubleshooting Information

1. I can not connect to WirelessCanes. What is wrong?

2. My connection to WirelessCanes starts out fine, then starts to give me trouble. What is wrong?

3. What can I do to improve my wireless experience?

4. On my Mac’s Airport card, I have a setting for Interference Robustness. Will this help me improve my wireless connection?

5. How can I tell if I am having a problem with my wireless adapter?

6. What can I do if I am having a problem with my adapter?

7. How can I tell if there is a problem or outage in my area?

8. Who do I notify if I believe there is a wireless Internet problem/outage?

9. The wireless connection in my room is poor. May I set up my own wireless router so I can get better signal?

 

General Information

1. What is WirelessCanes?

WirelessCanes is the University of Miami's 802.11 wireless network in the Coral Gables campus.  This service allows mobile computers (laptops and PDAs) network access to the Internet and UM campus network without using a wired Ethernet connection.  This service is available to faculty, staff, students and guests of the University of Miami.  Wireless connectivity is also available at the Miller School of Medicine and at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

2. How do I get on WirelessCanes

a) If you are faculty or staff, please click here.

b) If you are a student, please click here.

c) If you are a guest visiting the Coral Gables campus, guest access is available at select campus locations.  Please click here for more information.

3. How do I know where WirelessCanes is available in the Coral Gables campus?

You may click here for the map of the wireless cloud.

4. Why should I use WirelessCanes?

WirelessCanes is a shared resource that is intended to complement, not replace, the wired Ethernet infrastructureWirelessCanes is meant only for mobile computer devices or computers located in an area that lacks a wired Ethernet infrastructure.  WirelessCanes is designed to be used when mobility is valued above speed or capacity.  If your need or your application requires great speed, bandwidth and/or constant network connectivity, a wired Ethernet network connection will be the better choice.

5. What should not be used on WirelessCanes?

High-bandwidth usage tasks can have a negative impact on wireless networks.  Any device that needs constant network connectivity and/or high-bandwidth should use a wired Ethernet network connection.  Any servers or any computers that host web pages, FTP services and/or multiplayer gaming need to use a wired Ethernet network connection.

6. How do visitors to UM access the WirelessCanes network?

Guests access is available at select locations.  Visit the WirelessCanes Guest Access information page for more information.

Technical Information and Requirements

1. How secure is WirelessCanes?

WirelessCanes is a shared network and vulnerable to special tools that make it possible for others to review and capture data in transit.  Like all shared networks, this network should be presumed insecure.  To reduce the risk of inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information, users are strongly urged to consider the following:

  • Use secure, encrypted sessions such as SSH in place of telnet, or HTTPS/SSL for online transactions
  • Use the campus VPN (Virtual Private Network, an encrypted tunnel) * only for faculty and staff
  • Use the campus wired Ethernet network

2. How fast is WirelessCanes?

The speed varies depending on location (see wireless cloud) and also the distance between the client and the wireless access point.  Actual throughput is also affected by the number of users on the wireless access point. Guest users are also limited in the bandwidth available to them.

3. Will my PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) work on WirelessCanes?

Most PDAs with an 802.11b or 802.11g wireless LAN adapter will work if they also have a java-script capable browser that will allow you to type in your username (CaneID) and password in order to log on to WirelessCanes.

4. Is there are recommended wireless network card?

We support 802.11b, 802.11g, or combination 802.11b/g wireless adapters.  Compatible adapters may be purchased through the Technology Product Center.

5. Are there any other limitations on the Guest Wireless Access Network?

Yes. Guest access has a bandwidth limitation of 256kbps download speed and 128kbps upload speed. Guest access is only available in 2 hour sessions. Upon the expiration of the 2 hour session or if your mobile device has been idle for over 10 minutes, whichever comes first, you will be required to reinitiate your session.

Troubleshooting Information

1. I can not connect to WirelessCanes. What is wrong?

Make sure your wireless network adapter has been properly registered and you are within the wireless cloud. You may also view our WirelessCanes configuration page to make sure your adapter has been properly configured. If the problem persists, please follow these steps:

  • If you are a student:  please call the Telecommunications Help Desk at (305) 284-6565 option 1 or visit the CaneNetConnection office next to the Richter Library.
  • If you are a staff or faculty:  please call the Telecommunications Help Desk at (305) 284-6565 option 1.
  • If you are a guest:  please visit our WirelessCanes Guest Access FAQ page for help information. If the problem persists, please call the Telecommunications Help Desk at (305)284-6245 option 1.

