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How to Deal with the Annoying Cisco Clean Access Agent (for UCI Students)

posted Sep 10, 2009, 8:32 PM by Danny Eusebio

So you're finally at UCI and you have your laptop, Ethernet cord, and hopes of joy. No longer do you have to use your rubbish DSL line at home. Now you have access to much faster internet speeds than ever before. So you hook up your laptop and your ethernet plug, while leaving all your stuff unpacked, and as you try to get online your welcomed by "Cisco Clean Access Agent." The first response is usually WTF. Your asked to download a client to run on your computer. And that's when all your problems begin. Please follow the article to learn more about how to prepare yourself for on campus internet. You'll be glad you did.




How to avoid the Cisco Problem altogether:
  1. If you are running Apple Mac Computer, Cisco will let you on the internet right after you download it.
  2. If you are running Linux/ Ubuntu, you don't even need to download Cisco. You just have to login online.
  3. If you use an iPod Touch, you'll be able to get online by just logging in with your UCINETid and password in the Safari Browser.

I know what you're thinking, it's not fair. I'm running Windows, the most popular operating system in the world. Yeah, I know. It's also one of the most vulnerable ones out there too. So that's why Cisco is being used to ensure your Windows based computer is safe to use on the UCI Network.

Here's what to do before you come to UCI Dorms:
  1. Make sure you have an Antivirus Program that is working and up-to-date. That means it better not be on trial software. UCI normally asks students who don't have a paid Antivirus software like Norton to get a free version of McAfee (direct link). Here's the link to the webpage (link).
  2. Install the software and update the crap out of it.
  3. Download all the updates for your computer. (Windows Vista Users). Normally you can just go to Windows Update to download the latest updates for Windows 7, Vista, and XP.

Once you've done the above, your laptop should be like 99% ready to go when you come to the dorms. However, there are occasions where you computer can't get on AT ALL. It's probably the most frustrating experiences ever. You'll need to contact ResNet at your location and have them look at problem. Hopefully the above will work for most users.

Conclusion

Sometimes Cisco will lock you out for no reason. Even though your computer passes the test, it might actually get blocked every now and then. Sometimes you get blocked when you really need the internet. Especially when your procrastinating on a research paper. I've noticed that Cisco will log you off manually every week. You'll notice that you have to manually log in once a week in general. Sometimes you can't get in period. The best solution at that time, is to just leave your laptop/computer on for an hour. Sometimes it takes time for the Cisco Agent to give you access to the internet. I'm not sure if its checking your computer or something, but if you find that all of a sudden your computer can't get online, just give it an hour or so until it goes through. If it still doesn't, then you'll have to contact ResNet
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