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Why UI Public Wireless Isn't for University Users

This page contains information about why University-affiliated users (students, staff, faculty, members of allied associations, and guest with guest accounts) should use an internet service other than UI Public Wireless.

IllinoisNet Wireless is the recommended first-choice for wireless access for all registered student, faculty, or staff members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

UI Public Wireless is intended for short-term and temporary use by campus visitors. It is not recommended for University users, for several reasons.

Restricted access to campus services

UI Public Wireless is positioned outside campus firewalls that block access to many protected on-campus resources, including email servers, Library resources, departmental mail & print servers, and more.

If you connect to UI Public Wireless, you won't be able to use an email client (Apple Mail, Outlook, etc.) to send email through the campus mail servers (see UI Public Wireless and Email for more information). If you connect to IllinoisNet Wireless instead, you'll be able to both send and receive email as usual.

Speed and service limitations

UI Public Wireless is also bandwidth-limited, since it is intended to allow campus visitors to have email, instant messaging, and basic web access, not to provide high-speed video download or other bandwidth-intensive services.

In addition, UI Public Wireless is subject to most of the same security restrictions as using QuickConnect with UIUCnet Wireless. (See UIUCnet QuickConnect and Security for more information.) Users who need access to less secure protocols such as FTP should use IllinoisNet Wireless, eduroam, or the campus VPN with UIUCnet Wireless for a broader range of network access.

Limited locations

UI Public Wireless is not available in most of the locations where IllinoisNet Wireless or eduroam are provided.

UI Public Wireless is only offered by special arrangement in areas where non-University members of the public are likely to spend time, and is available only in a few locations.

IllinoisNet Wireless and eduroam are available in hundreds of hotspots, buildings, and public areas on campus. In addition, any place that offers UI Public Wireless also offers IllinoisNet Wireless and eduroam.

Repeated re-registration

UI Public Wireless access lasts until 2 a.m. on the day of registration. In order to regain access the next day, you'll need to complete the registration form again when you connect to the network.

For campus guests who have University-affiliated hosts, guest network accounts are a more efficient and more full-featured method of gaining network access through the hundreds of IllinoisNet Wireless, eduroam, and Walkup locations, not merely the few UI Public Wireless locations.

Last updated Friday, January 18, 2013, 11:09 am