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Attention all smartphone, tablet, or video console users — this blog post is about to make your life 10 times easier!

Did you know that you can get around typing in your password into your device every time you want to check Facebook or NFL scores?

The reason you’ve had to log in every time is that USF uses a Network Access Control system (NAC), technology that requires users to sign into USFwireless and the Res Hall campus network. Because the USFwiress network is an open connection without its own authentication, before access onto the campus network is granted, a valid user must sign into NAC. As an added layer of security within the Res Halls campus network, USF requires the use of the NAC agent on all Windows laptops and desktop computers.

NAC Wireless Login

NAC Wireless Login Screen

Since 2006 the NAC agent has been in use to check that minimum protection standards are met on machines operating in the Res Halls. This is basically a small download that allows students who live in Residence Halls to access the Internet. The client only needs to be installed once. Its validation checks and monitors the ongoing requirements evaluated by the agent.

NAC is necessary because it prevents the spread of viruses that infect computers by scanning all computers that attempt to access the USF network before they are allowed online. This also helps to control campus network security. After it is installed, the NAC Agent is used to easily log onto USFwireless without needing to authenticate every time. ITS requires all students who live in the Residence halls and access the Internet (both wireless and wired) to install and use the NAC Agent because we want to keep both your computer and the USF network safe.

For students who live off campus, but occasionally use the ResHall network, it takes from two to five minutes to download the client in order to access wireless Internet inside the dormitory buildings. Keep in mind, if your computer is not using a current and compatible Antivirus application, or if your Windows Operating System (OS) is out of date, the time to get full access to the network will vary. You must also enable automatic updates.

So when you constantly type in your username and password on tiny keys, you are signing into NAC. But if you have a smartphone or a tablet, all you have to do is bring them to the ITS Help Desk, and ITS will capture specific devise information — and allow it to bypass the NAC sign in. So, you don’t have to sign in on that devise, to access the Internet, anymore! It literally takes a grand total of two minutes.

For more Information on the NAC agent roll-out plan for the 2012/2013 school year, please go here.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Well how do I get my video game system online in the ResHalls; does it use the NAC Agent?” Video game consoles are an exception case.  If you want to connect a video game console to the USF network, you must register it with the ITS Help Desk. If you bring in the full console, including the power adapter, video connection cable (the cable that connects the system to your TV) and one controller, a member of the ITS Help Desk staff can register your device onto the network. By doing this, they are verifying the devise, and allowing it to access the USF network, without making you sign it into NAC.

If logging on to the network is a slow, lagging process on your computer, there are a number of things you can do to speed up the process. First, make sure the agent is running by checking that the icon is in your toolbar. Then, set your default home page to www.usfca.edu, because the client responds faster to that website. Quit your browser and re-launch, and the NAC agent will intervene via a popup.

NAC Agent Login

NAC Agent Login

If you would like an easy, step-by-step explanation for installing NAC, please visit the How to: Prepare & Pass USF’s ResHall NAC Requirements solution in USFanswers.

For more information about NAC go to http://www.usfca.edu/its/help/studentcomputing/nac/. For help with the NAC agent, call the ITS Help Desk at 415-422-6668 or email them at itshelp@usfca.edu.

 

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