A small percentage of TPS students live in regions that restrict access to external web sites and services. This is accomplished by forming a closed network in the region that re-routes external internet traffic to the effect of slowing, diverting or blocking it. The effects are variable, and they change seasonally, regionally and sometimes even daily. For students in restricted regions, please consider these suggestions for best results with live classes and submitting assignments:
- Use a local internet provider that is generally supportive of users seeking access to allowed U.S. web sites (i.e., those that are not intentionally blocked) for legitimate reasons.
- Eliminate or minimize any blocks on yourself (your computer and network) that add to the regional ones. All computers have security programs, firewall, and parental controls built into the computer, and many third-party programs add privacy or security on top of these.
- Consider having more than one internet option (e.g., landline and mobile), and expect that sometimes will be better and other times the other will be better for accessing external sites and services.
- Use Windows or MacOS rather than Chromebook, Android or iOS.
- If your region blocks Google sites, use Firefox as your primary browser, but have another browser (Chrome or MS Edge (Chromium)) available to try if the primary one does not work at the moment.
- Have a VPN ready that you use only when needed to submit assignments or access class work, but that you don't count on or over-use. (Generally a VPN is not helpful for the live class, and adds problems rather than resolving or bypassing them.)
- While we normally discourage students from using the GP7 app, we understand that for some regions it may work better -- but only if you take the time well before class each day to make sure it is updated. The app allows you to do your updates in advance, and it is also more forgiving of security blocks than the browsers are. The app will save you extra download time and improve your class experience if it is already updated well before class. But it will cost you valuable time and reduce your class experience if you wait until class time to download any updates.