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Connecting your computer to the network

Wireless Hot Spot
Wireless Hot Spot

In this page:

Study Rooms and Library Lounge

The Study Rooms and Library Lounge are provided with network and power points for readers to connect their laptop or notebook computer to the Internet through the University's Roaming service. To use the connection you must have:

  • A computer equipped with a standard network socket, usually on the rear of your machine.
  • A standard username and password issued by the University, as used for logging in
    computers elsewhere on Campus.

We recommend that you use mains power rather than battery: many portable computers automatically turn off their network connection when on battery power, to extend battery life.

To use the network, connect your computer and turn it on, then open Internet Explorer or any other web browser. You will be redirected to the NRS authentication page, where you should follow the on-screen instructions to gain access to the service by entering your username and password. You will be required to agree to the University's Acceptable Use Policy, which is printed on the other side of this sheet for your information.

The above procedure should be all you need to achieve full access to the Internet.

Wireless connection

To connect to the campus wireless service you need to associate with the University of Manchester SSID (also known as the BSSID or network name).

This is achieved in various ways depending on the Operating System and laptop manufacturer, but in general you are looking to find available networks and connect to the one identified as University of Manchester (assuming that wireless networking on your laptop or PDA is enabled!).

Once connected, starting up your web browser at any page will cause you to be redirected to the NRS authentication page, where you should follow the on-screen instructions to gain access to the service.


If you are unable to make a connection, check the network settings of your computer to ensure that it is set to 'Obtain an IP Address Automatically' and 'Obtain DNS server address automatically'. If it is not, make a note of the existing settings before changing them so that you can re-enter them for your own connection afterwards.

To see these settings on a Windows machine:

  1. From the Start menu choose 'Control Panel' or 'Settings - Control Panel'
  2. From there choose 'Network Connections' and right-click your mouse on 'Local Area
  3. Choose 'Properties' and from the drop-down list select 'Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)'
    Re-start your machine if you have made any changes.

We do our best to provide facilities for use of your equipment, but we cannot accept responsibility for any damage to your computer, its programs or data which may occur while on Library premises. The Library staff are not authorized to assist you with technical problems associated with your personal equipment.

Acceptable Use Policy for the Roaming Network

Misuse of a network connection will lead to the withdrawal of your connection, and may have consequences for other forms of access to the campus network.

The University encourages personal (non-academic related) use of network services to develop skills related to the use of networked resources in general. However, some restrictions must be imposed on the way in which the network may be used (see below).

General Restrictions

Your usage of this network is regulated by relevant UK law, and it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with its requirements. (see for example Data Protection Act 1998; Parts of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; Computer Misuse Act 1990; Copyright, etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002).

In particular, you MUST NOT use the network to:

  • Send or otherwise make available to others any material that is offensive, obscene or indecent, or infringes the copyright of another person (for example, MP3 or other audio or video formats). The United Kingdom has strict laws on obscenity. You should also be aware that copyright law still applies to the Internet.
  • Do not make available by any means (web server, FTP server or file-sharing software such as KaZaa,Gnutella, Morpheus, etc.) any material unless you are the copyright holder of that material, or have a licence to make that material available, or the material has been expressly put into the public domain and you can demonstrate this. By material we mean any information that can be stored on a computer: multi-media files such as video, music, speech, etc.; still images; text; software; or other file formats. An explanation of copyright is available on the UK Patent Office web site; global copyright is explained at the World Intellectual Property Organisation site.
  • Cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety to others. Examples would include abusive or offensive Emails.
  • Access, or attempt to gain access to, computer systems, data or resources to which you are not authorised. Only use those resources that you have permission to access.
  • Provide network services (such as DNS, DHCP, Bootp or other such services that may interfere with the normal running of the network). Manchester Computing provides such services. You should make sure that your PC does not. In general, this applies more to machines running versions of Unix, such as Linux, etc., but versions of Windows can also sometimes provide some of these services.
  • Provide access to other users (for example by connecting a hub or modem to a networked PC, or by passing on your username and password to a third party).
  • Access network services in such a way as to deny reasonable access to the network for other users, for example, by excessive use of network bandwidth. This could include the use of personal web or FTP servers, or file-sharing software.
  • The University provides each user with a unique IP address for the duration of their wireless network session. You should never change your IP address settings while connected.

Restrictions specific to staff and students of the University

Network traffic for members of the University is routed over the campus network and out to the Internet via the publicly-funded JANET network. Some additional conditions and responsibilities fall upon its users.

Your use of the network must abide by:

Records and Monitoring

Note that everything that is done using the campus roaming network is automatically recorded and stored. These records (of web sites visited, files transferred, emails sent, etc) are not actively monitored, but if any misuse is suspected, they may be checked (in accordance with University regulations) to find out exactly what any user was using the network for at any given time.

For more information see the IT Services page on wireless regulations.

Using the Network Roaming Service with 'Windows Vista'

Vista Laptops often behave erratically or fail to access the network when an attempt is made to attach them to the Roaming or Wireless Network in the Library.

Disabling Internet Protocol version 6 usually results in successful access to the network.