Setting up wireless network in a dorm

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Tvman92, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Tvman92 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I am a freshman and I think its ludicrous how we pay so much money and they don't even give us wireless in the dorms. I had a netgear wireless router hanging around at home so I brought it to college and want to set it up.

    I am a noob at this and barely understand all the technical jargon, but I will try to follow along as best I can.

    The school (obviously) has a policy stating no routers are allowed, but I would want to a) make the network invisible, b) make it secure, and c) hide it in any other way possible that anyone can think of.

    I'm not sure of the exact model of the router as I am not right next to the router at the moment, but I just wanted to get the ball rolling now.

    Also, I would be plugging it into the University's ethernet connection box in my room (if that changes anything).

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #2
    That's a great way to get yourself into trouble with the school. You should be discussing this with their IT department, not us. You can think you're hiding it, but truth be told, it's still trackable.

    Given you have described yourself as a novice, this is not how you want to begin your academic career.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    belvdr has it right. If you want wireless in your dorm you're going to have to discuss it with your IT department.
     
  4. Tvman92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #4
    Yea thanks, I understand that, but I want to do it anyway.

    If someone can explain it to me, I'm sure I can do it, I'm not an idiot, I just need some help.

    Plus the school isn't too strict if you aren't doing illegal things on your internet, which I wouldn't be
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    Your IT department can explain it to you. Call their help desk.

    ...and the best people to help you work in your school's IT department.
     
  6. Tvman92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #6
    The whole point is that the IT desk will NOT help me since they don't 'allow' wireless routers.

    That is why I came here to see if the community could help me with my dilemma
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #7
    Then you aren't allowed to set up a wireless network, rendering your question on how to do it a moot point.

    I doubt anyone on the forums is going to be able to convince your IT department to allow wireless networks.
     
  8. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #8
    It's their network, not yours, so just use a LAN cable. I don't like it at all when people add unauthorized network devices to my network.

    In fact, they can shut your access completely off if you violate the rules. I've done it to folks before who then come crying to me complaining they aren't working. Play be the rules or leave the game.
     
  9. Tvman92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #9
    So you are telling me that there is no way to just extend their network and turn it wireless?

    I can refer to other forums but I was just wondering. I don't care about the IT department, if they fine me, I'll pay it.

    If you aren't comfortable with what I am doing, then I can appreciate that, but at the same time, I'd kindly request you stop posting and let the people that will help me help me. Thank you very much
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #10
    You realize that we aren't advising you to give up because we don't want you to have wireless, right? Every school I've ever heard of has their students sign something that states they will abide by all school policies and lays out the punishments for willfully circumventing them. A fine would probably just be the first step.
     
  11. Tvman92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #11
    Oh no I understand, I just need help setting it up. I can just play dumb and be like, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know. I'll shut it off now"
     
  12. pismobrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #12
    Assitance

    Hi

    The others are making valid points, but you’re asking for help so here it is. But read my warning at the end

    Step 1

    - Reset your Netgear router back to defaults.
    - This can be accomplished by holding in the reset pin on the back for about 30's while the device is powered on

    Step 2

    - Just like at home with your cable connection, hook the LAN cable from the wall into the WAN port on the back of your router
    - Since your router will have the WAN port setup to pick up DHCP, the school network likely will be running on DHCP, there is your first step to getting a gateway to the internet


    Step 3

    - Secure your SSID - Wireless name
    - Don't be cheap, use WPA2, and Hide the SSID.
    - Bingo, connect, and you more than likely have internet

    Warning and other options:

    - The school network may had IDS from appliance like aruba, cisco, sonicwall
    - IDS is short for Intrusion Detection System. They are appliances that can locate and monitor masked traffic, or detect un authorized routers/gateways on the network.
    - They can also locate your hidden wireless network, buy using something like Snort, Innssider, etc. Your ssid isn't broadcasted, but they can still detect hidden wireless network and locate it by doing a walk around. Trust me, you get an IT guy with a god like mentality, they will take the time to shut you down.

    Alternative

    - You said that you’re not going to be doing anything questionable? if true, get a 3G stick or flip an iphone into tether mode. Problem dealt with.

    If you still feel inclined to not heed the above recommendations of your macrumors peers, don't be dumb. You’re not going to be expelled from the school, but you will probably be shunned by the IT dept and get lousy support from them while you are at the school. Keeping on their good side is usually a better option
     
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #13
    NAC is more like it. I haven't seen an IDS that locates unauthorized gear.

