Chico State implements new wireless Internet service

First-year student Courtney Isles hangs out on campus while using the new wireless Internet service. Photo credit: Zach Aucella

Anyone connecting to the Chico State Wi-Fi has been introduced and prompted to join eduroam. Eduroam, short for education roaming, is the new server the campus has implemented for its wireless connection.

The most important change for students, faculty and staff using the university Wi-Fi is the increased security provided by eduroam. The previous Chico State wireless connection was unsecured, leaving its users vulnerable to computer hijacking, according to manager of Information Technology Support Services Scott Kodai.

“If you know what you’re doing with a laptop, you could look at all the wireless traffic around you and see what people are doing,” Kodai said. “Eduroam gives an encrypted and secure connection for the user, ensuring privacy from others on the same network.”

Many students have mixed feelings about the new program.

Some are turned away because of the initial installation process.

“I don’t like it,” said Chico State junior Brandon Walker. “It took me three days to go through the process because I got frustrated and it used up all of the data on my phone.”

Some, like junior Taylor Magpuri, worry about adding additional programs onto their devices or being asked to set up a phone passcode.

“You don’t want someone to pick up your phone and be authenticated as you,” Kodai said. “Passcodes are totally inconvenient, but it’s also inconvenient to lock your door. Having a phone passcode ensures network users safety.”

Other students are gladly welcoming the change.

“Before, when I was at the gym, my music would stop working because I had to log in,” said senior Nicole Bergis. “But now, boom — magic. It works.”

A continuous and uninterrupted Wi-Fi connection is another advantage to expect from the new server. After installing the eduroam setup program, user’s devices will seamlessly connect to campus Wi-Fi without requiring additional authentication.

Setting up with eduroam at Chico State also means automatic guest access to a wireless connection anywhere else that is using the eduroam network.

More than 50 percent of the campus network traffic is using eduroam and numbers are expected to exceed 75 percent in the upcoming weeks. For those wishing to avoid the network update, the old connection (csuchico) is still available. However, it will eventually be phased out and completely replaced by eduroam.

Jenice Tupolo can be reached at [email protected] or @JayTupolo on Twitter.