Wireless Internet Access

The Campus Wireless service is available, free of charge, to all CSU Chico students, faculty, and staff.

Accessing Campus Wireless

Wireless Device Requirements

A few things need to be in place for you to successfully access the campus wireless services:

  • To access the Campus Wireless service, you will need a device that is compatible with the 802.11 (a, g, n, or ac) wireless standards.
  • Be sure that you are in an area of campus that has wireless coverage – all regular campus buildings have full coverage, but outdoor service is only available in limited areas.
  • Your wireless device must meet at least some minimum security requirements:
    • The device must be running an operating system supported by its manufacturer (Windows XP support ended early 2014)
    • The device must be set to automatically install operating system patches issued by the manufacturer
    • Laptop operating systems (Windows, MacOS) must have up-to-date anti-virus/malware software installed
    • NOTE: Starting in Fall 2014, these requirements will be automatically enforced by the network; get your device compliant now for your own security, and to enjoy uninterrupted service

Selecting the Right Wireless Network

When selecting a wireless network on campus, you may observe that there are several options available:

eduroam

The eduroam wireless network (SSID) is the premiere and preferred service for all campus students, faculty, and staff, offering the highest level of security, convenience, access, and enhanced services. The eduroam service uses authentication and encryption to keep your communication secure, all of which happens automatically once your device is configured for the network: as you come into range, your device will log you in, giving seamless ‘roam on’ access. Once your device is configured for the eduroam network, you’ll also be granted guest access when visiting thousands of partner universities in the US and world-wide – with the same seamless, secure access you’ll experience on our campus! For more information about eduroam, visit our support pages, or just dive in and get configured!

Note: to achieve that automatic login experience, your device will cache your username and password. As such, the eduroam network should only be configured on your personally owned or operated devices – don’t save your password on a borrowed laptop or a lab machine! And, if your device should be lost or stolen, change your password immediately to keep your credentials secure.

csuchico

The "csuchico" wireless network (SSID) is the best choice for both non-personally owned/operated machines (such as a borrowed laptop), and for devices incapable of supporting the more secure network protocols used by eduroam.

 You should be able to see this network name by opening the wireless network settings on your computer, just as if you were connecting to a wireless network at home or in places such as airports or coffee shops. No security settings (such as WEP or WPA) are required to connect to the "csuchico" network (see the security tips for instructions on securing your Campus Wireless connection).

Once you have selected "csuchico" in your network settings, simply open a web browser and you should be prompted to authenticate using your campus credentials.  Authentication will be required every seven days. Once you sign into the wireless network with your device, you will not be required to sign in again on the same device for seven days; after the seven days has passed, you need to open a web browser and sign in again.

csuchico-resnet

This network is functionally equivalent to the "csuchico" network, but only appears in the campus residence halls. The "csuchico-resnet" network is expected to be retired this summer, by being merged into the "csuchico" SSID.

csuchico-guest

The csuchico-guest network name (SSID) is a courtesy network intended for the use of campus guests, and is available everywhere campus wireless coverage is provided. All CSU, Chico students, faculty, and staff should use one of the above networks for wireless service, not csuchico-guest – the guest network offers limited bandwidth and limited access to campus resources. Campus guests and visitors should see “Guest Wireless Access,” below, for information on obtaining access to this network.

Guest Wireless Access

Campus visitors are welcome to use the Guest Wireless network.

To access the Guest Wireless service, you will need a device that is compatible with the 802.11 (g or n) wireless standard.

Be sure that you are in an area of campus that has wireless coverage.

The network name (SSID) of the Guest Wireless service is "csuchico-guest". You should be able to see this network name by opening the wireless network settings on your computer, just as if you were connecting to a wireless network at home or in places such as airports or coffee shops.

No security settings (such as WEP or WPA) are required to connect to the Guest Wireless network (see the security tips for instructions on securing your Campus Wireless connection).

Once connected to "csuchico-guest", simply open a web browser and you should be prompted to authenticate using Guest Wireless credentials. 

Please contact IT Support Services at 530-898-HELP for the current Guest Wireless password.

Wireless Access in the Residence Halls

As you may notice from the wireless coverage map, wireless access is available in the residence halls. More information can be found at theResNet home page.

Acceptable Use Policy

Use of the Campus Wireless is governed by the campus acceptable use policy, as expressed in Executive Memorandum 97-18Policy on Use of Computing and Communications Technology. Users should also read thissummary of the campus AUP for information on how it may affect them.

Campus Wireless Coverage

The Campus Wireless Coverage Map (pdf) shows the buildings on campus where wireless signal is available. As with all wireless technology, there are many factors that can affect signal strength, but signal is generally available in and around the colored buildings on the map. In the residence halls, however, coverage is available primarily in the hall common areas.

Security Tips for Unencrypted Networks (csuchico, off-campus hotspots)

Except for the secure eduroam network, the campus wireless service operates in an open environment, meaning that information sent over the wireless network (including sensitive data such as usernames, passwords or bank account info) is communicated in clear-text and can be intercepted, unless:

  • You are using the secure eduroam network, which automatically encrypts your traffic to prevent eavesdropping
  • You are accessing a secure web page (one that begins with "https").
  • You have established a connection to the CSU, Chico virtual private network (VPN).
  • You are using an application that uses a secure protocol, such as SSH.

To protect your private information, configure your device for the more secure and encrypted eduroam network, above. If that is not an option, you can use the campus VPN service to encrypt your traffic (see below) and use it while browsing. You can also protect it by making sure that anytime you are sending or viewing private information in your web browser (such as usernames, passwords, or bank account information), you are accessing a website that begins with "https".

Using the campus VPN service to secure your traffic

For additional security, CSU, Chico offers the use of a virtual private network service that encrypts network traffic. Use of the VPN is required to access certain campus resources from the Campus Wireless service, but is not required for general browsing. It is, however, a good way to ensure that all of your communications when using the wireless service are properly secured, and should strongly be considered when using unencrypted networks, such as the “csuchico” SSID, or a coffee-shop hot spot.

To download and install the VPN client, please go to the VPN information site.

(Note that guest accounts—usernames ending in "@cns"—do not have access to the Cisco VPN Client download site. Guests who require the VPN client should contact the IT Support Services HelpDesk.)

Printing from the Wireless Network

Printing to networked printers on campus from the wireless network is available for select printers. Visit the knowledge base for more information about our print management system, GoPrint.

Getting Help

If you are having trouble connecting to the wireless service, or you need some other technical support, please contact IT Support Services at 530-898-HELP.