As the network administrator at a small college, I find the "no private network at all" requirement a little odd. I can tell you that we have lots of very good reasons for not wanting you to run your own wireless network. Please, just don't do this. As the consumer equipment on the market these days tends to almost always include a wireless radio, that may be a big part of it, but I generally have no problems with students who want to connect multiple devices via the single wired network port in their room, as long as they take care in how it's set up.
Given your needs, their network requirements, and what I suspect they are trying to accomplish with these rules, I would look to solve this in one of three ways:
- Set it up your cisco router as a dumb hub rather than a switch or router, and turn off or disable the wireless radio in the device. Now you must register the MAC address for each additional device separately. This is preferred, but given the strict rules they may only allow the first device per wired port in your room.
Use Network Address Translation (NAT). Most routers have this on by default. If you're using NAT, their system should only ever see your router's MAC address. If everything is set up correctly, registering a MAC from your PC would give them the routers MAC and should satisfy the requirement, such that all devices appear to be using that MAC (no spoofing required).
You still need to disable the wireless radio. The downside to this approach is that bandwidth management systems will see all your devices as one. Treated this way, the multiple devices are likely to get scored higher for bandwidth management purposes and ultimately your connection will be throttled as a result - you'll get lower speeds than others nearby.
- Build a private wired network, with no access to the internet. You can use this for things like your synergy app. Then, use the wireless connection on each device for internet access. You'll likely have to play around with routing tables for this to work, so that the default gateway on your wireless adapter takes precedence over the wired (it's normally the other way around).
Some additional key points:
- They will be able to know and stop you if you don't disable the wireless radio. Modern enterprise access points can detect and neutralize the rogue transmitters. End of story.
- One reason for this kind of requirement is that it is very easy to mis-configure your device to put a rogue dhcp server on your campus network, and that can cause big problems for everyone. That's one reason to prefer the hub approach vs the NAT approach - there's no dhcp server running on your equipment, as you still rely on the school for this service.
From your other question, I see you'd like to use bittorrent. Depending on the school, that may or not be okay. Either way, there are some things you should know before even trying this on a campus network.
- By default, bittorrent clients are configured to create a lot of simultaneous connections to talk to a lot of peers (often many times per peer) and suck down as much bandwidth as they can get. When you go to a college, this can cause big problems, and it's just not a good way to behave with regards to sharing resources with your fellow students. Just a few people running bittorrent clients configured this way can cause problems for your internet gateway, which in addition to bandwidth may have a fixed cap for the number of concurrent connections it can process at a time. You should edit your client's settings if you can so that you only use a few connections at a time — you'll want something that seems really low, like just 20 or 50.
- Colleges are now under a lot of pressure to curb p2p file sharing, including bittorrent, with the most recent item being a new law that took effect this past summer that now requires all schools that want to allow students to accept federal financial aid to use technical means to limit this activity. It's highly likely that running a bittorrent client will cause your entire connection to throttled, such that everything else you want to do is slower as well.
- Try to keep it to legal torrents. Really.