Nearpod Networking Help Guide (v1.4)

Introduction

To ensure teachers and students have the best experience possible, Nearpod functions without the need to configure anything in the vast majority of network situations.  However, some networks and devices may be configured by an institution for security in specific ways that block internet traffic. To support in these situations, this document provides help to avoid and remedy possible issues.

This article covers:

Whitelisting

If a school’s network or devices are configured in such a way to prevent unknown network traffic or to enforce other particular security measures, you may need to whitelist certain domains so that you are not adversely affected from accessing Nearpod.

Whitelisting is a process by which your IT department specifies certain internet domains to pass network traffic through.  This may need to be done on network firewalls, proxies, or student devices.  Whitelists should be set by domain name and not by specific internet addresses.

Domains used by Nearpod directly

These domain names are the primary domains that Nearpod uses for its application.  If your student cannot access Nearpod itself or a specific activity within Nearpod (e.g., Time to Climb or Whiteboard will not load), it is possible that your network needs to be configured to allow traffic through unaffected.

  • nearpod.com
  • *.nearpod.com 
  • nearpod.s3.amazonaws.com 
  • s3.amazonaws.com
  • app.link 

Domains used by popular services that users may import content from

If teachers or students cannot view or access certain content within Nearpod, like videos or images, it is possible that the following domains need to be whitelisted:

  • youtube.com
  • google.com
  • 360cities.net (VR Field Trips)
  • contentstorage.onenote.office.net (Microsoft Immersive Reader)
  • js.live.net (Microsoft OneDrive)
  • quill.org
  • codemonkey.com
  • typesy.com

Important notes

The internet IP addresses that various domain names resolve to don't necessarily fall within any given address range, therefore all whitelisting should be done by domain name and a specific IP address.

When whitelisting domains, this may include changes at any point in which your IT department may have security restrictions enforced.  For illustrative purposes, some examples of changes you may need to make are:

  • Network routers, firewalls, or proxy blocks that may prohibit traffic to access the above domains
  • Network traffic rules, such as decryption exemption policies for SSL interception, that may be affecting traffic that passes to those domains
  • Device software or local firewall/filters that prevents the computer itself from accessing certain content or loading certain libraries or domains

Websockets

Apart from network configurations that may restrict connectivity to Nearpod or popular sources of content, certain network setups may impact the ability for WebSockets to work.  WebSockets are an internet browser technology that allows quick streaming updates for highly interactive material, like Nearpod activities.

If a particular device is having issues loading specific Nearpod activities (namely, Whiteboard, Time to Climb, and Interactive Video), but most other functionality appears to work, you can check to see if WebSockets are correctly supported by that device and network setup by visiting: https://nearpod.com/connectors/socket

On this page, you will see a panel for “WebSockets Connection”.  Click the “Test” button to view your connection test results.

If you see a green check mark indicating “Connected”, like below, the device you are on is able to connect to Nearpod successfully with WebSockets on the current network (results may vary on different devices or networks depending on their configuration).  If it does not, you will see a red error sign along with a message, and your IT department may need to make changes in order to allow WebSockets to work by making similar or additional changes to those outlined in the sections above.

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