Eduroam wifi connection troubles persist through fall semester

Eduroam wifi connection troubles persist through fall semester
The new Eduroam network was set to replace Augustana’s previous personal service. Photo by Sydney Denekamp.

Campus wifi switched to the eduroam network in June of 2021, prompting connection struggles for students that have continued into this year.

“Whenever I’m in class, it keeps trying to connect, and connect, and connect, and then sometimes I even have to hook it up to my hotspot and then switch it back to eduroam,” senior Heidi Petersen said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I have to stay on my hotspot the whole time.”

Eduroam provides network security for faculty conducting research and should be easy to access for traveling students with connections across the globe.

Help Desk manager Cheryl Swanson said that there are always issues with wifi, but the main issues both last year and this year are related to the login process.

“You know, last year, our issues were the first early days, and this year they kind of came back to us a little later,” Swanson said.

Each year students must complete the login process to eduroam with a new password and a username that does not include ‘ole.’ Students who have issues have been logging in incorrectly when they reconnect to the network after changing their password, Swanson said.

“This year there was more of that, and for a while, that seemed like [the login] was working for students, but it really wasn’t,” Swanson said. “That’s where a lot of our problem is, in password changes and then when you log in again.”

Swanson said that students will have to go through this same process next fall when they return to campus.

The Augustana Help Desk sent out an email on Monday, September 26, that provides a clear set of instructions to address the eduroam issues.

“Go through that set of instructions again and pay particular attention to username and password,” Swanson said.

Augustana University switched to the eduroam network after receiving a grant. Previously, Augustana used an internal network.

“Before you could probably go to another college or university and get on their guest network, but it’s not very secure,” Swanson said. “This is a secure connection when you’re traveling.”

This connection works both ways for other institutions using eduroam. When individuals from other universities that have eduroam visit Augustana, they can automatically connect to the network. This benefit stretches to 100 countries across the world. For example, some students who traveled to Norway this summer were able to use the network.

“It’s real convenient especially when our faculty are doing research and they go back and forth,” Swanson said.