Welcome to the Dowling Residences. The Administrative Information Services team which manages your network strives valiantly to give you a 100% reliable network connection. Here are a few things you need to know in order to have a successful experience using the Dowling networks:
How to get connected:
Follow the instructions at http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/res-connection.html by September 19, 2010. After that date, the process may require a visit to one of the Computer Labs. You will need to agree to abide by Dowling's Acceptable Use Policy, enter some information into a web page to identify yourself and your PC, wait a day or less, then plug in and go. There's no paper to hand in -- just fill out the form online and click "Place Request".
Note: we recommend you activate your Dowling email account before registering your PC, even if you are a returning student. Visit http://username.dowling.edu to activate.
Both residences are connected to the Internet through Dowling's campus infrastructure. Dowling uses Cablevision-Lightpath as its Internet Service Provider; we have a "fractional-DS3" connection running at 100 megabits-per-second. A firewall at the edge of that infrastructure offers some security, and a bandwidth management device provides fair allocation of that 100Mbps “pipe.” A diagram of our network structure is here.
What you can do:
Your network connection is provided primarily for access to College services; you should not expect the full range of services available from a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP). Nonetheless we recognize that your dorm room is your "home away from home", so normal web surfing, chat, and (legal) downloading of videos and music should operate as expected.
What you should do:
- Activate your Dowling accounts by visiting http://username.dowling.edu. This account gives you access to Dowling email, a login account at the Computer Labs, access to the Blackboard Learning System, and access to the Student Records System for grades and transcripts.
- Use your Dowling e-mail account at http://email.dowling.edu for all Dowling business. Your Dowling e-mail account is the primary method by which the College will communicate with you. Dowling will avoid sending personal information to off-campus addresses.
- Keep your Dowling account clean: obtain a free account at Gmail, Yahoo or elsewhere, and use that account whenever a web site asks you for an e-mail address. Use your Dowling e-mail account for close friends and family and for communicating with people at Dowling. That way, your Dowling account will be less cluttered with "spam."
What you must do:
- Secure your PC against intrusion by using WindowsUpdate, and anti-virus, firewall, and anti-spyware programs: see http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/securepc-v3.html . An insecure PC quickly becomes a vector for infecting its neighbors, i.e., your fellow residents. If your PC is compromised and starts sending out dangerous traffic, you will be disconnected from the network to protect everyone else.
- You MUST have a working, up-to-date antivirus program such as one of these, which are free:
If you use one of the many excellent commercial antivirus products, you will need to pay for a subscription in order to obtain the latest virus signatures; it’s well worth it to protect your PC and your data. Wikipedia has an article listing these and many other antivirus programs.
- Protect your PC against spyware, which robs you of bandwidth, robs your PC of speed, interrupts you with popups, forces you to surf to sites you don't want, and may steal your passwords, financial information and identity. S'nasty. Find links to more information on the Secure Your PC page on the Dowling website.
- Update your Windows, antivirus and antispyware software every day. Schedule nightly antivirus and antispyware scans of your PC. If your PC has become infected, scanning it may fix the problem before it becomes more serious.
What you must not do:
- NO ROUTERS. We strongly discourage routers and personal firewalls (except software firewalls like ZoneAlarm) because you will disrupt the entire Residential network if you set it up incorrectly. If you install one, when registering your connection, enter the MAC (Physical) address of the router's WAN connection. Details: http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/routers.html
- NO WIRELESS. You must not setup a wireless access point (WAP) or wireless router/firewall because it will interfere with existing wireless AND wired connections. Use the network jack in your room - there is a live jack for each person in each residence. NOTE: during the next year we expect to completely replace the wired ResNet with all-wireless. It's a big project; stay tuned.
- NO MANUAL ADDRESSING - USE DHCP. You must allow our servers to assign an IP address to your PC via DHCP. You must not set or change your IP address manually. Using DHCP will also correctly set your name-resolution (DNS) servers to local ones for faster performance. This is important because unauthorized servers are blocked.
- NO SERVERS. You may NOT setup your PC to be a server (e.g. mail, web, list, ftp, games, filesharing) because this poses a security risk to your fellow residents.
- NO SMTP OUT. You must not send e-mail directly to the web via SMTP - this action is blocked because viruses use this technique, and we could be blacklisted, which would block ALL Dowling email. You must relay through our mail server, imap.dowling.edu. Note that this is for normal, individual communication only - you are not permitted to host any kind of server.
- NO FILESHARING. If you are using KaZaA, Bit-Torrent or other file-sharing software, you must ensure that you are not sharing files out to others. Remove them from your shared directory after you download them. If we receive a notice (e.g. from RIAA) that you are sharing files, you will be disconnected from the Internet and see this page instead. If we do not hear from you after that, ALL of your network communication will be blocked.
Some notes about how we manage the networks are at http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/resnotes.html .
Some notes about troubleshooting your network connection are at http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/resnet-tshoot.html .
"No legitimate organization on the planet will EVER send you an update file attached to an email message."
-- Patrick Douglas Crispen, http://www.netsquirrel.com