Network Engineering & Technology
George Mason University
Aquia Building, Mailstop 1B5
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax VA, 2030-4444
July 12, 2013
The goal of the Mason Public Network Access Control is to create a safe and secure network environment for the users of the Mason network by enforcing:
- Authentication: To ensure that Network Engineering can trace responsibility for actions on the network, such as malicious attacks.
- Host Checking: To ensure that users have proper protection, including anti-virus, Service Packs, and possibly other items. (This list may be changed by Network Engineering as needed. Systems that pass Host Checking have full network access, those that do not will have limited access.)
- Access Control: To ensure that Network Engineering has the ability to protect users by allowing or denying certain network access. Based on the result of Host Checking, different network resources can be granted to different user groups.
How to connect to the network
Step 1. Open a web browser* and go to a web site other than Mason's (for example,www.google.com). You should see the page shown in Pic. 1 below.
* Windows users need to use Internet Explorer (IE); Mac users need to use Safari 2.0.4 or above with JVM (Java Virtual Machine) 1.5.0_06 (refer to Appendix A).
If you see a page with the error message “Captive Portal: Redirect Page,” you need to clear the cache from the browser (Pic. 2 shows IE). To clear your cache:
- IE: Tools > Delete Browsing History > Temporary Internet Files > Delete files
- Safari: Edit > Empty Cache
Step 2. Click on the Students button, you should see the following page (Pic. 3).
- Use this chance to install Symantec Endpoint Anti-Virus and Java, which will both be needed for the following steps. Follow the links provided at the right of the page for installation.
Step 3. Type in your e-mail username and password and click login. You should see the following page (Pic. 4).
- Host Checker will load on your computer and run based on pre-defined requirements.
- You need Java Runtime Environment on your computer to run Host Checker. Without Java, your computer will have limited network access—or a web page may open to inform you that Java is needed.
- When prompted for ActiveX installation by the browser, right click the information bar and choose Install ActiveX Control.
- If prompted with Security Warning for uac.gmu.edu, check "Always trust content from this publisher" and click "Yes".
Step 4. Connected
Depending on the results of Host Checker, you will see one of the following pages. Pic. 5 shows a computer with limited access, and Pic. 6 shows a computer that passed. If there is a problem, the page will show the results of the Host Checker, provide resources to fix the problem, and show information about granted network resources.
If you see the page above, it means your computer will have limited network access (see Note below). The reason could be:
- No supported anti-virus
- No supported system Service Pack (not applicable for now)
- No Java
You can follow the links provided on this page to upgrade your system so your computer can pass the next time you login.
(Note:Limited network access could include shorter session times and blocked access to some Internet addresses. As of Fall 2008, limited-access users have shorter session times (users will need to re-login after 1 hour), and SSH and Telnet are not allowed. Network Engineering may apply more constraints when necessary.)
If you see the page above (Pic. 8), it means your computer has passed and you have full network access, based on your group.
- Mac users who use supported Safari browser and Java (see Appendix A) will be able to pass Host Checking and have full network access.
- Mac users who use Firefox will have limited access to the network.
- Once a user sees the page as Pic. 7 or Pic. 8, the user must keep the page open to keep the network connection.
- Users with computer systems that passed will also need to re-login after a certain time period (right now eight hours). To avoid re-login, user will need to install an agent. (The agent will be available for users to download in the near future.)
- Linux users who have Firefox 2.0 and above will temporarily have only limited network access, since the system currently only support Firefox 1.5. We are working with vendors to fix this problem. Meanwhile, users can download Firefox 1.5 to avoid the issue.