AirPennNet Troubleshooting

 Important note: this document is designed for Local Support Providers (LSPs). The user-level AirPennNet documents are here (Windows) and here (Mac OS) and include general availability, configuration, documentation, and support information. This page was last modified on Tuesday, 31-Jan-2012 14:21:21 EST.

General Troubleshooting Steps 

  1. Ensure the user's preferred connection profile is AirPennNet (if you've followed the configuration steps for SecureW2 or Mac OS, this should already be happening, but double-check again).
  2. Ensure the user is connecting to the AirPennNet SSID, and not a rogue access point. Especially in high rise or secluded locations, AirPennNet should be the only SSIDs being advertised. Profiles for other, unused SSIDs such as AirPennNet-Guest should be disabled or removed.
  3. Check if many users are in the service area, and if possible, find out if they are doing bandwidth-intensive activities. Either of these can cause reduced performance and moving to a different access point may improve performance.
  4. Ensure the user knows his/her PennKey credentials. Use the PennKey test page to verify credentials: http://www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey/testmypennkey
  5. Ensure the notebook is configured to use DHCP (check network properties).
  6. Check that the notebook's date, time, and time zone are correct.

General Windows

  1. Ensure the wireless radio is on. Don't merely turn on the hardware wireless switch, which activates the capability to activate on-board such as WiFi, Bluetooth, WWAN, and UWB. You must also ensure that software utilities controlling these devices have enabled the WiFi radio.
  2. Check the advanced Properties of your wireless device.
    • If you have an 802.11a/b/g/n device, you may want to set the band preference to 802.11b/g/n rather than 802.11a, as the range for 802.11a is more limited than b/g/n.
    • If you must use the 802.11a band, move to a location closer to the AirPennNet access point to try to improve reception.
  3. Ensure that the PennNet profile is selected in SecureW2 (make sure it is not DEFAULT).
  4. Update to the latest driver for your wireless device, if available.
  5. If the user is constantly being prompted to re-enter credentials, an older version of SecureW2 may be in use. Uninstall the old SecureW2 and reinstall by using XpressConnect.
  6. Windows manages wireless connections. However, Windows attempts to connect to any previously used, in-range open network first, and this may inhibit a successful connection to AirPennNet. If AirPennNet is not detected and you are within an AirPennNet service area, do the following:
    • Promote the AirPennNet profile to the top of the list of wireless connections
    • Remove any open network profiles such as wireless-pennnet or AirPennNet-Guest
    • Doing the above ensures a successful connection to AirPennNet. You also may explicitly check to ensure that you are connecting to the AirPennNet SSID, rather than another SSID or rogue access point.
  7. In some cases, turning off IPv6 compatibility may help with accessing AirPennNet.
  8. Try the Repair option for the wireless connection.
  9. If using middleware such as Intel's PROSet or Lenovo's Access Connections, see the associated documentation.

General Mac OS:

  1. The general strategy of Penn's instructions on connecting to AirPennNet is to create a separate Location in Network Preferences. That way, AirPennNet-specific manipulations can be made without modifying configurations for other networks.
  2. Ensure AirPort is turned on and connecting to the AirPennNet SSID (check the AirPort icon in the upper right of the menu bar).
  3. Ensure the user is entering the correct PennKey username and password. Incorrect authentication results in an "802.1X Authentication has failed" message. Have the user test his/her PennKey if necessary.
  4. Make sure that AirPennNet is near the top (if not at the top) of the list of Preferred Networks in the Network preference pane.
  5. Try cycling the power on the AirPort card by turning it on and off (in the AirPort menu in upper right corner, choose Turn AirPort Off, wait 10 seconds, then choose Turn AirPort On).
  6. Turning off IPv6 in the TCP/IP pane sometimes helps with getting a reliable connection.
  7. As a last resort, removing and re-installing the AirPort service often fixes previous, dated, or incorrect installs (in the Network preference pane, select AirPort, click on the - sign in the lower left corner, click on the + sign in the lower left corner, add AirPort as the interface and service, click Create).

Mac OS 10.6.x-specific:

  1. Ensure that the version is at least Mac OS 10.6.4.
  2. Run the XpressConnect Wizard to automatically configure the Mac OS 10.6.x system to connect to AirPennNet.
  3. Follow these instructions to manually configure the system to connect to AirPennNet.
  4. If there is a pre-existing AirPennNet configuration from a previous installation of the Internet Connect component from PennConnect, it must be removed first by following these instructions. This is also important if there is an obsolete AirSAS connection or an 802.1X connection from another university or a corporation.
  5. If the user has tried to connect to AirPennNet without following the configuration instructions, there is almost certainly a bad user profile designated WPA: AirPennNet in the 802.1X pane of the Network preference pane (this may also be caused by marginal signal conditions). This user profile incorrectly autoselects multiple authentication protocols (PEAP, TTLS, and EAP-FAST) and must be deleted to successfully connect to AirPennNet.
  6. Locking down the Network control pane by clicking the lock on the lower left hand of the control pane often prevents the creation of the bad WPA: AirPennNet profile described.
  7. In some cases, adding certificates through the keychain may increase chances of making a successful connection.

Mac OS 10.5.x-specific:

  1. Ensure that the Mac OS version is Mac OS 10.5.8.
  2. Run the XpressConnect Wizard to automatically configure the Mac OS 10.5.8 system to connect to AirPennNet.
  3. Follow these instructions to manually configure the system to connect to AirPennNet.
  4. If there is a pre-existing AirPennNet configuration from a previous installation of the Internet Connect component from PennConnect, it must be removed first by following these instructions. This is also important if there is an obsolete AirSAS connection or an 802.1X connection from another university or a corporation.
  5. If the user has tried to connect to AirPennNet without following the configuration instructions, there is almost certainly a bad user profile designated WPA: AirPennNet in the 802.1X pane of the Network preference pane (this may also be caused by marginal signal conditions). This user profile incorrectly autoselects multiple authentication protocols (PEAP, TTLS, and EAP-FAST) and must be deleted to successfully connect to AirPennNet.
  6. Locking down the Network control pane by clicking the lock on the lower left hand of the control pane often prevents the creation of the bad WPA: AirPennNet profile described.

Mac OS 10.4.x-specific:

  1. Ensure that the Mac OS version is Mac OS 10.4.11.
  2. Run the XpressConnect Wizard to automatically configure the Mac OS 10.4.11 system to connect to AirPennNet.
  3. Follow these instructions to manually configure the system to connect to AirPennNet.

If none of the above steps have corrected the problem, please report the following to Provider Desk (during business hours, Monday to Friday 9-5) or the NOC (after hours):

  1. User's name, PennKey username, contact phone number, and email address
  2. Specific date, time, and location where the user was attempting to associate to AirPennNet (room number and/or building location/floor)
  3. Brief description of the problem and steps taken to verify the problem (including whether the device has used AirPennNet sucessfully in the past)
  4. Platform details (make and model of notebook, operating system version, and patch/service pack level)
  5. Wireless IP address assigned to the device, if known
  6. Device's wireless MAC address
  7. If the user associated with AirPennNet but is having a performance issue, try to collect the MAC address of the AP they associated with and the DHCP server IP address
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Date Posted: April 1, 2013 Tags: Technical Info, Provider Resource, Wireless

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