UIS Beefs Up Wireless Coverage, Security
Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2011 14:07
A large-scale wireless Internet overhaul is being rolled out across campus, in a push that will continue throughout the summer, making coverage broader and more secure for users.
Saxanet, the name of the new wireless network, will replace the older HOYAS service in many of the buildings on campus. The largest change is the addition of a login screen, which will require a net ID and password to connect to the Internet. HOYAS does not require a login.
This new authentication method is designed to make the network safer.
"Saxanet encrypts your connection. This means that others in the area that may have hacking tools cannot eavesdrop or capture your network traffic," UIS Senior Director Beth Ann Bergsmark said.
The new encrypted network system was first intended to be installed in Nov. 2006 to buildings with existing wireless coverage at that time. According to Bergsmark, Saxanet is now associated with the long-awaited installation of wireless access in all residence halls. Saxanet requires upgraded, faster network hardware to function.
"In order to deploy current generation wireless in the residence halls, we needed to upgrade all the other components in the buildings," Bergsmark said. "With the upgrades in the residence halls, we now have a critical mass of buildings that can support Saxanet. In the future as buildings with HOYAS are upgraded, Saxanet will be available there too."
In locations where Saxanet is in use, guests without a net ID and users who choose not to sign in can access the Internet through Guestnet, another new network being implemented.
To accompany all the changes on campus, the university also has joined a group of 18 other participating universities to take part in an Internet-sharing program called Eduroam. The program allows students at a participating university to access wireless Internet on the campus of any other institution in the network. Partners include the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Chicago, among others. Forty additional institutions are considering or testing the Eduroam network at this time.
Saxanet has already been installed in the Harris building on Whitehaven Street, the Intercultural Center, Old North, the Preclinical Science Building, Harbin Hall, Village C, Darnall Hall, LXR Hall, the Walsh Building, Basic Science Building and Lauinger Library. It will be installed in the Rafik B. Hariri building, Car Barn, Copley Hall, Alumni Square, Nevils, Village A and Henle Village by the end of the summer. Other buildings will continue to use the existing network, according to Bergsmark.
Students are generally excited about the wireless revamp.
"Saxanet means I will have wireless in my apartment and office for next year, which is something Georgetown never had before," Andrew Moreno (COL '13) said.