Visitor Network management

The Visitor Network service is designed to have a very low administrative and support overhead.

All actions on the administration interface are effective immediately, therefore a new account can be used as soon it is created.

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The process to create small number of accounts is as follows:

  1. Access the Visitor Network Account Administration site.
  2. Select the Default Group corresponding to the unit that the visitor's sponsor is in.
  3. Complerte the form, guided by the help text beneath it.
  4. Select the Add New User button.

The PDF document available in the new account's credentials column includes the steps for getting online, username, password and times that the account will be active.  This can either be printed and handed it to the visitor or sent to their sponsor.

Each unit in the University has a default group, into which you can add small numbers of visitors.  For larger events you can create custom groups.

To create a new custom group:

  1. Access the Visitor Network Account Administration site.
  2. Select Add New Group.
  3. Complerte the form, guided by the help text beneath it.
  4. If you want to automatically create accounts, specify the required number in the Bulk Generate field.
  5. Select the Add New Group button.

Automatically generated accounts can be valid for the life of the group (up to 92 days), but accounts gererated later will only be valid for up to 14 days.

A CSV or PDF document containing all of the credentials for the group's accounts is available in the Groups and Users tab's Credentials column.  Alternatively, after clicking on the group and selecting the Manage Users tab, individual PDF documents are available in the Credentials column.

The initial page of the Visitor Network Account Administration site (Groups and Users tab), shows all of the groups of the units you currently manage.

If you believe a unit for which you work is not shown, contact the unit's Head of IT to update this.

A unit's default group cannot be edited, but custom groups can by clicking either the title of a custom group or the small e icon in the group's Edit / Delete column.

Clicking on the symbol in the group's Enabled column will toggle between a green tick indicating that the group is enabled and a red barrier symbol to show it is disabled.  Disabling a group disconnects its users from the visitor network and prevents them from logging in.

Custom groups can also be deleted by clicking on the x icon in the group's Edit / Delete column.

The initial page of the Visitor Network Account Administration site (Groups and Users tab), shows all of the groups of the units you currently manage.

Account management is available after clicking either the title of a default group, or the title or the small e icon in the Edit / Delete column of a custom group and then selecting the Manage Users tab.

The form on this page will add new users to the group.  The credential documents of a custom group will be updated automatically with the new information.

The only changes you can make to accounts after their creation are to disable, enable or delete them.

Selecting the symbol in the account list's Enabled column will toggle between a green tick indicating that the account is enabled and a red barrier symbol to show it is disabled.  Disabling an account immediately disconnects the user from the visitor network and prevents them from logging in.

Accounts can be deleted by clicking on the x icon in the group's Edit / Delete column.

Users you manage that are currently logged into the visitor network are displayed in the Activity Report tab.

The service operates in a similar way to those provided in coffee shops and airport lounges; no special software is required other than a web browser that supports cookies.  A device with network connectivity and a web browser supporting cookies should have no problem connecting to the Visitor Network, in particular wherever the OWL WiFi service is available.

A PDF instruction document is available for each account, including basic steps for getting online, username, password and the times that the account will be active.

For cases where the wireless network requires minimal network configuration, the settings being:

  • SSID (Network Name): OWL
  • Static WEP: Disabled
  • WEP Authentication: Open (not Shared)
  • Network Type: Infrastructure (not Ad-Hoc)

Once supplied with their username and password, when attempting to browse to any web page the web request is intercepted with a redirection to our login page.  After entering their credentials and accepting our terms and conditions, largely based on the current University IT statutes, they are given internet access and redirected back to the originally intercepted page (or http://www.ox.ac.uk/ if we didn't manage to capture it successfully).

Access is permitted for ten hours at a time, after which the user must log in again. After 15 minutes of inactivity the visitor is also disconnected from the service in order to resist some forms of spoofing attack, however credentials are not required until the ten hour window expires.  A visitor can therefore come and go from the service, only needing to log back in occasionally.

Traffic on this service is routed outside of the University network. Therefore although clients may be physically within a University or college building, they connect to the University's network as if coming form the internet, and hence have no special access to network servers and are restricted by our JANET connection firewall. Clients will be leased RFC1918 (private) IP addresses, translated into public addresses that are not part of the common University allocation; these addresses also appear in our oxuni.org.uk DNS domain rather than ox.ac.uk.

A unit's Head of IT (ITSS01) can administer Visitor Network administrators, who must be either ITSS or staff members of the unit.

If changes need to be made to the Visitor Network administrators and the Head of IT is not available for a prolonged period of time, please contact IT Support Staff Services (its3@it.ox.ac.uk) to discuss your situation.

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