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How to Configure Your Computer to Use the Campus Wireless Network

This page explains how to configure your Windows XP computer for wireless access on the Messiah College network.

When you configure your computer to use the wireless network, you will find that there are two wireless networks currently supported. One is named "MC-Open" and the other is "MC-WPA." ITS strongly recommends using the MC-WPA network because it uses encryption. This is important for the protection of your data which is being broadcast out from and back to your computer via radio waves. Without encryption, someone sitting nearby could, with the right equipment, easily eavesdrop on your communication, possibly accessing your sensitive data.

Both networks will require you to authenticate that you are a valid user of the college network by entering your network username and password.

 

 

Using the MC-Open Network

It is usually easy to configure the open, unencrypted network. Configuring your computer to use the MC-Open network is usually just a matter of selecting it on your computer's "available wireless networks" window. The open network is being provided for use with systems which are not capable of utilizing the encryption standards of the MC-WPA network. You will also need to login before gaining access. Simply open your web browser to any web site to get the login screen.

Please note that some services are blocked on MC-Open because it is not a secure network. These include IMAP, POP3, and FTP. If you need to use one or more of those services, please connect to MC-WPA instead.

Be sure to also check the end of this page for additional notes.

 

Using the MC-WPA Network

Note: You will need Windows XP with SP2 (service pack 2) installed to follow these directions.

  1. Right-click My Network Places and select Properties. This opens the Network Connections window.
  2. Right-click Wireless Network Connection and select Properties.
  3. In Wireless Networks tab, make sure that the "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings" checkbox is checked.
    • If you do not see a Wireless Networks tab, or if the "Use Windows" checkbox is NOT checked, then there is probably a third-party wireless management package installed on your computer. These are often bundled with drivers for your wireless adapter. You will need to disable the management software, or uninstall it, to continue.
    • See also How to Disable Third-Party Wireless Management Software.

  4. Under Preferred networks, click Add
  5. For Network name (SSID), enter this: MC-WPA
  6. Change Network Authentication to WPA
    • If WPA does not appear in the list, you may need to update the drivers for your wireless adapter.
  7. On the Authentication tab, change EAP type to Protected EAP (PEAP). Click Properties. The following window appears.
    • eap-properties.png

    1. Remove the check on the "validate server certificate" option.
    2. Select Authentication Method should say "Secured password".
    3. Click Configure. The following window appears.
      • mschap-properties.png

    4. Uncheck Automatically use my Windows logon name and password. Click OK.
    5. Click OK to return to Wireless network properties window
  8. Remove the check from the "Authenticate as computer when computer information is available" option.
  9. Click OK.
  10. After a moment, you should see a Wireless Network Connection bubble display at your system tray, like the one below.
    It says "Click here to select a certificate or other credentials for connection to the network MC-WPA". Click the bubble.
    • If the bubble does not appear, then try one or more of the following:
      • Rebooting
      • Disabling, then reenabling the Wireless Network Connection.
      • Connecting to the MC-Open network first, then retry the MC-WPA network.

      bubble.png

  11. You should be presented with an "Enter Credentials" dialog, like the one below.
    Enter your Messiah username and password. Leave the "Logon domain" field blank.
    See the note below about important password information.
    • mslogin.png

 

 

Notes

As mentioned above, you may need to remove software that came bundled with your wireless adapter. See also How to Disable Third-Party Wireless Management Software.

Due to the variety of hardware and configuration possibilities, the directions listed above are not intended to cover all possible differences that could be encountered.

 

Password Changes

When connecting to MC-WPA, Windows stores the username and password that you used to authenticate to the campus wireless network. Windows will use this stored password when it needs to authenticate to the wireless network in the future, without prompting you each time. When you change your network password using the form on the ITS web site, the password you used to setup your wireless network will also need to be changed. The easiest way to do this is to delete the old password that was stored by Windows when you setup the wireless network. Then, when Windows tries to use the wireless network, it will prompt you for your username and password again.

If that does not work, try this instead. Go to the list of preferred wireless networks and delete MC-WPA. Then reconfigure MC-WPA as described above. Windows should now prompt you for your credentials.

If for some reason you need to delete the stored username and password from Windows, you can. The password is stored in the registry. If you do not know how to edit the registry, seek assistance. Here is the key that needs to be deleted from the registry:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\EAPOL
 

 

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