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Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions? We've got answers. If you don't find what you need here, please contact us at (858) 534-2267 or resnet@ucsd.edu.

General ResNet Information

Q: What is ResNet?
A: ResNet (short for Residential Networking) is the physical network that provides each on-campus residential student a network port in their room and a connection to residential wireless access points. ResNet is also a group within ACMS that provides support for students with network and/or computer questions or problems. Using presentations, our website, information tables, and written material, the ResNet staff works with the residence staff at each college to keep students informed about network related issues, and help them become more computer savvy.

Q: What does ResNet provide?
A: ResNet provides access to UCSD's electronic resources and educational/research related material on the Internet. ResNet, along with Housing and Dining Services and Time Warner Cable, provides you with a network connection via cable modem or straight Ethernet. Your connection is always on, and you do not need to dial a connection. The data connection in your room gives you direct access to the Internet from your personal computer. You can use it for web browsing, email, Instant Messaging (AIM and ICQ), Telnet, and FTP (for file transfer among computers on the Internet).

Q: What does ResNet cost?
A: All costs associated with services provided by ResNet are included in your housing fees. There are no additional fees or charges.

Q: Who can connect?
A: All conference guests and on-campus residents, including Warren Graduate housing and Coast Apartments, are wired for data connections. Most residential halls have ResNet wireless access points as well.

Q: How do I get connected?
A: Since most computers are set up with the default configuration settings to work right away, simply plug your network cable in and register your connection. If you run into problems, check out our FAQ and troubleshooting sections. This documentation also has information about how to check e-mail and information on commonly used e-mail applications. Make sure you are familiar with the Acceptable Use Policies listed at the beginning of the documentation.

Q: Is it possible to plug in more than one computer into the network?
A: You may have more than one device on the network (more than one IP) associated with your name, as long as you do not violate the Acceptable Use Policy. ResNet reserves the right to limit the number of IPs registered to you. Register every computer you use on the network. Please contact our office at (858) 534-3227 if you have any questions or have a unique circumstance.

Q: What are cable modems, and can I plug my Ethernet-ready computer into them?
A: Some residence halls and apartments have black Cisco boxes mounted on the walls. A cable modem network uses existing coaxial cabling (like your cable TV) to deliver high-speed data access to your room. Ethernet (data) transmissions are converted into analog signals and are passed onto a cable channel at a central location. The signals are transmitted to your building alongside the cable TV signals. The cable modem box translates these signals back into Ethernet transmissions in your room. From this point, you are able to plug your Ethernet-ready computer into the cable modem.

Q: What else should I know about my cable modem?
A: The cable modem in your room (or neighbor's room) is an essential part of the connection. If it gets unplugged or damaged it will cease to operate properly. Power-cycling the modem by unplugging it from the electrical outlet for 2 minutes and plugging it back in may re-enable the connection. If it doesn't, call the ResNet office to report the problem.
Groups of cable modems are connected to one data channel and "share" the bandwidth of this channel. You can picture this as a highway that you share with the people in your local area. If everyone were trying to use the highway at the same time, there would be congestion and no one would get anywhere quickly. The same principle applies to your network connection. The more people using the connections in your area or building, the slower the network will be in your area. This can be a serious problem if individuals in your area are performing network-intensive activity. This is the electronic version of a "road hog". Please remember to be considerate to those in your area with your network usage.

Q: Should I get a Macintosh or a PC?
A: Both types of computers are supported by ResNet. If you have used one type of computer before and you are satisfied with it, we recommend that you go with the same type again.

Q: Should I worry about theft?
A: Laptops are stolen occasionally, but it's usually because the owner left their door wide open or left it at the library while getting a bite to eat. If you are careful, you probably won't have problems.

Ethernet Cards

Q: Do I need an Ethernet card?
A: An Ethernet card is necessary to connect to the wired network. To use the ResNet wired connection, all computers are required to have an Ethernet card. Reliable Linksys Ethernet cards are sold at the UCSD Bookstore. Make sure that your Ethernet card is 10Mbit, 10/100Mbit or 10/100/1000Mbit and has a RJ-45 jack.
Unsupported cards may not be compatible with your computer. If you have questions, please call the card or computer manufacturer to ask about incompatibility problems.

Q: Can I use my phone cable for my Ethernet card?
A: No. Doing so may damage the connectors within the cards and/or your phone cable. You must buy a separate Ethernet cable, otherwise known as Cat-5 cable. Macs typically come with telephone cables but no Ethernet cables.

Q: How are phone cables and Ethernet cables different?
A: An Ethernet cable connector has 8 pins; a phone cable has 4. Ethernet cables are also wider.

Q: Will a 10/100/1000Mbit network card work?
A: Yes. A "network card" is the same thing as an Ethernet card. 10/100/1000Mbit means the card can function both as a 10Mbit card, 100Mbit card and a 1000Mbit card. ResNet requires only a 10Mbit card.

The UCSD Network

Q: Do I really need to register?
A: Yes. If you don't, you will not be able to connect to any website but the registration page. Register here. If you are using the public "UCSD" (non residential) wireless network, see the directions here

Q: Does ResNet block P2P programs like Kazaa and Morpheus?
A: We do not block any Internet services at this time. Traffic may be prioritized, so during peak times, file sharing applications may seem blocked because they are moving so slowly. We do this to ensure each user has access to basic services, such as web browsing and checking email. If you have problem connecting to any site or using any type of service, please contact us!

