Network


Network requirements

Please remember that ASSEMBLY Organizing does not sell, loan, or rent any network related hardware at Assembly.

Network card

Only cables with RJ45 connectors (TP, twisted pair) is supported in the PartyNet.

Network cards sold today come usually with connector called RJ45. The cards integrated into motherboards and the ones on laptops also use this connector (see picture below). You can use either 10 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s network card, provided you leave the speed selection to 'Automatic' - the best speed common to your network card and the switch is automatically chosen. 

 

Network card with RJ45 port

Cables with RJ45 connectors

Every attendee will need a 15 meter long network cable (TP or twisted pair patch cord) with RJ45 connectors. Please make sure you don’t arrive at the party place with a cable that is too short - the switches are physically attached to the table. This means that if your cable is not long enough to cover the distance between your computer and the switch, there is very little that can be done. Twisted pair does *not* work like coaxial - it is not possible to attach your computer to the computer next to you.

When buying a network cable, make sure you are choosing a cable meant for connecting a computer to a switch. An 'X' or 'cross' cable (meant for connecting a switch to a switch or a computer to a computer) might not work. The CAT-number is irrelevant in this kind of use. CAT-5, CAT-5e and CAT-6 will all work fine.

RJ45 connector

A network cable has a connector like this in each end

Drivers (esp. wired LAN)

Test your wired ethernet connectivity at home.

Make sure to obtain and install the network driver you need before coming to the party.

The party place is dark and loud, the guy next to you probably does not know any more about installing network drivers than you do and the ASSEMBLY Organizing is busy and probably cannot get to you for a few hours. Trust me, you will be much happier if you already have the network card in your machine and the drivers properly installed and tested when you arrive.

Installing a network driver into Windows

Installing usually needs no user interaction since Windows should detect your network card automatically. As a rule, the drivers that ship with Windows have undergone a lot of testing, so they should be fine, and reputable manufacturers' updated drivers come automatically from Windows Update. However, if Windows shows the 'Windows has detected new hardware' window and asks for drivers, you need to use the driver CD (or other media) that shipped with your device. Naturally, if you have means to connect to Internet, you can download drivers from manufacturer's web site and use them when asked.

Security

Information security is a joint venture and everyone must participate. A large quantity of viruses have been spotted in the PartyNet in the past. There is a very high risk of being infected with a virus or worse, like identity theft malware, ransomware and so on, unless your machine is patched up-to-date, protected by a firewall and protected by anti-virus program. This document describes the steps you are expected take before leaving for Assembly, or if you have to re-install your machine at Assembly.

Use supported operating system

Support for Windows XP and Windows 2000 has ended. Please move on to Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

Updates

In modern versions of Windows, updating happens automatically as a background task, but it still does not hurt to check. This is easiest to do from Control Panel - Windows Update, or by running 'wuapp.exe' from Start - Run dialog. Click on 'Check for updates' and install recommended/critical updates. It is likely that the machine needs to reboot after applying tha updates. Repeat the cycle until there are no more updates to install.

If you are using some other web browser than Internet Explorer (like Firefox, Opera or Chrome), make sure you have the latest version of that browser installed.

Linux users should check update instructions from the distribution supplier.

Antivirus

Make sure you have an antivirus software installed and equipped with the latest virus database. Most antivirus packages are able to update the database automatically, so enable this option if you haven’t already done so.

Free antivirus software for home use is available from e.g. Avira (http://www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus) and avast! (http://www.avast.com/). Please note that these are recommendations only, and NetCrew doesn’t provide technical support for them.

Firewall

NetCrew strongly recommends you to keep your Windows firewall enabled in all profiles. Don't leave home without having firewall enabled. The configuration GUI is in Control Panel under name 'Windows Firewall', and you can start it by running 'wf.msc' from Start - Run dialog. Familiarize yourself with the settings before you come to Assembly and ensure you don't allow unnecessary inbound connections. There are add-ons like Windows Firewall Control to facilitate the settings, but they may be incompatible with the firewall functionality provided by antivirus programs (such as Avast! or Avira).


Connecting

Physical Connection

If you have everything set up in advance (the proper network card in your machine and the right cable in your hand) then this section is very easy. Take a hold of one end (either end) of the cable and plug it into the RJ45 connector of your network card.

