Log in page to make the Web more accessible

Monica Duester

Students, faculty and staff trying to access the Internet via their laptops on campus are now directed to the new CSUN Wireless Network Login Page, where they are prompted to type in their username and password.

Hilary Baker, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, said the new wireless authentication process replaces the need for wireless users to register their computer’s Media Access Control or MAC address with the IT help desk located in Room 29 on the garden level of the Oviatt Library.

“This MAC authentication process was confusing for many users,” Baker said. “The new method of accessing wireless is so easy that students can save time and get connected by simply logging on with their username and password.”

The IT walk-in center was previously responsible for configuring the CSUN network on students, faculty and staff’s computers.

Keith Holland, help desk support for IT, said the old process was time consuming and a waste of resources.

“Now we are able to allocate those resources elsewhere, such as installing the Virtual Portal Network on student and faculty laptops,” Holland said.

Holland said the VPN is something the IT department highly recommends to secure a personal network.

“You don’t need it, but it prevents your computer from security threats,” Holland said.

Baker said the wireless network authentication process is a security practice that only allows current CSUN students, faculty and staff to access the network.

Guests and consultants are able to obtain temporary accounts if requested by a CSUN sponsor or university department.

IT intentionally implemented the wireless network for the summer, when there is considerably less network traffic, Holland said.

“The network has been tested extensively by various department work groups for the past six months, but you can never be too sure of network glitches,” Holland said.

The CSUN Information Technology Web site has tips on how to use the new wireless network features.

The Web site includes instant messaging programs such as America Online’s Instant Messenger, iChat and Windows Messenger, along with non-browser e-mails such as Outlook and Entourage that will work after an Internet browser launches and the CSUN Wireless Network Login Page is accessed.

The Web site also advises people who have smart phones or a PDAs with Wi-Fi or wireless capabilities to visit the IT Walk-In Center for assistance with accessing the network.