How to avoid a Nightmare on CERN Street

You boot up your laptop and seek out the nearest secure Wi-Fi network. It’s the twenty-first century - surely there must be something available? But as the search continues and the spinning ball keeps on turning, you start to feel that slow creep of dread... unless, of course, you’re using Eduroam!


(Image: Unearthed Comics)

Eduroam is a secure, worldwide roaming Wi-Fi access service developed for the international research and education community*.” Put another way, Eduroam can save you from the frustration, misery and hopelessness you’d otherwise experience when trying to get your device online in a new location. It is simple, secure and – once you are connected – provides you with Internet access in universities and facilities around the world – including at CERN.

With a simple click, CERN users can install Eduroam credentials onto their laptop, tablet or mobile device. These credentials act as a “master password”, allowing you to unlock Eduroam Wi-Fi networks around the world.

The new network has been strongly embraced by visitors to CERN, for whom connecting to the Wi-Fi was always a bit of a chore: “While CERN does have an open Wi-Fi network available for its employees and visitors, connecting to it does take time and patience,” says David Foster, Deputy Head of the IT Department. “With Eduroam, however, visitors can be verified directly by their home institute.” CERN visitors can access the Eduroam Wi-Fi network across the site, simply by using their home institute login credentials.

Eduroam has even expanded outside traditional academic locations to include museums, trains and even airports. Geneva Airport, for instance, recently adopted Eduroam, allowing visiting academics to get online as soon as they land. “You can find Eduroam almost everywhere – something I’ve learnt from experience,” says David Foster. “Once, I was in Zagreb, Croatia, visiting some friends, when suddenly my phone started going nuts – buzzing with messages and e-mails. Well, we had just happened to walk past a museum that had Eduroam and my phone automatically joined the network. Just like that, I was connected.” This was by no means a unique set of events, and David shared similar experiences he has had while in the UK and elsewhere. He adds: “The aim is real global connectivity.”

So download your Eduroam certificate today! Just visit the CERN Eduroam webpage (login required) for a simple one-click installation. You can also discover the extensive list of Eduroam network sites on the official Eduroam website.

*The Eduroam network is available to CERN users and visiting academics from Eduroam institutes.

by Katarina Anthony