2. My connection to WirelessCanes starts out fine, then starts to give me trouble. What is wrong?

Signals from some Bluetooth wireless devices, cordless phones, other wireless networks and some microwave ovens can cause intermittent wireless network service outages.  Straying too far from a wireless access point (antenna) may also cause a drop in performance.  If you experience these types of connectivity problems, move around within a few feet from your original position to see if the problem self-rectifies.  If you think you have encountered an actual dead spot that is supposed to be within the wireless cloud according to the wireless coverage map, please contact the Telecommunications Help Desk at (305) 284-6565 option 1.

3. What can I do to improve my wireless experience

  • Check your battery meter. Many wireless clients will decrease their transmission power in order to save battery power. If this is the case, plug in your power adapter and try to connect again.
  • Check your wireless adapter settings. If you are not sure if your adapter is properly configured, please visit www.miami.edu/wireless and click on the “WirelessCanes Configuration” link. For further questions, you may call the Telecommunications Help Desk at 305-284-6565 option 1 or visit the CaneNet Connection @ Richter.
  • Keep your computer virus and spyware-free and your operating system updated. Symantec Antivirus and CA Pest Patrol (spyware removal program) are available for free to all currently enrolled students.
  • Keep one single connection if using both wired and wireless connection. This is especially important in the student residence halls and University Village where you have both CaneNet (wired) and WirelessCanes (wireless) available. Make sure you disconnect your Ethernet cable when on wireless and turn off your wireless card when on CaneNet.
  • Check and/or upgrade your wireless adapter’s driver. If the driver is 6 months or older, chances are, the wireless adapter’s manufacturer may have released a new driver that may help your wireless adapter perform better. Visit the manufacturer's website to obtain such information. If you are unsure about how to upgrade your wireless adapter's driver, please visit the CaneNet Connection @ Richter.

To obtain information on you wireless adapter’s driver, please follow these instructions:

Windows XP:

  • Click on the Start button, and then click on Control Panel.
  • In the Control Panel, on the top left hand side click on the Switch to Classic View if possible, otherwise, you are already in Classic View.
  • Double-click the Network Connections icon, and then right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon.
  • Click on the “Configure” button
  • On the next window, click on the “Driver” tab.
  • On this window you will provided with your wireless adapter’s driver information (provider, date, version, etc)

On Mac OSX

  • Click on the apple, About This Mac.
  • Click on the More Info button.
  • In the next window, under Contents, click on Network if it is not already expanded. Click on Airport Card. Note the “Wireless Card Firmware Version”. Close the window.
  • To find out if there is a newer firmware version, make sure you have an active Internet connection (wired or wireless) click on the Apple, then on “Software Update…”. If there is a new firmware version for your adapter, it will be displayed. Follow the on-screen instructions in order to go through the upgrade progress.

4. On my Mac’s Airport card, I have a setting for Interference Robustness. Will this help me improve my wireless connection?

In some circumstances, where the area in which you are connecting is surrounded by microwaves, cordless phones and Bluetooth devices, turning on this feature may help you stay connected to the network. However, this setting will also degrade the quality of your connection and it may seem slower than usual. We recommend leaving this setting unchecked or turning it on temporarily in areas of high interference.

5. How can I tell if I am having a problem with my wireless adapter?

Ask other users in your area if they are experiencing the same problem you are having. If you find that only you are having a problem, then most likely your wireless adapter is misconfigured or not working properly.

6. What can I do if I am having a problem with my adapter?

Help is available for students by either calling the Telecommunications Help Desk at 305-284-6565 option 1 or visiting the CaneNet Connection @ Richter. University staff and faculty should contact their department’s System Administrator.

7. How can I tell if there is a problem or outage in my area?

If you and other users in your area are experiencing problems in a specific area, then most likely there is a network problem or an outage in the area.

8. Who do I notify if I believe there is a wireless Internet problem/outage?

If you believe there is a network problem or outage in your area, please notify the Telecommunications Help Desk at 305-284-6565 option 1.

9. The wireless connection in my room is poor. May I set up my own wireless router so I can get better signal?

No, setting up independent wireless access points (or routers) on the University campus interferes with the signal of the University’s antennas and can degrade the quality of the wireless signal to other users in the vicinity. Furthermore, these devices can create a backdoor for unauthorized users into our network. For this reason, connecting such devices on the University’s network is against IT Security’s policy (www.miami.edu/A060) and may result in disciplinary action.