Wireless Troubleshooting

Summary

This article contains troubleshooting steps to follow if you cannot successfully connect your device to Middlebury's wireless network.

Body

If the standard configuration instructions aren't working for you, check the following items, in order (depending on your device). Please note that personal routers and wireless access points (WAPs) are not allowed on campus; you must use the College wireless to avoid interfering with the network infrastructure. Also, personal devices that rely on direct communication, like Chromecast and personal wireless printers, are not supported due to the nature of enterprise network infrastructure.  Refer to ITS network policies and College handbook information for more details.

Step 1. Check that Wireless is Turned On

Many laptops have a switch on the side that disables wireless entirely. This can be useful but causes problems if it is accidentally activated.  If the physical switch is on or you don't see one, make sure Airplane Mode is set to OFF (if applicable) and that wireless is enabled.  On Macs, click the WiFi icon in the top right corner of the screen then click the slider to turn it on, if needed.

Step 2. Check that the Networks Appear

Your device should list available wireless networks including MiddleburyCollege and MiddleburyGuest. If neither of these networks appear, double-check that the wireless connection is enabled and try restarting your device. Once the networks appear, move on to the next step.

  • If MiddleburyGuest appears, but MiddleburyCollege doesn't, there are three possibilities:
    1. You are in an area with an unusually weak signal so the networks are not detected properly.
    2. If your device uses Windows, OSX, Android, iOS, or common Linux flavors, it may not be properly configured to connect to MiddleburyCollege. You may need to update your operating system, wireless drivers, or firmware. Please submit a support request to the Helpdesk.
    3. If you have a more unusual device (such as certain gaming systems or older consumer devices), it may not support MiddleburyCollege. Please refer to Registering Supported Devices.

Step 3. Check to see if the problem is location-specific

If you can access wireless normally in some areas, such as the library or classrooms, but there is a particular location where it seems not to work or is unreasonably slow, please submit a support request to the Helpdesk. We are continually improving our wireless infrastructure across campus and we appreciate your help in identifying areas of concern.

Step 4. Check that your account is valid for MiddleburyCollege wireless

Pay particular attention to this step and step 7 if you get a "wrong password" error, or if you keep getting prompted for your password over and over.

If you have another device or some other way to get network access, please login to confirm that your Middlebury username and password (or Guest e-mail and password) are correct and active. Note that only network accounts (faculty, staff, student, or guest) can access the MiddleburyCollege network -- local accounts specific to individual computers do not have access.

Step 5. Release and renew your IP address

If you seem to be connected to the network but pages won't load, and especially if you get a warning about "limited connectivity" or a "self-assigned IP address," try to release and renew your IP address.

Step 6. Repair Wireless with Built-in Tools

  • In Windows 10, right-click the Network icon in the lower right corner of the screen then click Troubleshoot problems.
  • In macOS, click on the WiFi icon (top right corner of the screen) then click the slider to turn OFF wireless. Wait a few seconds, click the WiFi icon then click the slider again to turn WiFI back ON.

Step 7. Check for Stored Password Issues

If you've changed your password recently (or since you were last on campus), you should do the following:

  • On a college-owned Windows computer, make sure you're logged in with your current password by connecting to a wired connection, locking the computer (Win+L), then unlocking it with your new password.
  • On a personal Windows computer or any mobile device, you should be able to update the stored password for MiddleburyCollege when prompted by typing in your current College username and password. If this doesn't work, you may need to forget the network (see below). If a Windows computer does not ask for your credentials when connecting for the first time, you will need to connect manually.

Step 8. "Forget" the Network and Reconnect

Windows - College-Owned Computer

Middlebury-managed Windows computers have the MiddleburyCollege network pre-configured with the correct settings and cannot be manually adjusted. This assumes, however, that you are logging into the computer as yourself - see Valid accounts above.

Windows 10 - Personally-owned Computer

macOS

If issues persist, try the following additional steps:

  1. With Wi-Fi turned off, choose Go > Utilities from the Finder menu along the top of the screen, then launch Keychain Access.
  2. Select the login keychain in the left-hand pane & make sure the All Items tab is selected.
  3. In the search field (upper right) search for MiddleburyCollege.  Select then delete any records for MiddleburyCollege 802.1X Password.
    • You will be asked to verify you want to delete this; confirm by clicking delete.
  4. In the search field (upper right) search for cpauth. Select then delete any records for cpauth.middlebury.edu certificate.
    • You will be asked to verify you want to delete this; confirm by clicking delete.
    • You will be asked for your user password (that you logged into the computer with) to confirm the change to your Certificate Trust Settings.
  5. Click on the Wi-Fi icon again then turn Wi-Fi back ON by clicking the slider button.  Re-connect to MiddleburyCollege.

Additional troubleshooting steps, for extreme cases:  create a new Network location; log in as another user - if fixed, check original user's login & Local Items keychains for passwords & certificates potentially related to cpauth, MiddleburyCollege, InCommon.

iOS

Refer to Apple's instructions -- Forget wireless network on macOS or iOS.

Android

  1. Go to Settings -> Wi-Fi.
  2. Select the MiddleburyCollege network then tap Forget.

Step 9. Update Drivers

  • On a Mac, iOS device, or Android device, make sure that you have run Software Update and there are no further updates available. In some cases, you may need to upgrade to a newer version of your OS.
  • For Windows computers, check the vendor website for your computer and/or wireless card to see if updated drivers are available, install them, then reboot. If you need assistance with this, please come to the Helpdesk (Davis Family Library, room 202).

Step 10. Contact the Helpdesk

If the above steps don't work, please find your Ethernet ID aka MAC address and include it when submitting a Helpdesk support request. If the matter is urgent or you cannot use that link, please call us at (802) 443-2200 with your name, contact info, and a description of the problem. For best results, also Option-click the wireless icon and collect the information about your connection that appears when you do so.

Wireless Compatibility

Any device with a wireless network card or adapter should be compatible with Middlebury's wireless networks as long as it supports the WPA2 or 802.1X protocol. The vast majority of wireless devices in the world support these protocols. Our wireless vendor, Aruba, publishes a detailed list of compatible devices (if the link becomes out of date, search the web for Aruba compatibility).

FAQs

What should I do if my device keeps connecting to MiddleburyGuest instead of MiddleburyCollege?

Please "forget" or delete the MiddleburyGuest network from your list of saved networks.  See information in Step 8 above.

A Middlebury Mac laptop is not getting the pop-up to join a wireless network (off-campus). How can I fix this?

Upgrading the operating system and Sophos application may be required. There is also an option in Sophos (under Self Help) to Enable "Captive Portal Mode".

Details

Details

Article ID: 322
Created
Wed 7/27/22 4:23 PM
Modified
Thu 6/13/24 11:31 AM

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