Then take the other end and plug it into the switch, like this:

And that is it. If you did it right you should see a small green or yellow light at the switch confirming your success. The light will appear when your computer is on, and with newer systems it is possible that the light will be lit even if the computer is not running at the moment.

Settings

The PartyNet supports only TCP/IP. The IP addresses (as well as routing information) is distributed using DHCP (like before). In english, your machine will get the network settings automatically.

Again, we assume that *nix users are able to configure their machines to use DHCP on their own (no, we will not provide you with a static IP just because you are running Linux).

In general, the same settings you have at home work straight out-of-the-box most of the time at the party place. If not, see instructions below on what details to check.

Windows 8

Open Network Connections dialog: press Windows + R (⊞ + R) and type 'ncpa.cpl' in the Run dialog.
The Network Connections window opens. In this Network Connections window, choose your ethernet network adapter, right-click on it and choose properties.
Scroll down the list to see 'Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)' and click 'Properties' button.
 Check that your settings match those in the picture below:  

Windows Vista / Windows 7

Open the Control Panel from start menu.
In the default view, choose 'View network status and tasks'
...and then ‘Local Area Connection’
Then click ‘Properties’
Double click on TCP/IP
Set both IP and DNS automatic.

OS X

Open System Preferences by clicking its icon.

Next, press Network.

From the left, choose your network adapter. If your Mac doesn’t have an internal Ethernet adapter, but you’ve connected one to your Mac, it’s propably called ”Thunderbolt Ethernet” or  ”USB Ethernet”. Please note, that if you use an Ethernet adapter and you have a Premium computer place, you’ll need Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter to get the full 1Gbit/s connection speed. If you need an adapter, the Apple Authorised Resellers in Helsinki are more than happy to help.

After you’ve chosen the adapter, click Advanced.

Please check that your network settings are the following.


Troubleshooting

We will now attempt to describe a few of the most common failures that may occur and what you can do to fix them. Make sure you have tried the solutions in this section before contacting Infodesk. Even if you have tried all of these and still cannot get it to work, by knowing you went through these steps will help us in figuring out the problem.

If you encounter a problem in any section, keep going down until you find a solution or you reach the end (at which point you should come and contact the Infodesk).

Network does not work

There are various ways in which the network can seem to be ‘broken’, most of which do not depend on your own machine at all. Simply because you cannot open page ‘whatever’ in your Firefox does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with the network.

First use 'ping' to check whether the connection works. Ping is a fairly reliable method of determining whether or not a host is reachable (assuming it is up). Open up a command prompt (start → Run..., type 'CMD' and press Enter), then type

ping <address>

If you get a response like the one above, the connection works. If you get 'Response timed out' messages, the connection does not work. If you get an 'Unable to resolve hostname', the name resolution does not work.

If you do not get a response, you should try a 'tracert' to determine at which point the connection is severed. At the command prompt, type

tracert <address>

This only makes sense for hosts that are outside of Assembly (i.e., have addresses that do not end with assembly.org or asm.fi).

Name resolution does not work

If you get 'host not found', 'unable to resolve hostname' ot similar errors when trying to access hosts that you absolutely know to exist (for such hosts, check the next section), then you are getting name resolution errors.

For this to occur, either our nameserver is down (possible but unlikely), or the network from you to the nameserver does not work. Check the section on problems with local addresses for assistance with fixing this problem.

You can assume that if you can resolve asm.fi addresses, the problem is with the remote nameserver or the connection to it.

If you cannot resolve SELVITYSMIES.ASM.FI, try pinging its IP address (85.188.1.8, 2001:67c:15c:1::8) as described above to check whether the network connection to it works.

If you cannot resolve SELVITYSMIES.ASM.FI, but you can ping its IP, you most likely have the wrong nameserver address in your TCP/IP settings.

A remote address does not work

This section is useful only if all remote addresses do not work. If you cannot reach any single host outside of Assembly, there is nothing we can do about it as the connection may be severed somewhere on the other side of the globe.

If all remote addresses are down, please know that we will already be aware of the situation and working on fixing the problem - there is no need to contact us.

