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UNC-Secure will permanently disconnect Oct. 16

Information Technology Services has been transitioning the University’s primary wireless system from UNC-Secure to eduroam so students will be able to connect to the wireless systems of other campuses more easily.

On Oct. 16, UNC-Secure will no longer be a wireless option, said Jim Gogan, assistant vice chancellor for communications technologies.

“If you’re configured on your campus for eduroam, you can go to any other university or research institute in the world that’s also doing eduroam and connect to their wireless network,” Gogan said.

Kate Hash, ITS spokeswoman, said she’s already used eduroam at other universities.

“It’s about making Wi-Fi easy for people,” she said.

The ease with which users can connect to eduroam networks at other campuses does not compromise security, Gogan said, because the system uses encrypted data and authentication certificates.

But the transition from UNC-Secure to eduroam is not yet complete.

“There’s still an awful lot of people to switch,” Gogan said.

“But it is going well enough now that since the start of the semester, more than half of the devices on campus are using eduroam.”

ITS’s goal is to have 75 percent of all devices connected to eduroam by the end of the calendar year.

On Wednesday, there were 44,000 devices connected to eduroam and 19,000 connected to UNC-Secure, although the numbers change daily depending on how many people are connected to the network on campus each day, Gogan said.

The average student connects three devices to the network, and on a given day, the network can see 556 different types of devices, he said.

Gogan said at first, people experienced difficulties making the switch.

“It was not working well for Android devices,” Gogan said.

“It was sometimes working, sometimes not working for MacBooks. But ... we’ve talked to our folks at the help desk, and it’s a lot smoother than it used to be.”

After the switch, Gogan said, ITS went through a fall rush with few problems.

However, some students like junior Srihita Bongu are still having trouble trying to change networks.

“I’ve tried. I don’t think it was successful because my devices still automatically connect to UNC-Secure,” she said.

Senior Dzidzai Muyengwa said she experienced similar difficulties when trying to configure her device.

“It wouldn’t accept my password for, like, 20 times,” Muyengwa said.

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Senior Vishesh Gundappa initially had trouble connecting some of his devices to eduroam but said it hasn’t been too difficult.

“UNC Wi-Fi is fine,” Gundappa said. “I haven’t had too many problems with it myself.”

Despite her difficulties connecting to eduroam, Bongu still supports the switch.

“I think eduroam is a good idea,” Bongu said. “It is pretty useful because no matter which university you go to, you’ll have one basic Wi-Fi you can connect to.”

To configure a device to eduroam, go to wifi.unc.edu on that device.

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