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Hofstra WiFi bumps up security

By Megan Walsh

  Effective this second semester, students who want to connect to the network on campus are required to change their network connection from the formerly advised hunet, to the now advised HU PREFERRED to connect to the internet. 

  The difference between hunet and HU PREFERRED lies in the words "encryption" and "user authentication", both of which the new wireless network now provides. 

"Encryption is the scrambling of text so that [outside parties] won't be able to read it." explained Helen M. Latimer, the Director for Networks and Telecommunications. "Hunet was not encrypted but HU PREFFERED is now encrypted."  Likewise hunet did not ask for "user authentication" (which requires students to input their Hofstra portal login information) whereas HU PREFERRED now does.

   What may have caused some confusion among students is that the wireless network students are now expected to connect to, HU PREFERRED, had previously been named husec. The name for the wireless connection was changed in the hope that HU PREFERRED would be more easily recognizable to the Hofstra community, according to Latimer.  Latimer added, "Husec will be removed Thursday.  Both are encrypted.  It is just a name change."

   Devices not supported by HU PREFERRED, such as the kindle, simply require the user to connect to HU MISC DEVICES.  This will still provide the same type of protections as HU PREFERRED, Latimer explained.

   However, as far as visitors coming to Hofstra are concerned, the HU Guest wireless network is still active and available. Although "limitations" are put on this network that prevent downloads and applications from working properly, Latimer assures students that the wireless network is perfectly suitable for "surfing the internet."

HU PREFERRED has disappointed some students because of the speed and lack of connectivity.

   "I don't like HU PREFERRED because every time I finally get on the internet, it shuts down in two minutes and goes off for another ten," said sophomore Kevin Rafuse. "The only way it works is if you go on at three in the morning because it can't handle all the traffic and it sucks."

Junior Cecily Portillo also dislikes the network. "I absolutely cannot stand the HU PREFERRED network because of its weak signal and slow connection, If this is how it is going to be for the rest of the semester, I would have rathered my privacy be exposed on a network."

Senior Christine Smey has trouble connecting to the network at all. "Every time I try and connect to it, it says I am offline and I end up back on the H-- USEC network. Hofstra better get its act together before they shut it [H-- USEC] down or we are going to have no internet at all, because every time I connect to it, it says offline."


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