Eduroam is a new way to internationally connect for ISU students


Photo illustration: Megan Wolff/Iowa State Daily

Members of the ISU community are able to stay better connected to the server thanks to a contract with Eduroam.

Levi Castle

ISU students who love to always be connected but dislike connecting to multiple access points can now rejoice. In a collaboration between Information Technology Services and a worldwide connectivity company, students and faculty can always be connected to Iowa State’s servers — no matter what campus they are on.

Eduroam, or “education roaming,” is a “secure, worldwide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community,” according to IT Service’ “Connect to Eduroam” page.

The service was started in Europe and is now offered worldwide on many campuses just like Iowa State. With approximately 100 supported locations in the United States alone, and thousands more in Europe, a student or staff member who visits a campus other than Iowa State would have the connectivity of never leaving home.

After signing in following the instructions on Information Technology Services’ webpage, the device used will connect to Eduroam whenever it is detected (of course, this auto-connectivity can be disabled in the device’s settings). Once connected and in a supported location, users will have a secured, password-protected, reliable connection that should span the entirety of the supported region.

Because logging in requires a Net-ID and the Net-ID password and logging in once will grant access wherever in the world Eduroam is supported, users who travel abroad no longer need to find the passwords to local Wi-Fi networks every time they travel. When using Eduroam, guest access and device registration is not needed.

Just as an ISU student or staff member can log in anywhere in the world, any member of a different participating school can log in to Iowa State’s Eduroam with their credentials. It is a two-way street for all travelling Eduroam users.

Brenda Kutz, academic adviser at Iowa State, set up her Eduroam connection prior to leaving the country for Scotland. Because her device was already connected to the global network, when she arrived at the University of Edinburgh she was immediately able to bypass all connectivity steps.

As IT Services’ news article states, “She didn’t have to waste time finding a wireless login and password, either on the University of Edinburgh campus or the hotel.”

Kutz’s international wireless experience was unaltered in spite of her hotel’s local connectivity issues.

“I thought it worked very well. I was able to connect even before I checked in at the hotel and was able to connect when the hotel had server issues and during the day while on campus,” she said. “It was exactly like I was here at [Iowa State]. I checked email and the web.”

Eduroam is a cloud service that resulted from the efforts of Internet2, a global education service group. Internet2 is also the provider of Iowa State’s new CyBox cloud storage service.

Shelton Waggener, senior vice president of Internet2, said that Eduroam expands on an idea that was first only available in Europe but now serves hundreds of universities worldwide.

“It is a huge benefit for students and faculty visiting other institutions,” he said.

Detailed instructions for signing on to Eduroam are available for all operating systems on the IT Services website.