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Dos and Don'ts of being on the departmental network


Or, how to keep your IP address


This is a short and simple guide about how to behave on the departmental network. It can't tell you everything but it may help prevent some of the more common mistakes and misconfigurations. It is definitely not a substitute for the official network rules (see below). If in any doubt about how to set something up, please ask the Computer Officers before experimenting. You can mail us at support@ch.cam.ac.uk.


  • Do be aware of the network rules. Most of them are obvious from common sense, but always check first if in doubt or before doing anything unusual as your actions may affect everyone else on the network. The following documents contain rules affecting network connections:
    Conditions of Issue for IP Addresses
    Rules for the use of the CUDN
    Rules made by the IT Syndicate
    JANET Acceptable Use Policy
  • You should make sure that your computer is configured to use DHCP (this setting may be called something like "automatically determine my IP address" or similar).
  • Do keep yourself informed. Reported network faults often turn out to be planned downtime for maintenance. You can find out when downtime is scheduled on University systems from the UIS schedule. Downtime in Chemistry will be advertised by emails and notices.
  • Don't forget to keep the departmental database up to date. Your group's IT Representative can keep update the records when machines move or are scrapped.
  • Don't swap IP addresses between machines. Never use someone else's IP address or allow someone else to use yours. The same goes for passwords for accounts on shared systems.
  • Do pay attention to security. You have a duty to others to keep your machine secure. Hackers will attack any vulnerable machine.
  • Do be aware that there is no expectatation of privacy on the network. The computer office and the University Network Division can and do monitor network traffic in order to find faults and keep the network running smoothly.
  • Do know how to report problems. In the first instance you should contact support@ch.cam.ac.uk giving as much information as possible about the problem. Don't be afraid of stating the obvious. We would rather you gave too much information than too little. If your email is broken then phone us on 36506

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