Network & Wi-Fi

VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection allows you to access the Amherst network, and the resources on it, as if you were on campus. For example, if you are working at home but want to access your personal network storage on the Amherst userfiles network share (a.k.a. the U: drive), first connect to Amherst VPN then when connected, you can access your U: drive. Similarly, if you are at home but need to access library databases, first connect to Amherst VPN, then you can log in and use library resources. If you need to access administrative files behind the firewall, but you are at home or in a an office not wired with the firewall settings, then you can use Amherst VPN Firewall.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Five College Students
Features and Benefits: 
  • Use VPNConnect (faculty and staff) or VPNStudent (Amherst and Five College students) to access services only available on the Amherst network from outside the Amherst network.
  • Use VPNFirewall to access services only available behind the administrative firewall from locations outside the firewall.
Requirements: 

Note:

Some networks do not allow VPN connections.

  • This is the sometimes the case when you use guest network access at another school.
  • It is also the case in some countries, China is one example.
  • Last, some routers provided by internet providers do not allow VPN use. Especially likely to be a problem are routers for bundled phone/tv/cable service. If you have a 3-service bundled router and are unable to connect to Amherst VPN from your home, you may need to request from your Internet service provider a different router to use only for Internet service and use the 3-service router only for phone/tv. The router settings must allow for PPTP pass-through.

BitTorrent Access

BitTorrent is a protocol for the practice of peer-to-peer file sharing. This protocol allows sharing or distributing large amounts of data via the Internet.

To send or receive files, you will need a BitTorrent client, an application that implements the BitTorrent protocol.

To protect the Amherst College network and data, we will allow BitTorrent use only for academic reasons for Amherst College students, faculty and staff. You must complete a form to request to opt in to using BitTorrent on-campus and state your academic reasons for needing BitTorrent access. A link to the request form is below under Getting Started. Amherst College IT will disable BitTorrent use as needed to proctect the network and will notify those affected.

 

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Getting Started: 

Complete the BitTorrent Opt-in Request form to get access to the BitTorrent protocol and get started using it on the Amherst College network. You must log into the Amherst website to access the request form.

eduroam wireless access

Eduroam is a worldwide wireless service that gives members of participating institutions transparent access to one another's wireless networks. Each participating institution maintains a Wi-Fi network named eduroam. After you initially connect to eduroam at your home institution, then you can then access the eduroam network at any participating institution.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Five College Students
Others
Features and Benefits: 

Provides transparent, secure access at thousands of educational and cultural institutions in over 70 countries and territories worldwide.

Note that eduroam is identical to the Amherst Secure network, but with the additional ability to connect seemlessly to networks at other institutions. Amherst users should feel free to use eduroam and Amherst Secure interchangeably.

Requirements: 

To use the worldwide eduroam network, you must first log on to eduroam at your home institution. Do this before traveling, then you will be able to use eduroam at other locations.

Amherst users who are on campus will be required to register their networking device in order to use eduroam, just as they do with any Amherst wireless network. Visitors to the Amherst campus do not need to netreg their devices in order to use the Amherst edutoam network. 

Getting Started: 

The eduroam Knowledge Base article has detailed information about how to log in and use eduroam.

Additional Information: 

Visit the eduroam website at https://www.eduroam.org/ for detailed information about using eduroam and participating institutions.

Network Registration (NetReg)

Network registration or NetReg is required for the network adapters of electronic devices that connect to the College's Ethernet and wireless networks. Device adapters that must be registered include desktop and laptop computers; game consoles; TV/video devices such as Apple TV, Roku, and DVRs; and wireless (Wi-Fi) mobile devices such as iPads, Kindles and Nooks. Also, you'll need to register your smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc.) if while on campus you use Wi-Fi in addition to--or instead of--your phone's data connection.

Note:
One exception to the NetReg requirement is for computers that connect via wired Ethernet connection using ports that are behind the Amherst Firewall. Typically, those working in departments such as the Health Center, Comptroller, Dean of Faculty, President's Office, Chief Financial Officer's Office, Title IX, and some Dean of Students staff will fall into this category. Any questions about whether you are required to NetReg please contact the Help Desk.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Five College Students
Others
Features and Benefits: 

The NetReg service associates your computer's network adapter, physical network address (MAC address) and your Amherst username. If IT detects that your computer is infected with a virus or is disrupting the network, we will know whom to contact.

