Connecting to the Middlebury network

Get on the network

To connect to our network, your computer / device must have either an Ethernet port (NIC), or a wireless network card. This hardware is standard for any computer purchased in this millennium. Most laptops have both an Ethernet port and a wireless card.

Very old operating systems, such as Mac OS 9 and Windows 98, are not supported on the Middlebury network.

Students may NOT:

  • Set up personal computers as servers that might interfere with or "confuse" our network.
  • Use personal wireless routers. Sorry, but these cause us lots of headaches.
  • Connect using dial-up.

Connect to the Wired Network

A standard double room has two network outlets in it, usually on opposite sides of the room. (If you can't find your outlet, look under your desk or behind your bed.) Each outlet has 2 jacks in it. Generally the red jack connects you to the harsh truth of reality, while the blue jack leaves you in blissful ignorance. If the red jack doesn't seem to work, try the blue one next.

Caution: In the Ross dorms Kelly, Lang, Milliken, and Hadley, the two jacks are labelled "DATA" and "VOICE". Do not plug into the "VOICE" jack, as this carries an information current that could potentially confuse and/or damage the Ethernet hardware on your computer!

Connect to the Wireless Network

Middlebury has 3 wireless networks that exist side-by-side:

  • midd_secure is our recommended wireless network for students. It has a high bandwidth and it's fast. It is secured, meaning that it would be hard for your web information to be spied on / stolen while using it. While on midd_secure, you can connect directly to file servers, our email server, and other campus resources, just as if you were plugged in with the wired network. However it takes a little effort to set up and it requires you to sign in using your Middlebury username and password.
    • You can find detailed midd_secure setup instrutions at our Wireless page.
  • Midd-standard is a second secure wireless network that has one password (contact the Helpdesk at x2200 to get this password) for easy access.  Midd-standard's key may change from time to time requiring you to re-authenticate to the network.
  • midd_unplugged is our "guest" network. It has a very low bandwidth, and is slower. It is unsecured, meaning that it adds no protection to your online transactions beyond that already offered to you by the websites you connect to. From midd_unplugged you cannot access our servers et al. directly; you must use the web interface NetStorage for file servers, or WebMail for email. Midd_unplugged takes no special set-up or sign-in; you can just connect and go.

Not all buildings on campus have access to our wireless network. We try to ensure that all public spaces and classrooms have wireless access; dorms are a lower priority for us (however, every dorm room should have access to our wired network, which is faster in any case).

You can use your computer's default wireless network browser to view midd_unplugged and midd_secure and see how strong of a connection there is from where you are. You can then select either of these networks to connect to. (As noted, midd_secure takes extra effort to set up. See our Wireless help for instructions on connecting to midd_secure.)

Connection troubleshooting

  • Make sure you are using an Ethernet cable. This is slightly wider than a standard phone / modem cable and carries eight wires instead of just four. Make sure the cable is firmly plugged into the jack.
  • Try the other jack unless you live in Ross; do not connect your computer to the "Voice" jack.
  • Try plugging your computer into a friend's (working) network jack. Try borrowing a friend's Ethernet cable. Try to determine whether the computer, the cable, or the jack is causing the problem.
  • If you aren't getting a connection or you want help, feel free to call the Helpdesk. It's possible that the wall jack is broken, in which case we'll send out a request to get it fixed.

More technical steps:

  • If your computer is connected to our wired network, its IP address should begin with 140.233. An IP address beginning with 169 indicates that your computer isn't sensing the network.
  • Ensure that your computer is configured for DHCP network connections (ie, make sure your computer is not trying to insist on a static IP address).
    • In Windows, open Start button.PNG -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Network Connections. Right click on Local Area Connection -> Properties. Select Internet Protocol -> Properties. Ensure that Obtain IP address automatically is selected.
    • In Mac OSX, find this setting under Mac Apple Menu icon.PNG -> System Preferences -> Network -> Built-In Ethernet -> Configure IPv4. Ensure that this setting is Using DHCP.

Register your computer

NOTE: This feature is currently disabled; you can connect to the network without registering. This info is preserved for informational purposes.

The first time you connect your computer to our network, it is treated as a stranger and must be "registered" to gain full access to our network and to the outside world. Here are the steps, in a nutshell. The full instructions are available at Register your computer on the Middlebury network.

  1. Connect your computer to our wired network using an Ethernet cable.
  2. When you open up a web browser, you should be automatically directed to our Registration page. (If not, you can go there manually at this address: go/netreg.)
  3. Click on "Faculty, Staff, and Students" (NOT the "Guests" link), and follow the subsequent "Continue" links after reading the information.
  4. Enter in your Middlebury username and password, choose your device type, and click "Submit".
  5. You will be asked to download a small program named Bradford. Download and run it, and it will register your computer for you.

The registration process encourages you to install all system updates on your computer and also to make sure some antivirus program is installed. You can do these later; see the "Setting up your computer" section below for more help. Also, see Registration Help for troubleshooting help and more information on what registration does / why it's useful.

X-boxes, Playstations, Wiis, and Netbooks are fine to use on our network. However you might have trouble registering these devices without our help. Call us at the Helpdesk (see our contact info above) and tell us the device's MAC address, and we can register it for you.

Connect to the Middlebury file servers

All Middlebury users have access to relevant spaces in our file servers, including a personal storage space that only you can access. It's pretty easy to connect your computer to the servers (see the links below) but for now, you can test this access using NetStorage, our online file access client. Go to go/netstorage and enter in your Middlebury username and password.

See our full instructions for Windows and Mac OSX at:

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