Redbricks Internet Help


RIC has only enough volunteers to perform network administration to keep the intranet working and its Internet access and for financial administration. There are unfortunately no volunteers with any time to help people with their individual computer problems. Do consider giving a hand.  For more info, our website can be found here.

Connecting to the Intranet & Internet

Intranet and Internet Access

First you need either a network cable that connects to a hub nearby (or for a very few people there may be a wireless / wifi connection available). If you don’t have a network cable coming into your flat then contact RIC.

To connect to the network using a network cable and use the Internet, connect the cable into your computer(or other device)’s ethernet port. Set the computer’s local area network settings to automatic (both for IP address and DNS). You should see a green light where the cable connects into the computer.

Here are instructions on setting up Windows XP to use DHCP:

The computer should automatically get an IP address in the range 192.168.4.x, a netmask of, a gateway of and DNS of and Internet access should work. You can check these settings in Windows XP using Start → Control Panel → Network Connections → Local Area Connection → Support; you need to additionally choose Details to see the DNS setting. If your computer gets any addresses other than these then something is not right.

Go to any page on the web with your browser and you’ll be redirected to our login page where you must enter your account details to get Internet access.

Provide RIC with an email address, a password and payment and you’ll receive an account to login with for Internet access. Information is provided on the page you’re redirected to on how to do this, or see the Paying page.

Use the Troubleshooting Network Issues info below to help if you’re having problems.

Sending Email

If you use a dedicated Email program on your computer, such as Mozilla Thunderbird, you can use Zen Internet’s SMTP server to send your email out. To do so, set your email program’s ‘SMTP server’ setting to

Troubleshooting Network Issues

Use the ‘Troubleshooting Wired Network Connection Issues’ (PDF) flow chart attached to  to help if you’re having problems. It may be more useful if you save it to disk so that you can use it if your Internet connection breaks.

Note that some of the tasks that are recommended in the flow chart can only be performed by an administrator. If these are required you should contact RIC.

Internet access is provided by Zen Internet, in theory it operates at up to 6Mb/s with a 20:1 contention ratio. However at present it is running at 1Mb/s. You may be able to get service status information at the Zen Internet service status page. They in turn rely on BT who have their own BT service status page.

How The Login System Works for Internet Access

The system of logging in for Internet access is a captive portal. None of your Internet software will work until you login here in your web browser. If we amend the way this system works or have to restart the firewall/router you will be prompted to login again. If you swap computers you’ll have to login again.

If you have two computers, A and B, and you login on A, henceforth A can access the Internet. If you then login on B with the same account, the Internet will stop working for A. If you login again on A with that account, the Internet will work for A and stop working for B.

If you forget or want to change your username or password, get in touch and we’ll change them to whatever you want (as long as the username is an email address we can contact you at).

If the computer or device you want to connect to the Internet with doesn’t have a web browser, such as an older generation game console, then get in touch.

Caution With Your Own Router

If you setup your own router in your flat please be especially careful that it doesn’t act as a DHCP server on its WAN (wide area network) interface otherwise many people across the estate are likely to be prevented from gaining Internet access.

Wireless Issues with the Captive Portal

The Redbricks router asks for a username/password from each computer that
it sees traffic from.

1. Wireless Router

A wireless router has a router inside it as as well as a wireless access
point. It creates its own sub-network.

[connecting computers]—[wireless]—[redbricks router]—[Internet]

To the redbricks router, traffic from connecting computers will appear to
be coming from the wireless router, not from the connecting computers.
With this setup, once you give the redbricks router your username and
password, it won’t ask for it again, because as far as it’s concerned it
has allowed this particular computer (the wireless router). Everyone
connecting through your wireless router will do so on your account.

Using this setup on the Redbricks, you must ensure your wireless router
requires a private passphrase to connect to it, and only you must use this
wireless access point and passphrase.

2. Wireless Access Point

A wireless access point is a transparent network device, in the same way a
hub is transparent, it doesn’t create its own sub-network.

[connecting computers]—[redbricks router]—[Internet]

To the redbricks router, traffic from connecting computers will appear to
be coming direct from those connecting computers. Each computer will be
asked to provide a username/password. Each person uses their own unique

Using this setup on the Redbricks, you can leave your wireless access
point open to anyone that wishes to connect to it, thus opening up the
means by which people can connect to the Redbricks network.

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