Residential Network Access and Update

Mars Hill University has a Network Access Compliance (NAC) device called Safe.Connect by Impulse Systems. This device is a system that enables the enforcement of Mars Hill University Policies to any users of the campus residential network. As such, any computer connected will be subject to the rules and regulations as defined by the College Administration and applied through the Policy Manager. MHU does not monitor traffic based on content unless there is a problem detected with your system.

You will be instructed to install a "Policy Key" on your computer during the initial network connection. You have the option of not installing the Policy Key software on your computer. If you do not install the Policy Key you will be denied access to the MHU network and the internet. 

Supported Systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP and Vista **
  • Macintosh
  • Linux systems.

** While Windows Vista should work it is a very new operating system and is not currently used on the MHU campus.

Vista has known connectivity problems that are not related to the MHU network so your system may or may not work. The ITS department cannot guarantee your system will function correctly and will not troubleshoot Vista problems. Be sure to read the Vista setup guide.

Unsupported Systems:

  • Windows 95 or below
  • Online gaming consoles such as XBox and Playstation 2

Before you begin:

Wireless Access Points are NOT PERMITTED!

These devices are not only a serious security risk but may cause you and others around you problems when accessing the network. DO NOT CONNECT A WIRELESS ACCESS POINT. YOUR NETWORK ACCESS WILL BE DISABLED IF A WAP IS DETECTED IN YOUR ROOM!

If your system has a wireless adapter installed it is a good idea to disable it while in the residence halls. You can enable it when you are ready to connect to a valid wireless network.

Personal Firewalls:

If you computer has any type of personal firewall software installed you may have problems installing or running the Policy Key. Check your system tray for any firewalls, such as Norton Internet Security or Zone Alarm. If you are running Norton (Symantec) anti-virus then you probably have a firewall installed. Blocking any traffic generated by the Policy Key will cause major problems when you try to connect to the MHU network. If you receive notifications to block or allow traffic generated by the Policy Key you must select the option to allow the traffic.

Microsoft AntiSpyware will also ask you to allow the Policy Key to automatically start. You must allow the Policy Key to start automatically or you will be prompted to install the key each time you access the network.

Virus Infections, SpyWare and AdWare:

If your machine is infected with a virus or ad/spyware you will have problems connecting to the network and installing the Policy Key.


Student owned computer support policy:
Because of liability issues the Mars Hill University Helpdesk staff will not provide any support to student owned computers. We have a totally “hands-off” policy meaning that the ITS staff will not touch your computer under any circumstances. If you have network problems we will verify that the connection is working to the wall jack in your room. It is your responsibility to maintain your personal computer in a clean safe condition. You are accountable for any network, virus or other problems created by your computer.

What to expect when you connect to the MHU Network
Network Authentication:
You must have a valid MHU network account to access the network. Once your computer is successfully connected to the College network via the ethernet jack in your room and you try to access the external Internet you will be prompted to enter your MHU network username and password. (You username is your Email address without the @mhu.edu.)


For security reasons you will be prompted to re-enter this information every time you connect to the MHU network. This information is logged and all traffic generated by this system is your responsibility even if someone else is using your computer. If you are going to be away from your system shut it down!
Install Policy Key (Windows Users)
All Microsoft Windows users are given the option of installing the Impulse Policy Key. You do not have to install this to use your computer but if you choose not to install it network access will be blocked. The Policy Key must be running while connected to the MHU network. DO NOT DISABLE, UNINSTALL OR REMOVE THE POLICY KEY FROM YOUR STARTUP FOLDER. IF THE POLICY KEY IS NOT RUNNING YOUR ACCESS WILL BE BLOCKED OR YOU WILL BE PROMPTED TO REINSTALL IT!
You will see the Welcome screen shown below where you have the option to install this key. There are also links to MHU computer/network use policies.
These policies are also in your student handbook. By installing this key you state that you have read and understood all Mars Hill University computer/network policies and agree to abide by them.

Once you click the link to install the Policy Key you will be prompted to save the policy key installer.

Instructions from this point vary for Windows Vista. If you are running Vista be sure to look at the correct instructions and images below.

Windows 98, ME and XP specific instructions (Vista Users click here to skip to your instructions)

Save the Impulse.exe file to your Desktop or a location that you can remember. You may also click "Run" to automatically download and start the installer.

If you chose to download then once the download is complete run the Impulse.exe installer that you saved in the previous step.
Once the Policy Key installer starts you will see this screen.

Click the “Install” button directly below the big red arrow.
This progress screen is displayed while the Policy Key is being installed:

Once the installation is complete you will see this screen:

Click the “Finish” button to complete the installation.

Windows Vista specific instructions (Windows 98, ME and XP skip down to final instructions)

Save this to your Desktop or a location that you can remember. You may also click "Run" to automatically download and start the installer.

If you chose to download the once the download is complete run the ServiceInstaller.exe file that you saved in the previous step.
Once the Policy Key installer starts you will see this screen.

Click the "Run" button to start the installer.

Once the install starts you will see this window. Click the “Install” button.
The install will only take a few seconds then you will see this windows.

Click the "OK" button to exit.

This is the end of Windows Vista specific instructions.

If you are using anti-virus that also has a firewall you may be prompted to all the Policy Key to be able to access the network. YOU MUST ALLOW THIS OR YOU WILL BE REPEATDLY ASKED TO INSTALL THE POLICY KEY!!!

You should have internet access at this point provide your computer meets all the requirements for network access.

Note on Personal Firewalls:

If you have a Firewall installed on your system traffic it may block Policy Key traffic which will cause the Policy Key installation screen to be displayed repeatedly.

Software firewalls, such as SP2 for Windows XP, will bring up a flag during the agent install requesting a decision to allow or deny the Policy Key Agent’s access. You must select allow for the system to work correctly. Additionally, for some firewalls, it will be necessary to configure them to allow communication with specific hosts. In this case, configure the firewall to allow communication to IP addresses: and
What is monitored on your computer:
Anti-Virus Application (Windows users):
Is an approved anti-virus application installed, running and are the virus definitions up-to-date.
If you do not have an approved anti-virus package installed, running and updated you will see this screen. There is a link where you may download and install Grisoft AVG free edition from the ITS website if you wish. This software is made available for your use but the ITS staff will not support it.

This Anti-Virus warning screen will vary depending on the state of your system. Follow the instructions to either install anti-virus software or start your existing anti-virus application. You will not have Internet access until your machine meets these anti-virus requirements!
If you virus definitions are out-of-date you will be warned as follows:

  • First Warning - 12 hours to update.
  • Second Warning - 12 hours to update
  • Third Warning - 12 hours to update
  • Fourth Warning - 6 hours to update
  • Fifth Warning - 3 hours to update
  • Sixth Warning - your internet access will be blocked

If you go through all six warnings and are blocked from internet access you will never be able to update your virus definitions.  Therefore your internet access will, in effect, be permanently blocked unless you find a way to update them manually. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN! 45 hours is more than enough time to update your virus definitions.

Peer-2-Peer file sharing (Windows users):
Peer-2-Peer file sharing applications installed.
Mars Hill University does not allow Peer-2-Peer file sharing on the campus network. Your system will be checked and if any application classified as P2P is found on your system your Internet access will be blocked until it is removed or disabled.

Note: If you have files shared using P2P applications you will receive a warning screen but Internet access will not be blocked.
Microsoft OS updates and security patches (Windows users):
Your system will be automatically configured to download and install all Microsoft updates and security patches from the internal MHU Windows Update server. If you modify this configuration while connected to the MHU network your internet access will be blocked and your computer may not work correctly.