1. How does Ball State connect to the Internet?
Ball State is connected to the Internet through two Internet Service Providers. Currently these are AT&T and iLight. We are connected through a 3Gbps optical circuit and a 1Gbps Ethernet circuit. Ball State currently pays for a total of 4Gbps of service through these circuits. Additionally, Ball State has 3Gbps capacity to all Internet2 locations.
2. What is bandwidth and should I care about it?
Bandwidth describes the amount of network traffic that can be sent and received over a particular network link. Users are most familiar with Internet bandwidth, which is shared by all campus devices. Carelessness and overuse of this resource can have a detrimental effect.
3. Why does my computer sometimes seem to be slow connecting to the Internet?
Too many applications running simultaneously can cause poor performance. Try closing unnecessary applications to reduce the number of programs running. You might be trying to access too many resources at the same time; for example you could be downloading a background update.
There are shared connections taking place via the network IP provider that you are currently using, which can reduce the throughput to your individual system.
The resources you are trying to access could be experiencing heavy congestion or outage. For example Netflix is one source which is streamed via the internet by many people at one time. This influx of users could make it seem like your computer is slow, but in fact Netflix’s main server might not be able to handle the capacity at that current time.
In regards to faulty equipment the following could be problematic:
1. Network Card
2. Wireless Card
3. Faulty RAM
4. Faulty CPU
5. Video Processor failure (GPU)
6. Fragmented Hard drive
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a slow Internet connection please contact the Technology Helpdesk.
4. What is a firewall? Does Ball State have one?
A firewall is a device used to protect a network and its users from outside intrusion. The Ball State firewall blocks over 5 million intrusion attempts daily.
5. What does the firewall block or not block?
The firewall only blocks unauthorized Internet traffic generated from off-campus. The firewall does not block any outbound traffic. Traffic on campus is not blocked.
6. Why doesn't 'ping' or 'traceroute' work for me?
Neither of these programs are end-user applications. These programs are network utilities and are not normally required to utilize the network for accessing the web or other Internet services. Protocols used by these programs are responsible for a significant portion of the Internet's "Denial-of-Service" attacks and thus are dangerous to the overall operation of the network. However, the ability to ping the network gateway is available to verify minimal network access. Unified Communications also provides safe access to a traceroute utility that can be found by going to http://www.bsu.edu/traceroute.
7. I can set up my PC to share files on my hard drive with other people on campus, can I do the same with friends off campus?
Yes, but through programs such as Dropbox, Google Docs, and various other sharing applications. iLocker provides a great way to share files among friends and classmates.
8. If I set up a web server in my dorm room can my friends and family who live off-campus view my web pages?
No, Ball State provides many options for access to web pages from off campus through your personal iWeb account that has been provided within a secured environment.
9. I made a music video; is there a way that I can stream it as part of my online resume?
Streaming today has become more of a client capability. Generally, you can place your video in your iWeb space, create a URL to it...and it will work fine.
10. Sometimes I notice that access to the web seems to be faster in a public computer lab than it is in my dorm room. Is this my imagination or can there be a difference?
Yes there can be, for example due to the following reasons:
1. Wired connection vs. Wireless Connection
2. Type of equipment – lab computer vs. personal computer.
11. Does the University restrict access to any Internet sites, and what would lead to a restriction should one occur?
On occasion certain Internet sites are restricted due to security concerns such as: phishing attempts, identity theft / fraud, etc. The determination is decided by the IT Security group.
12. Does the University restrict access to certain applications?
Yes, file-sharing applications which are often used for illegal file transfers are restricted from use.
13. Is the Ball State network used for more than access to the Internet?
Yes, access to the Internet is only one of the services the campus network provides. Unified Communications provides the communication and convergence infrastructure to increase productivity and to enhance teaching and learning, including: wired, wireless, voice, and video services. Campus constituents use it to e-mail, connect to Academic records, operate Administrative systems, etc. Today, anything requiring computing also requires a safe and efficiently managed communications network.
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