    Not a god like mentality but a security mentality. I remove unauthorized devices from the network because it's my job (and passion of sorts) to keep the place secure.

    I wouldn't be so sure. People get fired for doing things like this, so I'm not sure a school would sit idly by and just let it pass, especially a school you pay to attend.
     
  14. Roric macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    WI
    #14
    You probably won't get thrown out of school for violating their network policy, but it would be kind of hard to get your school work done without a working network connection. You think it is inconvenient to use an ethernet cable, try connecting without a live jack in your room.
    Also, the campus I used to work at had a separate entity that ran the dorms. The acceptable network use policy was part of the lease. Violate that and you could find yourself on the sidewalk without a place to live.
    Just use the freakin' cable!! :mad:
     
  15. Tvman92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #15
    Thank you very much for your instructions. Is there anything else I can do to hide it even more?

    I was reading on another forum (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=833193&highlight=router+ttl)

    and they go much more in depth about the security precautions. Is this something I should also try to take into account? Would if help in making my router less noticeable?


    How do I use my iPhone with tethering? I am grandfathered into the old data plan and I am definitely not giving that up. Should I jailbreak or something?
     
  16. pismobrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #16
     
  17. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    #17
    You can't hide the wireless access point, since it broadcasts a radio signal that is quite easily detected. I'm quite sure you're not the first student to think of doing this, and I'm equally sure many others have tried. With this in mind, there are exactly two possibilities: 1) the university cares, or 2) it doesn't. If it cares, then it will routinely sweep for rogue access points, and you will be busted. No question of if, only when.
     
  18. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #18
    Sweet! Good information to know, thanks!

    Cisco NAC can also prevent them from ever connecting. :)
     
  19. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #19
    One note of warning. Your (meaning the original poster's) school may have people in their IT department who might be browsing these forums, see your post, hit their router logs on the off chance to see if it came from their residential network, then find the person who posted it by comparing timestamps.

    There are plenty of ways to find and squash rogue APs. Cisco sells a solution for this that automatically looks for strange ARP packets and then yanks the device off the network.

    Of course, there are ways around it, and I'm sure someone clever enough can get an AP up and not get caught (assuming the college doesn't have a radio scanner looking for unauthorized wireless channels nearby), but the consequences may not be worth it, and it might result in a further locking down of a campus dorm network.
     
  20. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #20
    i think most sane people wouldn't want to be an accessory.
    That being said, pick another school as a backup just in case.
     
  21. toddh1982 macrumors member

    toddh1982

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond, Melbourne, Australia.
    #21
    Off topic?

    I'm really confused. I went back read the original post, and I'm pretty sure it asked for support in setting up a wireless network in a dorm. I didn't see anything asking about the moral implications of any such set up.

    I hope you managed to get your wireless network up mate.
     
  22. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #22
    I know you're not asking for this kind of advice, but I'm beginning my sophomore year, so I know how things like this work.

    Read your housing contract.

    Along with it saying no routers, there is most likely a clause in there that says they have the right to enter your room if they feel that you are violating a policy or that there is an emergency situation. Some schools go as far as to have "fire drills" at unexpected times so they can search your room. (Fire drill = emergency situation) They do it at like 3:00 AM so that you are not thinking about hiding stuff and just want to get out. They will go in your room and if it is in plain sight, they can confiscate it or document it or whatever they do at your school. So if you decide to follow pismobrat's advice, keep in mind that you need to physically hide the router well, along with the security. Otherwise you're opening yourself up to other issues, then they'll take your router AND your beer. :eek::mad:

    Posted from my personal WiFi in my dorm room since my university provides wifi and allows personal routers :p
     
  23. Roric macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    WI
    #23
    And we would be remiss in not pointing out the moral and possible legal implications of setting up an unauthorized, and specifically prohibited, connection to a university owned network.
     
  24. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #24
    If you are a noob then you should not do it.

    Someone can use your connection and get you into trouble.
     
  25. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    #25
    No, the OP specifically asked for advice on how to configure his router to conceal it from university officials. Most responses here have attempted (apparently in vain) to convince him that this is not possible, and that the consequences of getting caught will not be pleasant. I don't see any moralizing here, only good practical advice.
     

Share This Page