Network usage

The different colors indicate the density of devices — blue indicates fewer devices and red indicates more devices at a given location.

As a user of the Wolfson College Computer Network, you have access to a very powerful communications system. Great power comes with great responsibility. Without proper care and responsible behaviour, your computer may

  • interfere with the work of others, who share the network with you,
  • create additional cost for yourself, the College or the University,
  • get you into trouble with the police.

To avoid such problems repeating, we have set up some rules for using the network. The most important ones boil down to

  • DO keep your network-connected computer in a good and secure shape:
  • DO always apply the latest security updates for your operating system and other software, which are available from the manufacturers’ web pages.
  • DO use up-to-date anti-virus software under Microsoft Windows.
  • DO use strong passwords.
  • DO exercise caution with anything received unexpectedly by email, especially never start or install software from it.
  • DO NOT run any server software, especially not any “peer-to-peer file-sharing” software for swapping music, videos or software.
  • DO NOT download or offer illegal data, such as copyright-infringing files of music, videos or software.
  • DO NOT change the IP address of your computer from the one that was assigned to you.

Before using the Wolfson College network, make sure that you are fully familiar with the College Network Use Policy that governs your use of this facility.

Data Network Privacy Policy

Wolfson College does not record anything except the IP address, MAC address and the amount of data usage. Once the traffic leaves Wolfson, the University records more details. Information on this can be found here.

Network Use

  • Do not run a server offering services to anyone outside the Cambridge University Data Network, unless you have received a written permission from the IT Officer. "Server" in this context refers to distributed games servers, ftp/web/mail/news servers, peer-to-peer file sharing software and other programs that might attract network traffic from outside the University network.
  • Avoid in particular the installation or use of so-called peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, such as

    eDonkey, KaZaA, Aimster, Bearshare, Gnutella, Grokster, Hotline, LimeWire, Morpheus, ToadNode, Xolox, Direct Connect, BCDC, Swapper, Phex, AutoNap, Crapster, Duskter, WinMX, iMesh, etc.

    The above programs are of particular concern, as they are mostly used to download and redistribute copyright-infringing music and video material. Remember that any service that you provide to others from your computer must be both legal and in furtherance of the aims of the College and University.

  • Avoid large regular data transfers (“mirroring”) from outside Cambridge, unless it is really necessary for your academic work.
  • Remember that some large software packages are made available locally for download by the Computing Service. In particular, their Unix Support mirrorsmost Linux distributions. Downloading from there not only costs the College nothing, it is also much faster. (More tips on installing Linux ...)
  • The use of streaming audio/video software, Internet telephony, Internet radio services, or the mbone should be kept in moderation.

Avoiding harm to the network

  • You must not run on your computer any network scanning software. Scanning software is anything that attempts to contact a very large number of other addresses, or a large number of different network ports on the same address. Such software quickly triggers an alarm at the Computing Service, who will then start to investigate whether your computer has caught a nasty infection (worms, hackers, spammers, etc.).
  • You must not run any DHCP server or similar infrastructure services on the Wolfson network, as these can severely disrupt the operation of some computers connected to it.

Network monitoring and enforcement

Use of the Wolfson College Computer Network is monitored by the University and by the operators of connected larger networks.