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Frequently asked questions

The following are common questions about our wireless network. If you are still having problems, you should contact the BU service desk online, or ask for assistance with basic IT queries in the library or at AskBU.

What is The Cloud and who should use it?

The Cloud is an open wireless network that is free for anyone to use. It is provided by Sky and is available in the UK and Europe wide.

The Cloud may not provide access to university's eResources, such as your home drive, printing, ebooks, eJournals and databases. Therefore we recommend that all staff and students configure their computer to use either BU-Staff for staff or BU-Student for students in preference to The Cloud. The BU-Staff and BU-Student wireless networks are encrypted to keep your information safe.

Can you plug a personal laptop into a mains power point?

Mains power points (UK standard 230V 50Hz) are available in most public locations such as coffee shops, open-access areas and the library.

If you wish to plug your own computer into the mains (whether using wireless or not) first do a visual check to ensure that there are no exposed electrical connections, bare wires, missing insulation, and it has a proper plug connection. If your laptop was purchased overseas check to ensure you have the correct power adapter.

Please be careful not to leave trailing cables across walkways, as people could easily trip over them (potentially hurting themselves and/or damaging your laptop if it’s dragged off the desk!).

Is using the wireless network less secure?

It can be – depending on how the network is set up. At Bournemouth the wireless networks, BU-Staff and BU-Student use a strongly encrypted wireless signal. This involves technologies such as ‘WPA2’, ‘AES’ and ‘802.11x’. When using this sort of network, your data is encrypted so that nobody can see what you are sending in the wireless signal.

If you want an additional level of security, it is recommended to use a VPN client or software that will encrypt all traffic from your device over the internet. Please speak to your university or business IT department for information on using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Is there a charge for using the wireless network?

The university’s wireless services are free to use for BU staff and students.

How do you remove the wireless settings profile from an iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad?

If you need to update the wireless settings on your iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad you may find that the new settings profile conflicts with the old one, so the device will not let you install the new settings profile.

In order to fix this you can remove the old settings profile as follows:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. General.
  3. Profiles.
  4. Select the profile you wish to remove (e.g. BU-Student).
  5. Select Remove.
  6. If asked, enter your device’s security PIN number.

If your device still remembers the wireless network, you will also need to:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Choose Wi-Fi.
  3. Press the (i) on the Wireless Network e.g. BU-Student. Then press Forget this Network.          

Is the wireless a/b/g/n? (802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n)

All of our buildings with wireless access points support 802.11a, 802.11g and 802.11n. 802.11b is no longer supported. A small number of locations only provide support for 802.11ac which provide higher bandwidth and data rates.

Devices that only support 802.11b, and do not support 802.11g or 802.11n, will not be able to connect. This is because supporting the very small minority of 802.11b devices would have a detrimental effect on wireless performance for everyone else.

Where can you find the rules and regulations?

Like everything else, there are rules you have to obey when using the university’s wireless services. These are for the safety and security of all wireless users, as well as to ensure the university complies with it’s obligations. View the Regulations & Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs).

If you break the rules we will usually email you. In some situations, we might disable your wireless access, but we will normally email you to explain why this has happened and what you need to do next.

How fast is the wireless and are there any download limits?

There are no specific maximum upload or download amount limits when using the campus wireless service, but you must not cause problems for other users or with the network by using an unfair share. The wireless is generally pretty fast, but this may vary – we don’t guarantee any minimum or maximum speeds.

If you think you are experiencing a speed problem you will need to tell us all of the following:

  • Your computer’s wireless MAC address
  • Exactly where you are on campus (e.g. building and room number)
  • What exactly you are trying to transfer (e.g. the address of the web page or file you are trying to download)
  • The time and date that you experienced the problem
  • Do a speedtest, click share this result, and send us the URL
  • Which version/type of Windows/Mac/Linux/phone/PDA you did the speedtest with.

How do you find the wireless MAC address?

When reporting an issue, it is very helpful to us if you can tell us your device's wireless MAC address. Please select what type of device you have:

Finding your MAC address on Windows

  1. Windows Vista/7: Click on the Windows menu, click in to the text box on the menu and type: cmd then press enter                                                              
  2. A window with a black background should appear. Type the following in to that window: ipconfig/all and then press enter
  3. Several lines of text will be produced (you may have to scroll up to see all of the text). Look for a line that says Wireless Network Connection, below that there will be a line Physical address: … and then six pairs of characters separated by dashes (e.g. 00-50-56-9D-4A-AA). This is the MAC address. If you are not sure, copy all of the Physical address lines when contacting the IT Service Desk.

Finding your MAC address on Mac OS X

  1. Open the Applications folder, then Utilities, then open Terminal
  2. Type the following in to the Terminal window:    
    ifconfig en1
    and then press enter
  3. Several lines of text should appear. The MAC address is on the line that begins with ether or lladdr and is six pairs of characters separated by colons (e.g. 00-50-56-9D-4A-AA). If you are contacting the IT Service Desk copying all of the text would be helpful.

Finding your MAC address on Linux

  1. Open a terminal window (Terminal may be found in the Accessories menu on Ubuntu systems)
  2. Type the following in to the terminal window
    ifconfig -a
    and then press enter
  3. Several lines of text should appear. MAC addresses may be labelled with HWaddr or ether or lladdr and are six pairs of characters separated by colons (e.g. 00-50-56-9D-4A-AA). The wireless MAC address is the one corresponding to your wireless interface which may be ath0 or wlan0 or eth1 or similar. If you are contacting the IT Service Desk copying all of the text would be helpful.

Finding your MAC address on an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate as follows: General » About » Wi-Fi Address
  3. The “Wi-Fi Address” is your MAC address.

Finding your MAC address on Android

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate as follows: About phone » Hardware information » Wi-Fi MAC Address
  3. The “Wi-Fi MAC Address” is your MAC address.

Finding your MAC address on a BlackBerry

  1. Open Options
  2. Select Status
  3. The “WLAN MAC” is your MAC address.

Finding your MAC address on Windows Phone 7

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate as follows: Next » About » More
  3. The “Wi-Fi MAC” is your MAC address.

Is the wireless IPv6 enabled?

Currently Bournemouth’s wireless services only provide IPv4 network access.

Still having problems?

When reporting an issue you’re experiencing it is important to provide enough detail to allow the IT Service Desk to diagnose the problem.

  1. Please describe what you are actually trying to do. You can include what you perceive to be the problem, but don’t jump to a diagnosis. State your initial aim
  2. Please explain why you think it “doesn’t” i.e. what is the behaviour you were expecting? How does this differ from the actual behaviour?
  3. Please describe what it does do! Do you get any error messages? What are they? What did you do to get to this stage? Exactly what time did this happen? Exactly where on campus were you? What is your BU username?

Each reported issue usually relates to one person, or a small group of people. Most university services have thousands of users. Most problems have several possible causes. Providing enough detail will allow us to search service logs, account details and unscheduled service outage records to find the information that is relevant to you. Without this we can’t narrow down the possible list of causes, and thus it’s very difficult to provide a useful response to a query.