News & Announcements

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After 12 years of being supported by Microsoft, Windows XP went end of life 8th April 2014.

This means that Microsoft are no longer producing security updates for it (or Internet Explorer 8) leaving computers that are running Windows XP more exposed to security threats than more recent versions of Windows. Windows XP is now quite an attractive target for hackers, as any security vulnerabilities which are found in it will go unfixed.

IT Services strongly recommends that if you’ve got a Windows XP computer, you think about upgrading it as described by Microsoft themselves here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/end-support-help

When it comes to ResNet Wired (or eduroam Wireless), we’re not actively blocking XP computers from connecting. However the IT Service Desk or the Student Laptop and Mobile Clinic are no longer providing support for XP on ResNet Wired or eduroam.

If you encounter problems connecting to ResNet Wired with your XP computer, IT Services will be unable to give you much help in the way of troubleshooting.

If you have a Windows XP computer which you desperately need to connect to ResNet, are not going to be using it for processing university data (doing so would contravene the University Mobile and Remote Working Policy), and are willing to accept the risks of doing so – the setup instructions are still available here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/it-services/resnet/help/connectionguide.pdf

ResNet Wired, ResNet Wireless, eduroam on campus, 3 systems, 2 setup tools, 2 sets of instructions… that’s all a bit confusing, perhaps it’s time we simplified all that.

This summer, we’re going to wave goodbye to ResNet Wireless and make eduroam available in the halls of residence.  This will mean that you only have to set up your computer/phone/tablet once, and it’ll work in halls and on campus.   Much simpler for you, and much easier for us to support!

We’ve made the first step in that direction already, and the eduroam wireless signal is now available in halls.  If your computer is already set up to use eduroam when you’re on campus you’ll find you can already use eduroam in your room!  Somewhere around 12% of the devices we normally see connecting to ResNet Wireless are already connecting to the eduroam signal.

We’ve still got a bit of work to do to transition fully to eduroam in halls, but the timeline looks a bit like this:

  • 7th May 2013 – we added the eduroam (and Bristol-WiFi-Setup) signals to the wireless coverage in halls
  • 17th June 2013 – we’ll start contacting those who haven’t migrated, so that if they’re staying on in halls they don’t lose out
  • 24th June 2013 – we switch off the ResNet Wireless signal

Somewhere in between those two dates we’ll be launching a new version of the connection instructions for new users, updating the website, and making sure that anyone who hasn’t moved over to eduroam does so. The IT Service Desk will be laying on some additional telephone support (starting on the 24th June) for anyone who needs help migrating – we don’t want to leave anyone stranded with no internet!

The super-high-speed ResNet Wired service will be staying around, and will not be changing.  At some point in the future (probably 2014/2015) we’d like to make the setup of the wired service the same as eduroam.  The idea being that you set up your computer once and use it on the wired or wireless, seamlessly – but that’s a little way off yet!

We’ve not sent one out in a while, so it’s ResNet Newsletter time again!  This time round, we’re making wireless easier to use, changing the way we do bandwidth limiting, and recruiting some new student staff!

Work for ResNet!
Each year a large number of students join the team which run ResNet. A job with ResNet offers competitive pay and excellent experience whilst working with, and helping other, Bristol students. It can be hard work but it is enjoyable, a chance to develop your technical, interpersonal and professional skills, and great experience for future employers.

Jobs start in September and much work takes place around Freshers’ week and the start of the Autumn term. There is the opportunity for a few hours per week during term time for the rest of the 2013/14 academic year working in the Student Laptop and Mobile Clinic. Also, we are often looking for interns to help us with specific projects over Easter and/or Summer vacations.

The closing date for applications is 10am, Monday June 10th 2013, for more information and an application form, see our jobs page: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/it-services/resnet/info/behindscene/vacancies13.html

eduroam is coming home
This summer, we’re going to wave goodbye to ResNet Wireless and make eduroam available in the halls of residence.  This will mean that you only have to set up your computer/phone/tablet once, and it’ll work in halls and on campus.   Much simpler for you, and much easier for us to support!

We’ve made the first step in that direction already, and the eduroam wireless signal is now available in halls.  If your computer is already set up to use eduroam when you’re on campus you’ll find you can already use eduroam in your room!  We’ll be shutting down the ResNet Wireless signal after the end of term on Monday 24th June 2013 but don’t worry, we’ll have lots of lovely instructions and extra telephone support available for anyone staying in halls after that date to help you move over.

Bandwidth Limits
As part of the move towards eduroam, we’ve taken the bandwidth limits off of Wireless ResNet.  We’re still counting how much data transfer you do on ResNet Wireless (and Wired) but we’re no longer taking any action based on the wireless data so use as much as you like, within reason!  The bandwidth limits are still in place on Wired ResNet, so if you use both you’ll still want to keep an eye on My ResNet: https://my.resnet.bristol.ac.uk to see how much you’re using.

We will be doing some routine maintenance on the Langford Residential Network on:

  • Tuesday 9th April
  • Wednesday 10th April
  • Thursday 11th April
  • Tuesday 16th April
  • Wednesday 17th April
  • Thursday 18th April

Any disruption to the network should be less than 1 minute.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

See Update 11:16

This morning we lost the network link to Stoke Bishop at approximately 8:20. As a result, ResNet wired & wireless, eduroam and internal phones are not working.

The exact cause of the outage is not yet known, but our networks team is actively working to restore service.

We will post an update here when we have more information.