Getting Started: 

First, connect to the Amherst Ethernet or wireless network, then launch a web browser. If your computer is not registered, you will be redirected automatically to the NetReg page. If you don't redirect automatically, you can go to the NetReg page by entering netreg.amherst.edu into your browser's address bar.

Computers and other devices must NetReg when they first connect to the Amherst network. In addition, IT clears out the NetReg database before the start of each academic year, which means you have to re-register your devices on an annual basis.

Ethernet

IT provides Ethernet (wired) networking to just about all locations on campus, using standard RJ45 cables.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

Ethernet provides the fastest connection to resources on the Amherst network and to the Internet.

Requirements: 

To connect your computer to the wired network, you need:

  • an Ethernet port: all desktop and most laptop computers have one, though many newer laptops require an extra adapter;
  • an RJ45 cable, which you can purchase from IT.

The network requires registration, but an Amherst account is not required.

Getting Started: 

When first connecting to the Ethernet network, load a new page with your web browser, and if your wireless network adapter isn't already registered, you'll be redirected to the Network Registration page.

If you do not see your home page and are not automatically redirected to the NetReg page, enter its address directly into your web browser: http://netreg.amherst.edu.

Additional Information: 

For specific set-up information, see  this Knowledge Base article:

Amherst Secure Wi-Fi

Amherst Secure Wi-Fi is a wireless network that requires an Amherst account in order to connect. Note that an Amherst user will get the same features and performance on the Eduroam network as on Amherst Secure.

Campus visitors should use the regular Amherst Wi-Fi network or the Eduroam network (if they come from a member institution).

If you have an ethernet connection near your computer, especially if it’s a desktop, you should instead consider using it, as it will be faster than Wi-Fi.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Five College Students
Features and Benefits: 

Unlike the Amherst wireless network, Amherst Secure provides over-the-air encryption of all your network traffic.

Requirements: 

You need a wireless adapter that supports the 802.1x authentication protocol. In our experience, only older laptops running Windows XP may be unable to connect to Amherst Secure.

Getting Started: 

Find your computer’s list of available wireless networks, and select Amherst Secure. The first time you connect, or the first time you connect after changing your password, you'll be prompted to enter your current Amherst username and password.

Then load a new page with your web browser, and if your wireless network adapter isn't already registered on the Amherst network, you'll be redirected to the Network Registration page.

If you do not see your home page and are not automatically redirected to the NetReg page, enter its address directly into your web browser: http://netreg.amherst.edu.

Amherst Wi-Fi

The Amherst Wi-Fi wireless network lets members of the Amherst College community as well as guests access Amherst network resources and the Internet wirelessly.

People with Amherst accounts are strongly encouraged to use the Amherst Secure or Eduroam wireless networks, as they provide better security.

If you have an ethernet connection near your computer, especially if it’s a desktop, you should instead consider using it, as it will be faster than Wi-Fi.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Alumni
Five College Students
Applicants
Others
Features and Benefits: 

Lets anyone connect to the Amherst College network.

Requirements: 

The Amherst Wi-Fi network requires registration, but an Amherst account is not required. 

If you do not or cannot register, then as a “guest” you will be restricted as to what you can do on the network, in particular you will only be able to browse the World-Wide Web and access an IMAP-based email system.

Getting Started: 

Find your computer’s list of available wireless networks, and select Amherst. Then load a new page with your web browser, and if your wireless network adapter isn't already registered on the Amherst network, you'll be redirected to the Network Registration page.

If you do not see your home page and are not automatically redirected to the NetReg page, enter its address directly into your web browser: http://netreg.amherst.edu.

Internet Access

The College maintains a 600 mbps connection to the Internet, and a 1 gbps connection to the other Five Colleges. Any computer connected to the College network has access to the Internet.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Alumni
Five College Students
Others
Tags: 
Features and Benefits: 

High-speed access to the Internet for academic, business, and residential uses.

Getting Started: 

You simply need to connect to the Amherst network and register your device on the network to gain access to the Internet.

Firewall Network

To provide an extra layer of security for critical College applications, the servers that house Ellucian Colleague and the computers that access it are separated from the general College network by a firewall.

Audience: 
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

Access to critical College data is only permitted by computers in the address range supported by the firewall.

If access is required outside the firewall address range, you must first connect to the College's Firewall VPN service.