Q: Are the IPs static or dynamic?
A: The IPs are static and assigned by a DHCP server. Our DHCP server keeps track of the unique hardware addresses on your Ethernet cards and will assign you the same IP every time you turn on your computer.

The ResNet Program

Q: What is an RCC?
A: RCCs are Residential Computing Consultants. RCCs are students who are here to help you with your computer and network concerns.

Q: How much does all this cost?
A: ResNet is free to those living on-campus. All costs associated with services provided by ResNet are included in your housing fees.

Q: Are the RCCs certified or do they have any contracts with the manufacturers to do warranty certified work?
A: RCCs do not have contracts with the manufacturers to do warranty certified work, but most computer manufacturers will allow the case to be opened (and the seal broken) for the installation of an Ethernet card without voiding the warranty. If you are unsure about this, please contact your computer manufacturer for more information.

Q: How can I sign up for an appointment?
A: If you are experiencing a network or computer related problem, call (858) 534-2267. We will first try to troubleshoot your problem over the phone. If we determine that you need an appointment, we will schedule you for the next available slot. Due to the high volume of calls during the first few weeks of each quarter, there may be up to a 5 day wait on appointments.

Q: Do RCCs get paid or is it volunteer work? How do I become an RCC?
A: RCCs are employees of UC San Diego and are paid hourly. Click here for more information. The application period for Fall is generally during the last 5 weeks of Winter Quarter. All RCCs MUST be able to work forty hours during Welcome Week.

Wireless Networking

Q: What is wireless networking, and where on campus can I use it?
A: The wireless network is a high-speed Internet connection without physically plugging your computer into anything. Wireless campus coverage increases every year. Wireless is available in most ResNet areas, UCSD lecture halls and main campus areas. 

Q: How can I use it?
A: Follow the directions in the Getting Connected section. You must have a wireless LAN card using 802.11g/n standard.

Q: How fast the wireless connection?
A: For normal web browsing, checking e-mail, and Instant Messaging, wireless connection is comparable to wired connection speed. UCSD's wireless network is compatible with G/N wireless network cards, with each access point handling approximately 30 computers without noticeable degradation. The speed of your connection may drop as more users in your area connect.

Q: What if I get bad signal strength?
A: Make sure you are in a wireless supported location, which includes:

  • Revelle College
  • Muir Apartments and Tenaya
  • ERC College
  • The Village
  • Warren College
  • Sixth College

Wireless is provided for the common room areas any may not work in your individual room.

Q: What does a wireless connection cost?
A: You do not need to pay to connect to the wireless network, but your computer must have a wireless Ethernet card installed or built in.

Q: Can I download large files?
A: Since wireless is shared, downloading large files slows down other connections. In addition, interference could cause you to lose your connection during the download.

Q: Can I buy and install my own wireless access point?
A: You will be responsible for all traffic going through your device. You must contact ResNet first. Setting up a wireless access point on your own is a violation of the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy. Only areas where wireless is not provided by ResNet (Coast Graduate Housing) can a personal wireless access point be installed. 

Q: I'm not even getting 11Mbps. Is my card defective?
A: You're unlikely to achieve those speeds in the real world. With an 11Mbps card, you will probably see a maximum speed of 5Mbps. Your speed typically depends on signal strength and how many simultaneous users that are using the wireless.

Q: Why is my wireless connection disrupted more often than my wired connection?
A: Many factors — including large metal objects, trees, cordless phones or microwave ovens operating in the same 2.4 GHz frequency range, and multiple users connected to the same access point and sharing the bandwidth — can disrupt wireless connections.
The wireless network is not intended as a replacement for the wired network. If you use a machine in a fixed location, we recommend that you use a traditional wired Ethernet connection.

Q: Where can I get more wireless networking information?
A: You can get more info on the UCSD Wireless Network website.

Maintenance for Mac Computers

Q: How can I make my Mac work the way it should?
A: For Mac OS X, run the Disk Utility (in the Utilities folder).

Q: How do I check what OS version I am running?
A: Click on the apple in the top left corner and select About This Computer.

Q: How do I boot from a Macintosh OS CD?
A: Insert the OS CD in your computer and hold the "c" key on your keyboard while the computer starts up.

Q: I want a fresh install of the OS. What can I do?
A: Boot with Macintosh OS CD, run Disk First Aid, and repair all the problems it finds. Then look for the utilities on the CD that will walk you through installing a fresh copy of the OS to your computer. Make sure you use the OS CD that came with your computer. Certain Apple computers will only work with certain versions of the OS.

Maintenance for Windows Computers

Q: How can I make my computer boot up faster?
A: Having fewer programs start up when the computer first boots will increase speed.

  1. Click on Start, then Run, type in "msconfig" (without the quotes) and then click on the Startup tab.
  2. Check the list for the programs and files that automatically start when the computer starts up.
  3. Unchecking programs you don't need immediately. A few files need to be started with Windows, so only uncheck programs that you're familiar with

Q: My hard drive is full. What can I get rid of to free up more space?
A: Uninstalling some programs from your hard drive will give you more space. Keep in mind that once a program is removed, it can never be used again unless you reinstall it again from a CD-ROM.

Go to Start, then Settings, then Control Panel and on Add/Remove Programs. Remove any programs that you don't use or need from the list.

Telephone: (858) 534-2267
E-mail: resnet@ucsd.edu
Location: Applied Physics and Mathematics 1313

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