What is eduroam?

eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community.  eduroam allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions by simply opening their laptop.

How does it work?

eduroam is a worldwide federation of RADIUS servers that facilitates network access for roaming academic affiliates using IEEE 802.1X as the vehicle. eduroam's use of 802.1X in concert with RADIUS means the network is built around well understood, established, and easy to manage standards which are often already deployed within the network infrastructure of educational institutions.

Routing Diagram

User credentials are not revealed to the institution at which an eduroamer joins, but instead are only revealed to their home institution, providing an extra measure of comfort for visiting users.  The eduroam network thusly also provides a simple and automatic guest provisioning system.  Instead of providing a separate visitor network with the added administrative overhead of maintaining user lists, potentially with manual expiration dates, a participating institution may rely on a visitor's home institution to authenticate them for the duration of their stay.

Today's common operating systems including Microsoft Windows (XP and beyond), Apple OSX, many smartphone OSs, and most current Linux distributions are all shipped with 802.1X supplicants, making joining eduroam simple for users, and simple to support for educational institutions. 

What does eduroam do for you?  What do you do for eduroam?

With hundreds of thousands of wireless access-points sharing a common SSID, eduroam acts as one large, world-wide, wireless hotspot.

eduroam facilitates travelers from academic institutions by allowing them to gain network access with minimal configuration and no need for the visited institution to grant them the access explicitly.  This benefits visiting faculty, academics traveling for conferences and collaborative work, study abroad students, visitors attending NCAA activities, and even regional academic exchange.

By joining eduroam you extend the network to visitors at your institution without adding any additional maintenance responsibilities to your IT staff.  Moreover, by extending the network, you help to guarantee access to your own students and faculty while they are abroad.