Dorm Networking

Residential students have a number of options for connecting their devices to the campus-wide network and gaining access to both MLC-offered services and the greater Internet. Depending on your room, and the device you wish to connect, the steps you follow to gain access will be slightly different. You can find a variety of topics, information, and instructions here to help you but ultimately, if you have questions or issues, you can contact Network Services for help.

Before continuing on, please read the MLC Student-Owned Devices Policy.

Connecting

Wireless

Martin Luther College currently offers access to three wireless networks throughout campus including (starting Fall 2018) in dorms rooms around campus. Two of these networks are applicable to students. Click on the links below to find out how to connect to each network.

For information on which network to choose, check below based on the type of device you are connecting with.

Wired

While wireless routers are now prohibited in the dorms, wired connections are still supplied for those instances where it makes sense to connect a device using an Ethernet connection. How you will go around connecting is dependent on how your room is setup.

To utilize the wired connections it is recommended to use a device that has access to a web browser as registration takes place using a webpage. If you have need to connect a device without a web browser to a wired port, please contact Network Services.

Wireless Access Points

If your room has one of our wireless access points installed, you will find two Ethernet ports available for your use either on the bottom or the top (depending on the orientation of the device). You are free to connect your device to either of these ports and you can register your device and have access to the Internet and other MLC services.

If you run into issues with the ports on your access point, please contact Network Services.

Standard Ethernet Ports

These ports will switch to the proper network depending on if your device is registered or not. The switching can sometimes take a few minutes. After you have successfully registered your device on the MLC Guest Network, your port will switch to the MLC Student Network within a few minutes.

Quick Start Guide
  1. Hook your computer up to the network jack using your own Ethernet cable (cables are available from the MLC Bookstore, Walmart, Menards, Amazon, and other retailers).
  2. Open your web browser (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Safari, Opera, etc.).
  3. Follow the registration instructions (you will need your MLC Account username and password to register).
  4. Go take a walk to give the system time to register your machine if it doesn't seem to work at first.

Devices

Some devices have specific requirements and will work better than others on certain networks. The following section will outline some of the issues to keep in mind when it comes to using your devices on campus.

Laptops/Phones/Tablets/Desktops

These are, perhaps, the easiest devices to support on campus. The main issue to remember is that you will need to connect to the MLC Guest WLAN first before moving to the MLC Student WLAN. Successful registration on the MLC Guest WLAN will last for 7 days while the MLC Student WLAN registration will last for nearly a half-year.

If you are having issues connecting, it is often useful to forget the network and then try connecting again. Changing your MLC Account password will cause connection issues as well.

Gaming Consoles

Most gaming consoles do not support WPA2 Enterprise authentication, which is required to connect to the MLC Student WLAN. As such, you can attempt to use the MLC Guest WLAN for access (if you have a web browser in order to register) or to connect via a wired connection and register that way. You will have a much better experience using a gaming console connected to a wired connection and registered on the MLC Network.

If your console does not have a web browser (both the Xbox One and Playstation 4 DO), then you will need to contact Network Services with the following information so that the console can be registered successfully:

  • Name
  • Dorm Name
  • Room Number
  • Type of Connection (either wired or wireless; if wired, which port you are connected to if connect to an access point)
  • Console MAC Address (for either the wired or wireless adapter)
  • Console Type

Your device will be registered, and your port switched (if connected to an access point) during the next business day.

We cannot guarantee each and every game/game console will be able to be successfully played/used here on campus. We will make our best effort to get things to work, but as this is a campus instead of a single home, some things cannot be supported.

Streaming/Smart Devices/Printers/Televisions/Internet of Things

Streaming/smart devices, most of which do not support the needed encryption to log into the MLC Student WLAN. As such, the streaming devices (Amazon Echo, Google Home, Chromecasts, Apple TV, Apple HomePod, Roku, etc.) will need to be registered in order to connect to the MLC Guest WLAN since the devices normally have no web browser or even a screen.

As such, you will need to contact Network Services with the following information so that the console can be registered successfully:

  • Name
  • Dorm Name
  • Room Number
  • Type of Connection (either wired or wireless; if wired, which port you are connected to if connect to an access point)
  • Device MAC Address (for the wireless adapter)
  • Device Type

You can connect to a wired connection as well, just include your wired MAC address.

Some features of these devices require you to be on the same network as the devices you are using or controlling. For example, wireless printers will be available to anyone using the same network you are connected to. If you have specific needs, please contact Network Services and work with the staff there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I play my Xbox/Playstation?

It is possible you are connected to the Guest Network/MLC Guest WLAN and that device has more restrictions than the Student Network/MLC Student WLAN. You will need to connect to the correct network, register your device, or contact Network Services for help.

Can I use my own wireless router in the dorms?

No. Please do not.

What is a MAC address?

It is the hardware identifier for the network device on your machine. It is sometimes called a MAC address, hardware address, network address, or similar things. Often you can find the information needed in your device settings, printed on the box, on a sticker on the device, or on a network connection screen. They often look like pairs of letters and numbers separated by colons.

Look for something like this: aa:bb:cc:11:22:33.

This information is vital and is needed in order for the network to be able to recognize your device and give it the access you require. Providing even a single inaccurate digit or number is enough to stop a device from connecting properly. Often the information is found while setting up a network connection on the device.

I can't connect my device to the network, what should I do?

If you are having issues, the best option is to contact Network Services to get the discussion started on how to best meet your needs.

Can you open a port for me?

As long as your gaming device is registered properly on the network, you should not need to request any additional network ports to be opened.

Be warned, some features of modern gaming devices are built with the idea that you are connected to a minimally shared internet connection in your home. However, this is not the case with a network shared among hundreds of students. If a feature is not working, please contact our office so that we can try and look into it but we are not able to guarantee operation of all features.

Where can I get an Ethernet cable?

The MLC Bookstore sells cables, along with Walmart in New Ulm as well.

What if I want/need to hook up multiple devices using a wired connection and have only one port?

You will need to purchase a network switch, NOT a router. Switches are usually quite cheap and easy to order online.

Does MLC filter Internet access?

MLC maintains firewalls and a filtering service.

MLC provides Internet access for all students, staff, and faculty with the purpose of enabling and enriching your academic experience. While it is available for personal and recreational purposes, we contract a service that runs on our firewalls that filters out pornographic and gambling sites.

The firewalls also filter by port. Ports that are not needed for common web applications are blocked to prevent attacks on your computers from the outside. This may prevent you from playing some multiuser games and other web applications that use non-standard ports in their setup.

Direct outbound SMTP (port 25 mail) is also blocked from the dormitories to prevent computers that have been infected with viruses from sending emails to propagate the virus. Outbound SMTP email is only allowed through MLC's mailhost which does antivirus checking prior to sending. You can, however, send and receive mail though any web based email system that uses ports 80 or 443.


Revision #3
Created Thu, Aug 22, 2019 1:11 PM by Bob Martens
Updated Tue, Sep 1, 2020 2:09 PM by Bob Martens