Eduroam: A minor inconvenience for a safer network


Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Carson Predovich

If you ask any Chico State student about the school Wi-Fi, chances are their response will be somewhere along the lines of “I hate it.”

Most people complain that it is too hard to connect to and that it was better before when you could just connect to it the same way you would to your home Wi-Fi. Although this is true in some ways, it just isn’t feasible on a network with this much traffic.

Chico State has over 16,000 full time students, meaning there are a lot of people connected to the Wi-Fi at any given time. The more people you add to a network, the greater the risk. By ensuring all devices using the network are kept up to high security standards, that risk is lowered dramatically.

If the school requires all computers on the network to have anti-virus software, then the chance of the wireless network becoming compromised is much slimmer. Also, devices set up on Eduroam have all of their transmitted data encrypted, so other people can’t see the information you are sending or receiving.

Things may have been easier before Eduroam, but they were not nearly as secure. The university recognized the risk of the old network and did what needed to be done to keep the students and employees safe.

Another benefit of this internet connection is that once you get set up, you never have to sign in again. Your devices automatically connect when you come on campus and stay connected as you move from building to building. Eduroam also lets you connect to the Wi-Fi at any other school in the world that uses the same system.

At the rate technology is advancing, the risk of cyber attacks rises each day. Implementing this secure connection was a necessary step by the CSU system to keep everyone using their internet safe. Even though it may not be perfect yet, people need to recognize the benefits and security this connection provides.

Colleges and universities are high targets for cyber attacks, so it is important that we do whatever it takes to keep our network secure. In recent years, the number of attempted cyber attacks on universities has dramatically increased. Eduroam is a strong effort to protect us and our sensitive information from these attacks.

Of course, the Wi-Fi isn’t perfect yet. There are still some kinks that need to be worked out, but that is the case whenever a new system is introduced. I am confident that with the next year or so, connecting to Eduroam will be much more simple and streamlined.

I can understand why some people are frustrated with the Wi-Fi here at Chico State, but the university is just doing what it can to protect everyone. Before you get angry at the school or IT department, try and think about the perks and how much safer your information is.

If you yourself are having trouble connecting to Eduroam, detailed instructions can be found here. If you are using a Mac, be aware that you need to have an antivirus installed and running (yes, Mac’s can get viruses). Windows computers have built in antivirus, so following those instructions should get you connected quickly.

Carson Predovich can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.