Tag Archives: bradford agent

IT Update – Returning Students

Michigan Tech IT is looking forward to the start of fall semester. It’s been a busy summer at Michigan Tech with some major changes and improvements to campus IT systems:

  • Based on feedback received, we are taking the following steps to improve wireless network access:
    • The “MichiganTechSecure” network is no longer available; it was causing disconnect issues with most users. Please make sure you’re connected to the network named “MichiganTech.”
    •  The old bandwidth cap on wireless has been removed.
    • Installation of the Bradford Agent software was previously required for wireless security. The Bradford System now uses a “dissolvable” client that does not require permanent installation on your machine. The old Bradford software can now be uninstalled; instructions are at:  http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.
    • Over the summer, Michigan Tech IT hired a consulting firm to evaluate wireless connectivity throughout campus. Based on their report and feedback from residence hall students, we are in the process of installing nearly 700 new access points in the residence halls, which results in roughly one access point in every other room. This project will not be completed before move-in weekend; it will be a continuous process until all access point are active. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we finish this important project to provide exceptional wireless coverage.
  • This summer the former MEEM “Fishbowl” was renovated into the new Active Learning Center. This is a “flipped” classroom that focuses on collaboration and doesn’t have the front of a traditional classroom. Like all computer classrooms, when this room is not scheduled for classes, it will be available to all students as a computer lab. Design information on this room can be found at: http://www.mtu.edu/alc. Watch renovation progress on a live webcam at: http://www.mtu.edu/webcams.
  • Have you previously downloaded software from Michigan Tech IT’s software download center?  If so, there may be updates available this fall.  Visit the software download center at: http://downloads.it.mtu.edu.
  • Finally, Michigan Tech IT is available to help you with any IT issues you experience as you begin the new year. Please contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or (906) 487-1111. You can also follow the latest IT news on our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/MichiganTechIT.

July 2014 Wireless Service Improvements

IT is making changes to the campus wireless network including: the Bradford Persistent agent is going away, MichiganTechSecure is going away, and the wireless bandwidth cap is being removed.

Based on specific campus wireless issues, IT is making the following service improvements, effective Monday, July 21 at 6:00am.

Specific Changes:

  • Wireless security will be through a “dissolvable” agent instead of requiring the Bradford persistent agent. Users with Windows and Mac laptops had previously been required to download and install the Bradford Agent software. Beginning Monday, IT will use a “dissolvable” agent, which will run once but not permanently install on your device. Since the Bradford Persistent Agent will no longer be needed, you will be able to permanently uninstall the Bradford client from your device. Uninstall instructions are located at: http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.
  • The MichiganTechSecure wireless network will be decommissioned. This network was never intended for use beyond a few machines and has caused issues with disconnecting hosts. Users should instead connect to the MichiganTech wireless network for a more reliable experience; this network is no less secure than the MichiganTechSecure network.
  • The bandwidth cap on wireless access has been removed. Last year, wireless usage was limited to 5 Mbps (Megabits per second) per device; this was updated to 15 Mbps in April. Beginning Monday, the cap will be removed completely. This does not mean unlimited data on wireless – as wireless capacity depends on your distance from an access point and its current traffic – but we will continue to monitor the wireless service and appreciate your feedback if you have any issues.

Which actions are required?

  • When connecting to the wireless network, please use MichiganTech instead of MichiganTechSecure.
  • Remove the Bradford Agent from your machine (if applicable) using the instructions located at http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.

These changes are planned to improve wireless service and stability. As always, if you have concerns or issues please let us know by contacting IT Help at 906-487-1111 or it-help@mtu.edu. If you need assistance joining your device to the MichiganTech wireless network, you can also stop by with your device at the IT and Library Service Center.

Bradford Agent

Michigan Tech uses a Network Access Control tool – Bradford Agent. But what exactly does it do?

The agent installs itself on your system as a part of the registration process. Once the agent is installed it sends back the hardware (MAC) addresses of all network interfaces on your system. This information is used so that you do not need to re-register a device if you switch between a wired and wireless network.

If your device is running Windows, the agent then checks to see if you have anti-virus software installed and relatively up-to-date, that you are running a version of Windows that still supported for security patches (Windows XP or newer) and that you have installed recent security patches from Microsoft. If you do not have up-to-date anti-virus software or Windows updates, you are placed on to a remediation network where you can download the updates but cannot do any browsing beyond that.

These checks happen the first time that you register, and may occur after that if your device has been off from the network for an extended period of time. We can also force the agent to re-run the tests the next time you connect, which we may do if there is some virus spreading around campus.

To be clear about what the agent does not do, it does not change any settings, monitor any network traffic, or look at which programs you have installed or are running. Once you are connected to the network, the agent has nothing to do with your connection, and in fact can be uninstalled from your system. Please note that if you do uninstall that you may need to re-register your device and install the agent if another scan is needed in the future due to either of the situations mentioned above. We use the persistent agent as a convenience to our users so that they do not need to go through the registration process more than once.

If you would like any more information about the Bradford system, feel free to contact us at it-help@mtu.edu and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Related links: Michigan Tech’s Network Access Control Policy