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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!

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.

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.

Good news for residents in Langford’s Hostels – We’ve added ResNet Wireless so you can now connect your computers, smartphones and tablets more conveniently!

Here is some info on how to connect…

http://www.bris.ac.uk/it-services/advice/homeusers/resnet/connect/wireless

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with A2Dominion and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Woodland Court.  Starting on Thursday 8th December our contractors will be on-site installing cabling
and 21 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before Christmas 2011.

Adding wireless to Woodland Court will increase Residential wireless coverage from 75% to just over 80%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

Update 20-12-2011
The cabling contractor has now completed their installation. We are waiting for the switches to be configured so we’ll update this post as soon as we have more info.

Update 21-12-2011
The wireless should now be alive and ready to use. Connect to the ResNet-Setup network and open your web browser. Go to http://go.resnet.bris.ac.uk to activate your ResNet Wireless connection.

Merry Christmas to everyone at Woodland Court!

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with A2Dominion and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Deans Court.  Starting on Friday 18th November our contractors will be on-site installing cabling
and 30 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before the end of the term (16th December 2011).

Adding wireless to Deans Court will increase Residential wireless coverage from 68% to just over 75%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

 Update 09-12-2011
All cables have been installed but only some have been terminated. Swicthes are installed. We are a waiting for completion of cable termination which we expect to be next week. Looks like we are on target for completion by the end of this term 🙂

 Update 20-12-2011
The installation of Wireless ResNet was completed late last week and 28 of the 30 access points are now up and we’ve seen over 60 people using them already. We are looking into fixing the two that have never come alive either today or tomorrow. We hope you enjoy using Wireless ResNet.

After an unexpected initial delay we are now pleased to announce that ResNet wireless at Wills Hall is now fully functional.  To setup your wireless devices please connect to the ResNet-Setup wireless signal, open a web browser, and follow the on-screen instructions.

We are still waiting for the cabling contractor to finish at Churchill Hall but we expect to have this fully functional before the end of Freshers week.

Well, it’s 3:30pm on the Monday of Freshers’ week and we have 4100 customers connected to the ResNet service which is about 95% of all people with a valid subscription.  This is 17 hours quicker than last year which is really great.  Hopefully people have found connecting easier because of this year’s new wireless activation system.  Wireless ResNet has over 1400 distinct customers connected and wired ResNet has over 2600.

Our team are still taking lots of calls but the main problem seems to be passwords, which we can’t deal with.  If you cannot remember your password (or username) then please visit the Service Desk in the Computer Centre with photo ID.

 

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