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New wireless service lets Purdue travelers connect worldwide, visitors connect on campus

Staying connected to his colleagues and students at Purdue is vital when traveling domestically and internationally, says Bruce Harding, and doing so just got easier for the mechanical engineering technology professor, his faculty colleagues and University staff and students.

Purdue has joined eduroam, a secure federated network access service that enables staff, faculty and students to connect to Wi-Fi at more than 5,500 eduroam-enabled locations worldwide. Eduroam also provides network access at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus for visitors from participating institutions without the need to obtain guest wireless credentials. Even Purdue students studying abroad can join thousands of eduroam hotspots without hassle or data roaming charges.

“This sounds like a great idea,” Harding says. “Accessibility via Wi-Fi hotspots greatly influences both my itinerary and my lodging arrangements. With a network of universities worldwide offering common Wi-Fi access to home institution networks, eduroam should make my travels far easier.”

Carolyn Ellis, project manager in ITaP’s Security and Policy unit, says the new service will be especially beneficial to Purdue researchers who make regular trips to other participating institutions. The University already offers on-campus Internet services for students, staff and faculty and will continue to offer guest access through Purdue Air Link. Parents, event attendees and other visitors can also access AT&T’s Wi-Fi service and connect to the Internet from their mobile devices and laptops while on Purdue’s campus. Adding eduroam as an option is part of ITaP’s overall strategy to deliver fast, reliable and around-the-clock wireless access, even when individuals are away from Purdue.

“Our goal is to help individuals stay connected in a convenient and cost-effective way,” says Mike Rubesch, executive director of IT infrastructure services. “The popularity of Wi-Fi service — particularly on mobile devices — continues to grow, and we will continue to offer new and improved services as part of our effort to meet student, staff, faculty and visitors’ needs.”

Chapman Flack, a computer systems administrator for Purdue’s Department of Mathematics, said one faculty member recently hosted a conference and included a question on her registration form for whether the attendees came from an eduroam institution.

“The only names she had to send me for guest wireless credentials were the ones who had answered no,” Flack says. “It’s been received pretty positively here as a win-win.”

Those who would like to use eduroam can join the network at Purdue by clicking on the wireless network name (SSID) eduroam and entering their Purdue career account user name with @purdue.edu appended to it as the login (username@purdue.edu), and their career account password. Those traveling and visitors from participating institutions can join eduroam with credentials from their home institution. A list of US-based and international participants is available on the eduroam website, which also contains details about some schools’ support sites for users.

Additional information and instructions may be viewed on Purdue’s GoldAnswers knowledge base. Individuals who need additional help may contact the ITaP Customer Service Center by phone at 765-494-4000, or by email at itap@purdue.edu

Writer: Andrea Thomas, ITaP technology writer, 765-496-8204, thomas78@purdue.edu

Sources: Carolyn Ellis, ITaP project manager, 765-494-7365, carolynellis@purdue.edu

Chapman Flack, computer systems administrator, 765-494-4246, jflack@purdue.edu

Bruce Harding, professor of mechanical engineering technology, 765-494-7520, harding@purdue.edu

Mike Rubesch, associate vice president of IT infrastructure services, 765-496-8308, mrubesch@purdue.edu

Last updated: Aug. 22, 2013