Wireless Networks

Information About Wireless at UofT

MIE department wireless policy

Due to security concerns and university policies, wireless devices are not permitted on the MIE Research network. Any detected wireless devices on the MIE Research network will have its data port disabled immediately.

University policy (see section below) requires all wireless connections be traceable to an individual user. To comply with the policy, security firewalls and bridge type wireless devices are required. In light of this, the MIE computing committee has decided to reinforce its longstanding policy not to permit private wireless routers on the MIE Research network. Instead, MIE has arranged to have the UofT wireless network installed in the department main computer room. From this location, we can redirect the UofT wireless network to any wired MIE office/lab within the various MIE occupied buildings.

If you wish to install wireless access in your office/lab area, you may contact MIE Computing services at computing@mie.utoronto.ca. We will obtain a cost quotation, and arrange for the installation of the wireless device in your area.

The University is expanding the UofT wireless network to cover most areas on campus, including MIE buildings. Details of this project can be found on the UofT wireless coverage website.

ROUTER verses BRIDGE wireless devices

The most common inexpensive wireless devices available for sale at stores, are the wireless routers. Wireless routers receive incoming user connections, forwarding them to the wired network. From the wired network’s perspective, all communications appear to come from the wireless router. Hence, users remain hidden behind the wireless router. Wireless routers DO NOT comply with university policy.

Bridge wireless devices simply pass the unaltered data packets from the user computer to the wired network. From the wired network, the unique MAC address of the computer is available. On detection of a new connection, UTORcwn redirects the connection request to a firewall. To proceed with wireless network access beyond the firewall, it is necessary to enter your UTORID. The UTORID, date and time, is recorded with the computers MAC address for later reference if it becomes necessary. Although compliant with university policy, bridge wireless devices are less common and significantly more expensive than router wireless devices.

UofT Wireless Policy

Guidelines for the Implementation of Wireless and Wired Docking Infrastructure The Network Security Policy specifies that University departments planning to implement wired and wireless network connectivity must adhere to the guidelines specified in this document.

Before configuring frequency spectrum settings in wireless access points, Departments must consult with CNS. CNS maintains campus frequency spectrum mappings to ensure that spectrum collision does not occur.

  1. Departments must ensure that all access to wireless and wired docking area network connectivity is controlled by an authentication system. This system must be designed such that network connectivity can be traced to an identifiable end user. Under special circumstances, for periods of limited duration, it may be sufficient that all network connectivity sessions be traced to the responsible departmental representative. An example of such a situation would be a meeting led by a departmental representative making use of network connectivity for non-University users.
  2. Departments must recognize that eavesdropping is possible with wireless communications, and thus ensure that sensitive data being transmitted is protected from potential eavesdroppers via suitably strong encryption.
  3. Departments must take steps to prohibit unauthorized wireless access point installations by their users.
  4. Any person implementing a wireless access point or wired docking station will be responsible for the network traffic through it.

Click here for the original document.

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