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What is a SOWN[at]HOME node?

A SOWN[at]HOME node is a Meraki Mini flashed with OpenWRT Attitude Adjustment SVN r31360 and SOWN's very own bespoke firmware. These units are distributed to those living around the city and use the internet connection they are connected to to expand the SOWN wireless coverage.

How do I get a SOWN[at]HOME node?

You can make a request for a SOWN[at]HOME node by going to our node request page. To qualify to host a node you must live within Southampton (nearer the university the better) and be a student (who does not live in halls of residence) or staff member at the University of Southampton.

How does a SOWN[at]HOME node work? (Simple answer)

A SOWN[at]HOME node must be plugged into an ethernet port on your home network. Once switched on the node will connect back to the SOWN network using a tunnel through your ADSL connection. This will then allow any SOWN user to connect to the SOWN network through the tunnel. It will also allow users to connect directly to Internet directly through your ADSL router.

How does a SOWN[at]HOME node work? (Supplementary)

  • The node requires access to the internet via an "always on" ADSL connection.
  • The node requires an ethernet connection to your network via a switch/hub/router port.
  • The node requires the following Outgoing ports open.
    • 80: http
    • 443: https
    • 5000-5110 inclusive: The VPN tunnel to SOWN. (Each node will only use one of these ports but each node is different).
    • N.B. In a normal ADSL configuration all outgoing ports will be allowed but incoming ports will be blocked to stop people accessing computers on your network. SOWN requires no incoming ports.
  • The node gives out SOWN IP addresses in the
    • If your home network uses the range, SOWN will need to reconfigure our node to use a different range. This may affect access to some resources/applications on the SOWN network.
  • The node by default blocks access to your internal network.
  • If you wish, a SOWN[at]HOME node can put it on its own VLAN.
  • If you have a DMZ, SOWN recommends putting your SOWN[at]HOME node in there. However, if you do not have a DMZ you do not need to set one up just for the node.

How much bandwidth will the SOWN[at]HOME node use?

Each SOWN[at]HOME node has a program script that the restricts the amount of bandwidth the node can use. This is generally set up about a quarter of the total ADSL connection bandwidth but can be reduced if necessary.

How much are the monthly downloads of the SOWN[at]HOME node going to be?

This will depend on your location but probably no more than a couple of gigabytes a month. If anyone is using you connection excessively SOWN can taken action to restrict their use.

I have connected my node how can I check it is working correctly?

Firstly Connect to your SOWN[at]HOME node wirelessly. It will have the SSID: eduroam. When you connect to this if you already have eduroam you should just connect and have Internet access. If not, you will be prompted for a username (e.g. and password, which you use to log into systems at your university of other educational institution.

If you see no eduroam SSID, then one of the two things may have gone wrong. First, you node is over its usage cap, this is unlikely to be the case if you have just connected you node. As a node admin you can login to SOWN's admin system and up the usage cap. Unfortunately, you can currently only do this when you are on the University of Southampton ECS network, (as you cannot connect via the node's eduroam SSID, which is the recommended route). We are working at providing a different means for accessing the admin site for node admins when nodes are over their usage cap.

Second, your node has not come up. If this is the first time you have connected your node it may take a while (15+ minutes) to reconfigure for your network. Check the network cable is properly connected and that one of the lights next to the node's network socket is flashing. If after 30 minutes you still cannot see an eduroam SSID try unplugging and plugging back in the power lead. If after a further 30 minutes you still do not see an eduroam SSID, contact SOWN and report in as much detail as possible the issues you are having and we will see if we can provide some further advice if not offer you a replacement node.