CalNet Wireless Network Frequently Asked Questions

Wireless Network (CalNet)   |  Wireless Network Coverage Areas  

General Frequently Asked Questions

What is a wireless network?
Why would I need it?
Can my wireless card only be used at Purdue Calumet?
How much does it cost?
Will the signal travel through walls?
Does CalNet use Bluetooth?
Will other devices cause interference?
Are there health implications?
Can CalNet interfere with Cell phones?
How does the wireless Ethernet card affect my laptop’s battery?
Are network printers available on CalNet?

802.1x Wireless Networking

What is 802.1x?
Why is Purdue Calumet implementing 802.1x authentication?
How do I know if my laptop will work?
I’m not getting a valid IP address, what’s wrong?
I have a wireless network at home, will I still be able to use my wireless network at home?
What if I have more questions?


General Frequently Asked Questions

What is a wireless network?

A wireless network is just a computer network, it does not communicate through network cables. CalNet uses radio waves to transmit and receive data. It is an extension of the main campus network, which is connected to the Internet by a physical connection.

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Why would I need it?

CalNet gives you the freedom to use your portable computing device to access the campus network in a variety of areas. You can do research, download your homework, and check your e-mail whenever you’re near any access point.

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Can my wireless card only be used at Purdue Calumet?

CalNet utilizes the 802.11b/g standard, meaning the card can be used on other wireless networks. Many home routers (used with cable modems) are shipping with wireless capability. Other universities have implemented wireless networks as well.

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How much does it cost?

CalNet is a free service to anyone with a valid NetID (also called Career Account Username) and password.

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Will the signal travel through walls?

Yes. CalNet uses radio waves, which can pass through glass and standard walls. It can also travel around corners, so you can still receive a signal on the other side of a more solid barrier (metal and cement are harder for the 2.4GHz signal to penetrate).

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Does CalNet use Bluetooth?

No. Bluetooth is a 1Mbps (Megabits per second) standard for connecting small devices in close proximity, like connecting a palmtop computer to a cell phone. CalNet uses IEEE 802.11b/g, or Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) as it is also called, which connects users to Ethernet compatible computer networks.

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Will other devices cause interference?

Yes. Other devices that operate in the 2.4GHz band include microwave ovens and 2.4GHz cordless phones, which shouldn’t be present when you attempt to access the network.

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Are there health implications?

There is no conclusive evidence that 2.4GHz radio waves relate to any health risk. These products operate at very low power, 100mW when transmitting (less than 1/1000 the power level of a Microwave oven). While operating at the same frequency, these devices don’t use the same amount of power.

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Can CalNet interfere with Cell phones?

No. Cellular phones operate in licensed frequencies other than 2.4GHz.

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How does the wireless Ethernet card affect my laptop’s battery?

Like any electronic component, the Ethernet card will drain power from your battery. They should have less than a 10% impact on battery life. The average current required to be able to receive packets using PSP (Power Save Protocol) is less than 60 mA (about 25% of the power consumption of a 10/100 PC Card).

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Are network printers available on CalNet?

Network printing is not available for CalNet users. It is recommended that you save your data to removeable media and visit one of the campus computer labs.

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Frequently Asked Questions about 802.1x Wireless Networking

What is 802.1x?

802.1x is the latest authentication standard for networks. It makes authentication much easier and secure. With 802.1x you will login using your Novell user name and password. This allows for ease of use, while still maintaining the utmost secure practices.

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Why is Purdue Calumet implementing 802.1x authentication?

Purdue Calumet strives to implement the best technology to support our students. 802.1x is the standard in wireless security and information technology.

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How do I know if my laptop will work?

Please check the setup page to see if your operating system is supported.

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I’m not getting a valid IP address, what’s wrong?

802.1x uses a process known as tunneling to transmit your login information to the authentication server. Therefore, a valid IP address is not necessary to authenticate. After you are successfully authenticated you should receive a valid IP address and be able to access the network.

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I have a wireless network at home, will I still be able to use my wireless network at home?

Access to CalNet should not affect your home network configuration.

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What if I have more questions?

Please contact the Customer Service Center at 219.989.2888 option 2 or via e-mail.

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