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Connecting at the University

Wired connections

You will normally be able to connect your own computer to your College or Department network and thence to the Internet via the University network. Your College or Departmental Computer Officer should be your first point of contact – please do not connect your own computer without first talking to them.Students will be told by their Colleges how to set up a connection. Information for IT staff about institutional connections to the network is available.

Wireless connections

Much of the University is now covered by wireless connections to the CUDN. See the pages on UniOfCam and eduroam.

Safety

Computers in the University are constantly being attacked and breaches of security happen all too often. The security of University and College networks is the responsibility of all who use them. If you have, or will have, a computer attached to the University network (CUDN) either directly, or indirectly via a College or departmental network, then you are responsible for its safety and security. You must ensure that:

  • all accounts are protected by strong passwords. Many systems have easily guessed, or worse still non-existent, passwords on some or all accounts. These include personal accounts and administrative accounts. This gives some of our attackers a very easy way in.
  • your machine is only running software that you need and know about and you are not running unnecessary services
  • you keep all your software up to date with patches, hotfixes etc.
  • your anti-virus, and other anti-malware, protection is kept up to date (free anti-virus software is available from the University).

For further details, please see:

College connections

If you have a connection to the College network in your College room, you are responsible to the College for all use of that connection. Your College may have guidelines on the use of the connection and you should refer to the College guidelines first.

Room connections in Colleges generally allow connection to the University network (the CUDN) and thence to the JANET and the Internet, providing a very convenient mechanism for reading mail and accessing University, College and other services. If your connection allows you to connect to the CUDN, then note that serious breaches of the following may result in the connection being suspended or terminated:

  • If you have a wired connection you may only use an IP address allocated to you by your College Computer Officer. You should follow the instructions about configuring your system given to you by your College Computer Officer.
  • Having a connection to the CUDN imposes an obligation on the user of the connection to ensure that it is used only by those authorised to do so. This means that
    • you may not give an account on a machine that is connected to the CUDN to anyone who is not entitled to use such a connection by virtue of being a current member of staff or student of the University of Cambridge (Authorisation for Use of the CUDN, rules 4 and 5).
    • the machine should be secure against attack. The operating system and all applications should be up-to-date with all the recommended patches applied and (where appropriate) only relevant listener daemons enabled; installing a system 'out of the box' is seldom sufficient. In addition, for your own safety, you are recommended to run an anti-virus program. An anti-virus program is available free of charge to current staff and student of the University - see "Who can use this software" for details.
    • the premises should be secure; no unauthorised person should be able to access your system without your knowledge. You will be held responsible for any use of your connection to the CUDN.
  • To those outside Cambridge, every connection to a College network appears as a host on the University Network. Users of connections must therefore also note that:
    • any data kept on a machine connected to the CUDN must conform to the laws of the land including the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act.
    • all software used on systems connected to the CUDN must conform to the University Software Policy
    • no services other than those authorised by your College Computer officer may run on your machine. In particular, you may not run a news server or mail server.
    • you may not register your IP number with any other DNS name other than that agreed with your College Computer Officer.
    • your network connection is for academic use only and may not be used for commercial purposes.
    • under no circumstances may you run a network monitor on your machine.

You should also be aware of the following:

Contact

If you have any enquiries regarding UIS network services, or other University network topics, please send an email to: