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  • VP Finance and Treasurer
    202-885-2700
    vpfin@american.edu
    3201 New Mexico Ave., Room 280

    Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

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Wired Versus Wireless Networking

Q: How can I connect my computer to the Eaglenet network to check e-mail, access Blackboard, post grades, view my bank balance, and more?

A: You can access Eaglenet via wired or wireless connections. Each has pros and cons.

Wired connection

Faster, more reliable, and more secure than wireless; it’s the preferred connection and the best method to transmit sensitive data. To use the wired network keep an Ethernet cable with your computer and plug into any network port on campus. The Ethernet cable provides the best speed, security, and reliability on the Eaglenet network. After you plug in the Ethernet cable, disconnect your wireless connection (if it was operating) to avoid potential problems created by simultaneous connections.

Wireless connection

This is maximally flexible as wireless users can access Eaglenet from virtually any location on campus. Wireless connections, which travel through the air via radio frequencies, can be more easily intercepted and are therefore less reliable than the (hard) wired network. So, encrypt any sensitive data sent via wireless networks.

OIT suggestions for encryption are secure socket layer (SSL) or sign on to the AU Virtual Private Network through https://vpn.american.edu.

For either method, users must sign on to Cisco Clean Access.

Simultaneous network use up since 2007

OIT installed new network monitoring tools to proactively identify and diagnose network infrastructure problems. These tools also show how many people are using the network at any given time. At times in October 2008 there were 2,800 simultaneous Eaglenet users logged in—roughly 1,000 more than in October 2007.

Meeting increased demand

To meet the increased demand on the wireless network, new wireless access points were installed in the library, several classrooms, and residence hall buildings.

Other recent OIT upgrades

  • Upgrades to the wireless network architecture enable users to move from building to building without repeated CCA log ins.
  • Redesigned network creates redundant connections between buildings.
  • Several networking equipment components were replaced to increase reliability and use newer technologies.

Find Eaglenet wireless network FAQs and instructions on how to connect at http://help.american.edu; select Eaglenet Wireless under Hot Topics.

Contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, e-mail helpdesk@american.edu, or instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp for assistance and further information.