If you cannot ping RS.IANA.ORG, NS.EUNET.FI or NS.CS.HUT.FI, you can assume that all remote addresses are down. Please wait patiently and we will fix it.

A local address does not work

Again, if any single host is down there is little we can do about it - as it may be that the computer is simply turned off.

If all local addresses appear to be down, read the next section.

You can determine whether you can access the local network by pinging SELVITYSMIES.ASM.FI .

No local addresses work

Check whether the person next to you has a working network. If his network is down as well, chances are that the entire table has lost network connection. Though we can tell when an entire table drops off, it might be useful to come and tell us about it. If only your machine is without net, read on.

Nothing works

Check whether your cable is still attached to the switch. There have been instances when some people take off others’ cables to make room for themselves. If something like this happens, contact the Infodesk.

If your cable is firmly attached to the switch, check if you have a link up. The link works if there is a small green or yellow light lit in the switch. Most network cards have link lights in them as well and usually the os can also see of the link is up.

If you have a link but no network, most likely you have a driver or network settings problem. Read other sections of this document again and try to solve them. If you had a working network before, reboot, and then try again.

Try going to command prompt and using ipconfig /all to see what network settings you have. If your IP address is not something like 85.188.29.65, you did not receive a proper IP address from the DHCP server. Rebooting should help - if the problem persists contact the Infodesk.

If you got an IP other that isn't within the Assembly PartyNet IP range (which will posted on the wall at the partyplace later), there is likely a rogue DHCP server out there. Check the IP address of your DHCP server (with 'ipconfig /all'), and it's MAC address (with 'arp -a', and finding the DHCP server's IP from the list). Report these to the Infodesk and we will deal with it.

If you have no link, the situation is a bit more tricky. You can try rebooting the machine, or going to device management (Start - Run - devmgmt.msc) and disabling, then enabling your network card (this is roughly equivalent to rmmod / modprobe in *nix). If it does not work, your cable may be the problem. The Infodesk has the necessary equipment to test cables, so bring it to us.

If you have reached this far and still cannot get anything to work, come to us. It is (one of) the many reasons why we are here.


Rules

The Partynet provides the party visitors with a high-speed connection to the Internet. To be able to use this connection, visitors must obey the following rules and restrictions.

Each visitor is allowed to connect one (1) computer to the Partynet and each visitor is automatically assigned one (1) dynamic public IP address. The use of private hubs or switches is also forbidden, as is the use and setup of own WLAN networks. Also it is forbidden to use Internet sharing programs or devices to extend the network. If any of the previously mentioned devices are found on the network, they will be disconnected and may be confiscated for the duration of the event.

Breaking any of the rules mentioned here will lead to actions that are a warning, disconnection from the network for the duration of Assembly or removal from the event in the most extreme case.

Unlawful distribution of software or other material protected by copyright is strictly forbidden. The possession or distribution of material, such as pornographic or violent images or films, that is forbidden in or against the Finnish law is strictly prohibited. Setup and usage of servers or services to distribute such material is also strictly prohibited. FTP, HTTP, Windows file sharing and other protocols are blocked from the Internet to the Partynet in our firewall. P2P file sharing software (eg. edonkey, kazaa, gnutella) is also blocked by our firewall. Hacking, scanning the network or activities related to these are strictly forbidden. If there is evidence that these rules are broken, the penalty will be immediate removal from the event and if needed, a police case will be filed.

Please make sure beforehand that there are no Internet connection sharing programs or such active in your computer that may have been left on accidentally. These programs often cause widescale problems in the network and in the worst case they may cause severe problems in the connections of a whole network segment.


Special requests

Some people need/want things that are beyond the scope of the other parts of this document. If you have a good reason to want something more, you should contact the NetCrew before the event. Each case is evaluated individually, and we make no guarantees that your wish will be fulfilled. However, with a valid reason, and assuming you are willing (and capable) of doing the extra work yourself, and barring any additional expenses to us, there is a good chance you will get your wish.

We can provide static IP’s and suitable hostnames for public game servers or similar machines (gamename.lan.asm.fi).

If you have any special desires and think that we would be open to them, make sure you contact us WELL IN ADVANCE - meaning at least a month before the event.

Your request should be written in clear, understandable English or Finnish. Contact netcrew.