Update 09:46 by Mark, ResNet Manager – We are very confident this is a power outage in our comms room.  We are now waiting for Estates to visit and restore power to our equipment.

Update 11:16 by Mark, ResNet Manager – Power has been restored by the Estates Team and all networking has been restored to the Stoke Bishop area.

 

Over the coming weeks we will be starting a programme of upgrades to the Residential Network (ResNet).  These upgrades will cause some disruption to subscribers’ Internet connections although these disruptions should be short.  A full list of dates and areas concerned is available below…

  • Completed – Tue 19th Feb 2013, Hawthorns – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 26th Feb 2013, Stoke Bishop Residences – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 5th Mar 2013, Goldney Hall, Clifton Hill House, Manor (Manor House, Richmond House, Sinclair House, Tottenham Place)  – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 12th Mar 2013, Deans, Woodland, Unite, Chantry – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 19th Mar 2013, All other location – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet

Canceled – In addition to this there will be an outage to ResNet Wireless connections in all locations on Tuesday 5th March 2013 between 07:30 and 09:00.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Over the Christmas period we’ve been busily installing additional wireless points to improve some of the gaps in our ResNet Wireless coverage.

  • Churchill – we’ve installed 4 new wireless points at in MPQR block, doubling the coverage in that building.
  • Goldney Hall – we’ve installed 14 new wireless points.

Customers in those locations should see an improvement in signal strength and reliability as a result of this work.

We’re aware that there are still areas of poor coverage elsewhere on ResNet, and work is underway to close up the gaps.  Most notably, we hope to be installing additional wireless points in Deans Court (26 new wireless points) and Unite House (36 new wireless points) in the near future.

Most people are using ResNet Wireless this year, probably because it’s really convenient (who doesn’t want to be able to lie on their bed and watch endless videos of kittens on youtube?) but did you know that ResNet Wired is up to 5 times faster?

Internet speeds are limited by the slowest technology in the path in the chain.  At home that’s usually the bit between your broadband router and the internet, but on ResNet Wireless our connection to the internet is so blisteringly fast that the bottle neck can be the wireless technology used by your laptop.  There are two main wireless technologies on ResNet Wireless, 802.11g and 802.11n

We have the newer, faster 802.11n technology in place on about 80% of ResNet, and in our tests the speeds work out something like this:

802.11g

802.11n

Although these tests were done using an actual ResNet Wireless connection, your wireless connection might well be slower.  Our tests were done at a quiet time of day, and we were sat in the same room as the wireless router.  If all your flatmates are using ResNet Wireless at the same time as you, or if there are any walls between you and the access point then you can expect your wireless speeds to be a bit slower than ours.

However, neither of those factors effect the ResNet Wired service!

ResNet Wired

Blimey! That’s a bit quick that is!

To set up your computer to use ResNet Wired, just plug your computer into the ResNet socket in your room using the cable provided and follow the connection guide we gave you when you moved in.  If you don’t have a cable or a connection guide, ask your hall office or senior resident.

ResNet Activations

This year has been to smoothest start for ResNet subscribers with nearly 4900 people activating their connections – this is over 98% of our customer base.  For the first time we’ve seen a significant shift towards wireless usage with over 3100 (62%) of you choosing to only use ResNet Wireless.

Here is a pretty graph from last week:

http://www.bristolresnet.net/2012/10/02/4675-customers-connected/

ResNet Wireless v ResNet Wired

The ResNet team have worked hard over the summer to complete the roll-out of ResNet Wireless to every Hall and House – we are now at 100% coverage http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/locations.  In an ideal world we’d want every room to have a really strong wireless signal but unfortunately reality is different.  We really want customers to be happy with ResNet and if you are one of the small number of people that is struggling with a slow wireless connection speed then please consider using ResNet Wired.

What is the speed difference between ResNet Wireless and Wired?

This is a difficult one to answer because of the different wireless technologies we are using but a good 802.11g speed is about 30Mbps and you are sharing the wireless with 5 or more people in the area.  ResNet Wired will give you 100Mbps download and upload and you are not sharing this with anyone.  Basically for a fast and reliable connection please use ResNet Wired.

We’ve got an interesting post about the speed of ResNet:

http://www.bristolresnet.net/2012/10/08/how-fast-is-your-resnet-connection/

You too can test your speed by visiting http://www.speedtest.net

Wireless Printers

Every year we get lots of requests to connect wireless printers to ResNet.  Unfortunately our wireless network is significantly more complicated than the home wireless networks these printers were designed for and so do not work well on ResNet Wireless.  Please see a forum post on this topic.

http://askit.bris.ac.uk/uob/topics/how_can_i_connect_a_wireless_printer_over_the_resnet_wireless

Regards,

The ResNet Team

 

Freshers Week 2012

It’s 3pm on the Tuesday of freshers week, and we’ve already got 4675 customers set up and connected to ResNet!  This is our fastest freshers week ever, and we’re almost 300 active connections ahead of where we were this time last year.

The graph in this post also shows how many of those 4675 customers have only ever used their wireless connection (3140 people!) and how many have only ever used their wired connection (only 587 of you!) which is a pretty big swing compared to last year which was mostly wired connections.

Wireless is clearly going to be a big thing this year, but if you want a much faster connection than the wireless provides, you really should give ResNet Wired a spin.  We’ll post more details about that in the near future, but lets just say that at 100Mbps download/100Mbps upload – it’s the fastest ResNet connection we’ve ever provided and even under ideal conditions it’s over twice as quick as the fastest the wireless network can provide.

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