Overview of the Ross Data Network
The University of Michigan central IT Organization (ITS) provides a high-speed, multi-protocol data, voice and video network for the entire campus. This network "backbone" connects all building local area networks (LANs) and campus data centers to the state network (operated by Merit Network, Inc). Merit connects all public universities in Michigan as well as many other Michigan educational, governmental, non-profit, and business organizations. Merit is also the connection between the University and the commodity Internet and to private educational and research networks such as MiLR, Internet 2, and CIC OmniPop.
The ITS backbone is actually one of three on campus. The other two backbone networks are the CAEN (Computer Aided Engineering Network) backbone operated by the College of Engineering and the UMHS (U-M Health System) backbone operated by MCIT (Medical Center Information Technology).
Ross Wireless Network
The Ross wireless network is designed to provide a high-speed, encrypted and secure wireless environment to our entire community, covering all Ross buildings and areas, using the latest in 802.11n technology.
IEEE 802.11n is different than previous standards (802.11 a/b/g) because it operates in two different frequency ranges. It runs in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band, like IEEE 802.11g and 802.11b, and it also operates in the 5.8 GHz unlicensed band like IEEE 802.11a. The 2.4 GHz band provides better penetration of walls, and therefore better range. The 5.8 GHz band provides more capacity (double of 2.4 GHz today) for higher speed connections.
RossWirelessUM is our high-speed, encrypted and highly secure wireless network. You should connect to this network whenever possible. It uses Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) to ensure a fast and secure connection. There are no network restrictions; meaning that you can access any web site and use all network application software. No special configuration or software installations are required to use this network. Simply log in using your uniqname and password.
RossWirelessGuest is an unencrypted wireless network intended as a short-term convenience for non-University, official guests of the Ross School such as Board Members, Recruiters and Executive Education participants. Access to this network requires the user to accept the conditions of use, which will be presented upon launching a web browser after connecting. Since this network is not encrypted, you must not send personal information such as credit card numbers over this network. If your guest needs to send secure, personal information, please use a wired, Ethernet connection found in all guest rooms, classrooms and interview rooms.
MWireless is similar to RossWirelessUM and is provided by central University (ITS) to all who have a valid University of Michigan uniqname and UMICH Kerberos password. Your computer or device probably will not see MWireless as an option while within the Ross complex.
Ross Ethernet Network
Ross is responsible for and co-manages all data, voice and video within our facilities, with assistance from ITS. Our buildings have a "dual home" fiber connection to the campus backbone through high speed, highly redundant "distribution layer" (DL) switches between Ross and the School of Education and the Law School. The current backbone technology is gigabit Ethernet, which is also used at Ross to connect classrooms, labs, conference rooms and offices to the UM backbone. The network data jacks located in all offices, classrooms, labs, conference rooms, group study rooms and the various open study spaces are all encrypted, switched 100mb Ethernet.
Wireless Security and Privacy
Wireless technologies are relatively insecure. A number of different technologies utilize the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz communications bands, including: wireless computers, cordless phones, microwave ovens, and Bluetooth. These devices may interfere with wireless LAN connections. It is also possible for Wireless LAN radio signals to be intercepted by unintended receivers. Use the RossWirelessUM (or campus MWireless) network when available, since when using them your data is always encrypted.
RossWirelessUM, like it's counterpart MWireless, is the most secure wireless network possible today. It is a Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) network that is based on the IEEE 802.11i standard and uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to encrypt all of the data between your wireless device and the Access Point (AP).
When you need to use RossWirelessGuest, know that your data is not secured unless you are using a secure application such as a VPN or SSL Web site. Look for the lock icon in your Web browser to determine the security of the Web pages you visit. A closed lock icon indicates the Web page is secure.
It is very important to make certain your computer always has the latest anti-virus software and security.
Other University of Michigan Wireless Networks
The UM central IT Organization (ITS) manages the wireless network that covers many areas on Central Campus, called MWireless, and has provided a detailed map showing other networks that are available (see sidebar).
The College of Engineering (CAEN) manages the wireless network available in many areas and buildings across North Campus.
Other wireless networks have also been deployed in locations around the University of Michigan's campus.
There are likely "private" wireless networks that exist across U-M; installed in offices to provide access for the people in those areas. Please be cautious of these networks and do not connect to any network unless you are sure of the identity of its provider.