Eduroam improves Internet

Ellie Smith | Asst. News Editor

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From USD Secure, to Usdconnect, and now Eduroam, the Internet at the University of San Diego has been in a constant flux over the past few semesters. The newest installment of Eduroam brings a more secure connection for students and staff, along with features that allow Wi-Fi access at participating universities.

The USD Vista got an insight into the new changes and improvements to the Internet with USD Information Technology Services (ITS).

Doug Burke of ITS and Tina Mabe of the telecommunications department issued a collaborative statement to the USD Vista on behalf of ITS.

One of the new features that comes with Eduroam is its ability to connect at about 5000 universities around the world.

“Eduroam provides the Eduroam traveler with the ability to use their USD credentials at other eduroam participating sites rather than having to request a guest account and hassling with configuring their wireless settings,” ITS said. “Eduroam login and passwords are encrypted and authentication resides here at USD and not at other eduroam sites making it very secure.”

Eduroam is secure because the connection between a device and an Access Point uses an encrypted tunnel that scrambles the data being sent, according to ITS. When the data is scrambled, it cannot easily be read by hackers on the network.

The main difference between Eduroam and Usdconnect is that Eduroam can be accessed at other campuses while Usdconnect was exclusive to the USD community.

Despite the more secure connection that is provided through Eduroam, ITS mentioned that many computers on campus have been connecting to Usdguest in the new year.

“Usdguest was never built to support the high numbers of devices and many students may be thinking USD wireless is lame and provides terrible performance,” ITS said. “USD students, faculty members and staff should use Eduroam as their means of connecting to the campus network.”

The limitations on Usdguest are designed to limit the number of users so that paying students and faculty have the higher quality Internet.

Junior Marie McDonald-Hulen found that Eduroam has performed better than Usdconnect.

“I haven’t had any problems with eduroam yet,” McDonald-Hulen said. “I know a lot of people had problems with Usdconnect last semester. It [the Internet] just did not connect for them, ironically.”

First year Mitchell Evenson was one of those people.

“Last semester when I was doing Spanish or Calculus homework my browser would shut down randomly,” Evenson said. “I would have to redo my homework over again which was really annoying.”

Evenson found that the biggest difference this semester was that his browser does not crash anymore.

Sophomore Kate Newton echoed these points. Newton’s internet connection was unreliable last semester, and she would be dropped from the Wi-Fi at random times.

“[This semester] the Internet is much faster,” Newton said. “All my apps download automatically, which is really convenient. I used to have to go home and wait a long time for them to update.”

Another adjustment to the Internet came with the installation of Aruba access points around campus. According to ITS, these access points provide greater capacity and almost double the speed compared to the previous model access points. The access points are located in many of the residential life areas.

These access points provide faster service, but some users will not see immediate improvements because their devices may not be compatible with the spectrum.

With these new improvements, students appear to be satisfied with their internet connections. ITS claims that they will continue to monitor internet traffic and increase bandwidth when necessary. Students and other members of the USD community can expect constant changes in technology and Internet across campus.