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Wired Network (Ethernet): F.A.Q.

I'm having problems with my wired network connection, what do I do?

If you are having trouble with your Ethernet connection, try the troubleshooting tips below.

Wireless-Only Residence Halls.

As of fall 2011, all residence halls and Lincoln Apartments are 'wireless-only'. Wired (Ethernet) Internet access is not available in these buildings. A Wired Ethernet connection is only available in North Village family housing.

Make sure your device is registered for network access.

If you are using a jack that is part of the Network Registration system, you will need to register your device before it can access the campus network. Visit the Network Registration site (http://netreg.it.umass.edu/) to register your device or check your registration status. If you are using a Network Registration jack, but have not yet registered your device, you will automatically be redirected to the User Registration website. See below for more information about Network Registration.

Swap Ethernet Cables and/or Ethernet jacks.

Borrow an Ethernet cable you know is working and use it to connect your computer to the same Ethernet jack. If you can get online, you need a new Ethernet cable. If you cannot get online, check if there is another active Ethernet jack within reach of your computer and try the connection there. If you can get online, there is most likely a problem with your Ethernet jack. Call the IT Help Center (413-545-9400) to report it. If you cannot get online, it is most likely a configuration issue with your computer. Try the other troubleshooting tips.

Check your TCP/IP settings.

Follow our TCP/IP configuration instructions to make sure that your network settings are set up correctly.

Verify your IP address.

Check the Help section of your operating system to find out how to determine your current IP Address. This address consists of a series of four digits separated by periods. If it listed as anything other than a series of four digits separated by periods starting with 128 (i.e, 128.###.###.###), call the IT Help Center (413-545-9400).

Disable network bridging and/or Internet connection sharing.

Ethernet jacks on campus will automatically shut off once they detect simultaneous connections to the campus network. You should only use one network connection at a time. See our documentation to disable multiple network connections and turn off network bridging.

Activate your wired (Ethernet) connection (Linux).

In Linux, go to System > Administration > Networking, and in the Connections tab, select Ethernet connection. Then, click Activate and deactivate any other connections that may be active (i.e., Wireless or Modem).

What is Network Registration?

Computing devices using network jacks in Registrar-scheduled classrooms, some residence halls, and academic and administrative buildings need to be registered with UMass Amherst Information Technology.

The registration process associates a device’s unique identifier (i.e., the MAC Address) with a member of the University community. This helps ensure the campus network is more secure and illegal activities (e.g., copyright violations, etc.) are not wrongly attributed to you. We can also contact you faster if there is a problem with your computer.

Who needs to register?

Network Registration is currently only applicable to a few IT staff networks and conference lecturers in the Campus Center. 

What devices do I need to register?

You need to register computing devices you want to connect to the Internet via a network jack. These include desktop and laptop computers, printers, and devices without Web browsers.

In academic and administrative departments where Network Registration is required, designated IT administrators will register all shared devices (e.g., lab computers, computers used by student employees). For more information, see Register Departmental Devices.

Note: Devices with static IP Addresses or fixed DHCP do not need to be registered (e.g., some servers, network scanners). To confirm whether a device has a static IP Address or to request one, contact hostmaster@umass.edu.

How do I register?

  1. Make sure your computer is virus-free and up-to-date with the latest security patches and virus definitions. Note: Use Secunia PSI to check for outdated software.
  2. Open a Web browser. If your device is connected to a network jack and Network Registration is required in your building, you will be redirected to the Network Registration home page. To register devices remotely, from home or elsewhere on campus where Network Registration is not required, go to http://netreg.it.umass.edu.
  3. Follow our registration instructions. Note: You will need the MAC Addresses of all devices you register remotely.

To complete the registration process, you need to restart the devices you are registering.

What is a MAC Address?

The Media Access Control Address (a.k.a. MAC Address) is a unique 12-character ID for the network card in your device. Devices may have multiple MAC Addresses (e.g., the wired MAC Address for your Ethernet card and the wireless MAC Address for your wireless card).

You register the wired MAC Address (a.k.a. Physical Address or Ethernet ID) with the University. Note: For devices without Web browsers, such as network printers, you can usually find the MAC Address on the label affixed to the device. How to find MAC Addresses

When should I register?

Members of the campus community can register any time at http://netreg.it.umass.edu.

Can I use a different computer to register my devices?

Yes. You can register devices from any computer with an Internet connection. Get the MAC Addresses for these devices before you get started. You will be prompted to enter these addresses one at a time. See our Network Registration instructions for more information.

I replaced my old computer. What now?

Remove the registration for your old computer, then register the new one.

You are responsible for all activity originating from devices registered in your name. To avoid liability, especially for devices you have sold or replaced, delete them from your list of active registrations. Learn how...

Can I register a device for a friend or a guest?

Please don’t! Any compromising network activity (e.g., copyright violations, virus infections) will be attributed to you. Copyright violations, for example, may have severe disciplinary, legal, and financial implications for you and your family.

If your guests have NetIDs, they can register devices themselves or use the wireless network. Faculty and staff can also create temporary wireless accounts for their guests. Wireless connectivity is available in a growing number of locations on campus.

For shared devices such as printers, lab computers, or departmental computers used by student employees, please contact the IT administrator in your department.

I'm a student employee. Should I use my NetID to register my work computer?

No. If your work computer is not registered, ask your supervisor for help. The IT professional in your work department will register this computer for you.

Can I connect a wireless router to my registered desktop computer?

NO! Wireless access points pose a serious security risk and slow down the entire wireless network. In compliance with our Wireless Airspace Policy, interfering wireless access points (i.e., access points not managed by UMass Amherst IT) will be disabled.

Is my registration valid only for the network jack in a classroom or dorm room?

No. Your network access 'moves around' with you. Once registered, a device can connect to the Internet from a network jack in any building on campus.

Is IT monitoring my Internet connection?

No. We do not monitor anyone's online activities. The registration process allows us to locate security threats, and, by responding quickly, we are in a better position to protect all members of the University community and their assets.

I can’t connect to the Internet. What’s wrong?

Your problem could have many causes. There are a few things you can check yourself:

  1. Check the network cable:
    • Make sure the cable is properly connected to your computer and the wall jack.
    • Check the cable's condition. If the connectors at each end of the cable are not securely connected, or if one of the connectors doesn't 'snap' securely into a jack, you may have a faulty cable. Borrow a network cable to confirm this is the case.
  2. Test the wall jack. Connect your computer to another jack or connect another device to the wall jack you are using. If it's a faulty jack, contact the IT Help Center at 413-545-9400.
  3. Try a different Web browser (e.g., Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.).
  4. Disable third-party security suites (e.g., Norton) and install IT's anti-virus software (available at no cost). The firewalls included in these security packages often block the Network Registration home page.
  5. Make sure your device is registered if you can access the Network Registration home page.
  6. Restart your device.
  7. If you can only access the IT Safety Net page, you may have an outstanding copyright violation, your system may be compromised, or your computer may be using an unauthorized network or device (e.g., an interfering wireless access point). Follow the prompts on the screen to re-connect.

If none of these actions solves your problem, contact the IT Help Center.