Stopped in my tracks by a shifting IP address?

I am annoyed.  I am really really annoyed, and my university is at fault.  Brigham Young University has a system called Route Y that is basically a portal to everything that I need to access as a student or an instructor.  Through Route Y, I can (in theory) pay my tuition, register for classes, check my class rolls, send emails to my students, look at my pay stubs, make alterations to direct deposit, etc.  It is very important, especially to a student/employee working from over 2,000 miles away.  And it isn’t working.

I’ve consulted with individuals from help desk at the BYU Office of Information Technology multiple times in the past two weeks.  The first time, they reset my password and all seemed right with the world, for a moment or two.  Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon handling phone call after phone call from a hapless OIT worker who truly seemed to want to help.  I told them that I was having the same problem on multiple browsers and multiple computers, and since my husband was also having intermittent problems, on multiple accounts.  My husband has even had problems (though fewer) trying to log into Route Y from his desktop computer in his office at the University of Virginia. 

The problem happens after I log into Route Y, when I try to do any of the actions on the Route Y menu.  Lately, I’ve been trying to do three things:

  • Check my class rolls for the online course that I will be teaching
  • Register for David Wiley’s course on Blogs, Wikis and the New Media
  • Pay my tuition

However, instead of directing me to the appropriate application, Route Y directs me to an infinite login loop (unless OIT has reset my password earlier that day, then I might make it through one or two applications before the perpetual log in starts again.) 

Eventually, OIT told me that the root of my Route Y problem is my Internet Service Provider.  Since my ISP allows my IP address to shift within sessions, Route Y forces me to log in again to prove that I’m not a hacker.  Hmmmm. . . . I’m not convinced.  My IP address does change fairly often, but not multiple times a second or minute.  Shouldn’t I be able to log in normally while the IP address remains static?  I think I should be able to complete a ten minute task before it becomes a problem.  Also, when I’ve cleared the personal information in the browser, logged out, shut down, restarted and tried again, why am I automatically blocked from logging in to a new session on a different day?  And why does having BYU reset my password solve the problem, if only temporarily?   

Perhaps even more annoying to me is that the problem only occurs with Route Y.  My two banks have no security problems with shifting IP addresses.  My Google account stays logged in, and so does every other website that requires a login.  Even Blackboard will work for me.  OIT placed the blame for the problem on my ISP, but it seems like a design flaw in Route Y to me. 

Blogged with the Flock Browser

About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
This entry was posted in Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Stopped in my tracks by a shifting IP address?

  1. Ben says:

    I hear you! BYU seems to cut corners on IT stuff. Have you tried using VPN? You can request an account I think. If the problem then still persists, well, I don’t know what to say.

  2. Ben says:

    Also, I noticed that the end of your post says “Blogged with the Flock Browser.” How’s Flock working for you? Do you like it?

  3. Andrea says:

    I hear you too. That must be really frustrating. It’s already frustrating to deal with BYU for me, and I’m right here in the thick and thin of things! My advice to you is don’t give up because BYU only listens to those who scream loud enough to get their problems solved. This comes from nine years of dealing with BYU 🙂

  4. @Ben – Thanks for the suggestion. I looked into a VPN and I think I’d need a dynamic DNS service first, but since our wireless is provided by the apartment complex and we don’t use our own router, I’m not sure that it will be an option until we move. I’ve only been using Flock for a few days and it seems to be working fine, but I’m not sure that it is all that different from Firefox. I’ll probably blog about it once I’ve played with it a little more.

    @Andrea – Thanks for the sympathy. Hopefully everything will get squared away before school starts . . . or I’ll just figure out some sort of work around.

  5. Pingback: What it would take to make me say a definitive “I like Flock”? « (No Longer) Alone in a Library

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