NP Hawks DevNet - Shared and Unsupported Devices

Some devices sold for the home environment are designed in a way where they will work on simple home wireless networks but sometimes cannot function correctly on large campus or corporate networks. Namely they assume all devices are on the same network segment and that broadcasts and multicasts are not filtered. They also assume every other device on the network can be completely trusted to control every other device which is simply not true on campus networks.

We have deployed a technology called Airgroup to try to allow students to use a range of wired and wireless devices typically found in home environments. Such devices include Apple TVs, Chromecasts, and wireless printers. These devices use service discovery protocols such as mDNS (Bonjour), DIAL, DLNA, GoogleCast and others. Airgroup attempts to make devices using these protocols visible to other devices owned by the same user while not showing them for every other user on campus. Unfortunately

In order for these types of devices to be visible/discoverable by other devices the following must be true:

  • The devices you are attempting to use (such as an Apple TV or wireless printer) must all be connected to either the NP Hawks WPA or NP Hawks DevNet wireless networks or be connected to the residential wired network (aka ResNet). As an example: A printer can be connected to the NP Hawks DevNet network while the smartphone you are attempting to print from can be connected to the NP Hawks WPA wireless network, however the smartphone will not be able to print to the wireless printer if it is not otherwise connected to one of the three aforementioned networks.
  • All devices must be signed in or registered with the same SUNY New Paltz Username. You will not be able to see devices signed into or registered to another user.
  • The devices implement one of the following protocols in a way that follows the standard: mDNS, Bonjour, DIAL, DLNA media, and GoogleCast

Airgroup is provided without support. We simply can't assist you as things often change at the whim of manfacturers and we have no control over what they decide to break on a given day. Our Service Desk will only be able to assist you with connecting your device to the respective wireless or wired networks but will not be able answer questions as to how to get device sharing working.

 

During our last round of testing we found:

  • Apple TV devices worked extremely well with iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks. We did not encounter any serious problems trying to use these together.
  • Chromecasts generally work after they are setup. Unfortunately the initial setup is prone to problems and behaves differently based on if you are using an iOS or Android device to setup, the phase of the moon, what bugs Google has decided would be fun to include in an update to it's mobile apps, etal. You may need to experiment with force closing the mobile app setting up the Chromecast while the Chromecast attempts to connect to the wireless network to get it to work. It took several attempts during our testing to get the Chromecast connected.
  • The Roku mobile app cannot be used to control Roku devices or Roku TVs. The Roku device itself streams media fine and works with the bundled remote control but the mobile app is not usable. The Roku mobile app makes incorrect assumptions about networks and violates the mDNS protocol specifications in a way that can't be supported.

 

 

Details

Article ID: 39175
Created
Mon 9/18/17 12:17 PM
Modified
Tue 7/16/19 3:10 PM