Purple Help & Purple Air

The Office for Information Technology is excited to announce the launch of two new wireless network spaces, Purple Help & Purple Air.

Purple Help is what we suggest all wireless users to first connect to when arriving on campus. Once connected, launch a web browser of your choice and you’ll be redirected to our online support site for wireless. There our wireless community will find detailed instructions on how to connect to our new secure wireless network, Purple Air.

You may be asking yourself, “Why does the college want or need this new Purple Air wireless network thing?” This is a fair question that deserves an answer. Purple Air will offer very strong over the air security for the entire time a user is connected to campus wireless. The purpose is to make it nearly impossible for others to eavesdrop on you. We at OIT feel very strongly about protecting your identity from those who would use it for illegal or malicious purposes. The chances of this actually happening on our campus are likely low. However, as long as the possibility exists, we must provide a solution to protect.

Another driving force for Purple Air, has been the students’ dislike in having to log in to the wireless network through the captive web portal. Purple Air, once configured on a laptop, will automatically connect wireless users to the network. It will appear very similar to how a computer works when plugged into a wired network, albeit slower at times, depending on proximity to an access point. The only time a person should be asked to log back in is at the time of password expiration or manual password change. Windows users will have to reinstall the software utility we have provided on our Purple Help support page. Please visit http://purplehelp.williams.edu for detailed information about this exciting new change and how to use it.

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