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Wireless Access at Urbana-Champaign

This page contains information about the campus-wide wireless network, and its variations for guests, departments, and public areas.


The University of Illinois provides several types of wireless network access in order to support a diverse community.


For best performance, CITES recommends that you use an 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless card in your computer. For more information, see Wireless Networking Speed: Ideals and Experience.

IllinoisNet: secured, authenticated wireless access

IllinoisNet is a full-featured wireless network, with both authentication and security built into the wireless protocol itself. Once you've configured your computer to use IllinoisNet, you'll be able to log in automatically, with no add-on services like QuickConnect or the VPN necessary.

What is the IllinoisNet wireless service best for?

  • Your own personal computer or handheld device
    Because IllinoisNet stores your personal identity (your NetID and password), you should not use IllinoisNet on computers and devices that aren't your own. IllinoisNet is primarily meant for computers that are either personally owned or provided to you by your University unit.

    If you need to use IllinoisNet with a shared computer or device, make certain to delete your personal configuration before you return it.
  • Hassle-free connections with security built in
    After the initial configuration process is complete, your computer stores your NetID and password and uses it to automatically reconnect to IllinoisNet whenever you're in range. You won't be prompted for QuickConnect logins when you open a browser window, and you'll have the same type of wireless security that the campus VPN provides -- all with no extra software or login prompts.
  • Long-term campus network users
    If you're going to be on campus for longer than a few days, you'll probably find it worth the time to perform the IllinoisNet configuration process.

    If you're only visiting, you'll want to use either UIUCnet Wireless with a guest account, or UI Public Wireless without a guest account (in the locations where UI Public Wireless is available.)
  • Modern computers
    Support for the WPA2 protocol was added to the Wi-Fi certification requirements in 2006. Therefore, most wireless-capable computers built since 2006 can use IllinoisNet.

    Some smartphones and handheld devices support the WPA2 protocol; others do not. The iPhone and iPod Touch can both be used with IllinoisNet.

    Campus community members can share their knowledge about their devices at the Community-developed IllinoisNet configurations page. (Log in with your NetID and AD password to read and contribute.)

    Search the Wi-Fi Alliance's Wi-Fi Certified Products page to see whether your system is Wi-Fi certified.

To get connected, see Getting Started with the IllinoisNet Secure Wireless Service.

If you'd like further advice on choosing between UIUCnet Wireless and IllinoisNet, see Should I Use IllinoisNet or UIUCnet Wireless?

UIUCnet Wireless: the starter service

UIUCnet Wireless is a simple wireless service that allows you to connect to the Internet with the assistance of add-on authentication tools like QuickConnect or the campus VPN.

What is UIUCnet Wireless best for?

  • Campus guests with weekend accounts
    If you're a campus guest with a guest account that expires in a few days, UIUCnet Wireless is simple to use.
  • Shared or borrowed computers
    If the computer you're using isn't your own (for example, presenters or lecturers sharing a laptop at a conference), you won't want to add your personal NetID and password to the computer's IllinoisNet configuration. Use UIUCnet Wireless instead.
  • Older computers
    If your computer or network card doesn't support the WPA2 wireless protocol, use UIUCnet Wireless instead. If your system was built before 2006, you can search the Wi-Fi Alliance's Wi-Fi Certified Products page to see whether your system is Wi-Fi certified.
  • Older operating systems
    Operating systems older than Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Mac OS X don't support the WPA2 protocol used by IllinoisNet.
  • Getting the configuration directions for IllinoisNet
    Since the IllinoisNet wireless system is secured, you'll need to connect to an open network like UIUCnet Wireless in order to get the IllinoisNet configuration directions for your system.

See Getting Started with UIUCnet Wireless if this service is a good fit for you.

If you'd like further advice on choosing between UIUCnet Wireless and IllinoisNet, see Should I Use IllinoisNet or UIUCnet Wireless?

UI Public Wireless: for campus visitors

UI Public Wireless is the only campus network service available without either a NetID or a guest ID. The UI Public Wireless network is provided in a few campus and community locations where non-University-affiliated people are likely to visit. After filling out an informational form and agreeing to the terms of service, you can use the UI Public Wireless service for a short time.

What is UI Public Wireless best for?

  • Short-term use by campus visitors
    Campus visitors who don't have guest accounts can use UI Public Wireless according to its terms of service.

    Because some services (like access to the campus email systems) are not available from the UI Public Wireless service, University-affiliated people with NetIDs should use either UIUCnet Wireless or IllinoisNet instead.

eduroam: Available at education and research institutions around the world

eduroam is a secured wireless service offered at many universities and research centers around the world. If you configure your computer to connect to the eduroam network while at your own institution, you'll also be able to connect to eduroam while visiting any other institution that offers it.

What is eduroam best for?

  • University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff who are traveling to other eduroam host institutions
  • Guests arriving at the University of Illinois from other eduroam host institutions

iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch configuration

With a University-specific IllinoisNet configuration profile, iPhone and iPod Touch users can access the campus wireless network seamlessly. See the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch configuration page for more information.


Although not all campus buildings have wireless coverage, the list is growing every week. You can search an alphabetical list or view a campus map for locations in your area.

FAQs and troubleshooting

If you have any problems getting connected or staying connected, the FAQs and Troubleshooting pages provide assistance with getting connected to UIUCnet Wireless through either the VPN or UIUCnet QuickConnect.

For administrators and departments

The UIUCnet Wireless Documentation for Administrators includes information on applying for new wireless installations, supporting existing installations, the history and future of UIUCnet Wireless, and more.


Note on terminology:

The UIUCnet Wireless service provides wireless data networking. Consequently, in this section of the website, the terms wireless or UIUCnet Wireless do not describe telephone-based communication or using an infrared port to connect to a printer in the same room.


Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014, 4:38 pm