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-   -   Ne wireless login (https://community.drew.edu//showthread.php?t=2029)

John D. Muccigrosso 12-13-2008 11:45 PM

Ne wireless login
Much much better to get uLogin handling this. I hated having to login twice.

One suggestion: the 10-second delay before the re-direct to the original requested page is too long. Halve it, at least.

Jonathan B. Reams 12-14-2008 12:07 PM

When I wrote the beta version of this I had the timeout set to 3 or 5 seconds, but we decided we wanted people to actually read the network use agreement. Also, there is a link to continue on and bypass the delay, is that not clear or fast enough?

Jonathan B. Reams 12-14-2008 02:44 PM

I changed the delay to 7 seconds for now, we'll see how that goes.

John D. Muccigrosso 12-15-2008 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by Jonathan B. Reams
When I wrote the beta version of this I had the timeout set to 3 or 5 seconds, but we decided we wanted people to actually read the network use agreement. Also, there is a link to continue on and bypass the delay, is that not clear or fast enough?

It's clear enough, but not fast enough. I shouldn't have to do anything to be sent onto the page I want.

Best, IMO, would be to have a delay the first time, then not at all after that. I use wireless most days of the academic year, and so do many students, I'll bet, so making us wait so we can read the same text we saw yesterday isn't very user friendly. :)

I also don't quite understand how this use would differ from my wired use. Same user, same network (same computer even).

Jonathan B. Reams 12-15-2008 02:58 PM

Here's the compromise: I am now setting a cookie that says whether or not you've already seen the page with the net-agreement link and instructions for logging out on it. If that cookie is set, it will redirect you right away (it's refreshing as soon as it hits the page), if not you will have to wait or click through.

I can't just send the location header for that page because otherwise your browser will think you're caught in a redirect loop, but this should be a fair balance between having to see and acknowledge the rules of the drew wireless network and being able to speed through the portal!

Ethan G. Marsh 12-15-2008 05:08 PM

In answer to the question about why different security is required on the wireless and wired networks, I believe the answer is that the wireless network is much more accessible, and therefore more easily compromised. The only locations one can access the wired network are those that have a physical jack. In theory then, if you want your network to be secure you can secure these locations behind locked doors (as in the dorms) or monitor them closely (as in a computer lab or classroom). The wireless network, on the other hand, can be accessed from anywhere the signal reaches, including outside buildings and even off-campus areas. Since we cannot physically secure all these locations, it is necessary to enact other security measures.

John D. Muccigrosso 12-16-2008 09:20 AM

Thanks, Jonathan. I'll give it a try and see how it goes.

On security, it's true that it's harder to control the wireless access, but the fact is that there are plenty of jacks that anyone can just walk right up to and use, including ones in the snack bar, library, and various classrooms (like HS4).

I wonder whether the same level of security is still needed.

Jonathan B. Reams 12-16-2008 11:45 AM

Yes, it is. We have considered putting all public ports through the new authentication system. But there are many more features that have to be put in place before we can think about any of that happening. The new authentication portal is the first part of a retooling of access control on the network, and there will be more information about this as it develops.

Displaying our net-agreement page is a good thing, because we want people to be aware that using the internet comes with some rules (which are in that agreement). The snack bar, library, classrooms, etc are not your house - they are a public location and we want people to be aware that they are in public on a public network where their traffic is accounted for and managed. When you log into the wireless network you are actually logging in - your name is associated and logged with your IP address for the duration of your session - and we want people to be aware of that.

Additionally there is a technical requirement. I can't not display it because your browser will think it's caught in a redirect loop. Think about it, you open up your browser and type in an address. As far as the browser knows, it's actually gone to that address, except that your connection has actually been transparently redirected to an apache server which figures out your url and then redirects you again to wireless.drew.edu. Once you authenticate, you need to be redirected back to the original site, which your browser thinks you've already been to. A very early version of the auth portal just redirected you transparently; every time it did that, the browser thought it was caught in a loop and wouldn't display the page. Thus the second page needs to be displayed so the browser doesn't freak out.

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