School Computer Network Information

Last revision May 26, 2005

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At the central level, Stanford University supplies the campus backbone network with its connections to the worldwide Internet plus specialized networks like the high speed "Internet2" research network. Wireless network connectivity in the academic campus area is also provided by the central Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS) group.

The School of Earth Sciences provides high speed wired network connections, funded and maintained at the School level, to every office and lab in the Braun Hall (Geology Corner), Mitchell Earth Sciences, and Green Earth Sciences buildings, managed by the School's own network manager. Exception: Branner Library in Mitchell Building is served by the Library network under separate management. Both Stanford-owned and personally-owned computers, printers, and other devices may be connected to the Earth Sciences network.

As of May, 2005, ITSS-managed wireless network service is also available throughout the three Earth Sciences buildings. This is intended as a convenience for portable use. It is not a general substitute for the normal wired network. The wireless network uses shared access points with substantially slower data transfer speeds than the wired network. Additionally, the wireless network is not secure; unencrypted connections can be easily captured by others.

Whether you intend to use the wired or wireless network, your computer must first be registered for network access. The wireless network also provides a guest access feature that permits immediate guest access with no registration for up to seven days; a Stanford faculty, staff, or student must create a guest password first.

Fast ethernet (100 Megabits/second) and regular ethernet (10 Mbs) service are both supported on all wall jacks on the School's wired network. This network is fully switched, so each jack receives dedicated bandwidth and is less vulnerable to eavesdropping by hackers.

There are no filters or firewalls between the School's network and the campus backbone, and very little filtering between the campus backbone and the Internet. This means that generally, you will not be blocked from accessing any Internet resources. But it also means that hackers who want to break into your computer can easily probe it for weaknesses, so it is important to maintain security on your computer.

As of July, 2004, the Earth Sciences wired network provided approximately 1700 active network jacks connecting approximately 950 active user devices as follows:

Type of Device Number
Macintosh Computers 194
Windows PCs 450
Dual-boot Windows/Linux PCs 25
Linux workstations 66
Unix servers and workstations 46
Printers 85
X-terminals, webcams, and other 24
Temporary network connection by "roaming" computers 57

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