Information for eduroam users



Where can I get an eduroam account?


eduroam is a service provided by your home organisation (the university or research institution you are affiliated with). In order to make use of eduroam, you need an account at a participating institution. Please contact your home organisation's I.T. help desk for more information.


If your home organisation is not currently participating in eduroam, please encourage them to join. You can refer your I.T. staff to this page or to eduroam.org.


I need help!/I cannot log in!


If you’re having difficulty accessing eduroam, first determine if other visitors to the same site are having problems. This will tell you if it's just your account or a more general problem at the site you are visiting.


Once you've established that the problem isn't widespread, you should generally contact your home institution (the organisation who’s account you’re logging in with). Their I.T. help desk should always be your first port of call for login related problems. The reason for this is that your home institution has the most information available to assist you — they know the correct way to configure your device, and they can see logs of your authentication attempts. Neither the organisation you're visiting (the service provider) nor the roaming operators have access to this information.


Note that it usually doesn't help to ask local users at the site — their configurations and levels of access are often very different to visitors.


How do I configure eduroam?


Your home institution needs to provide you with the correct settings to access eduroam. Some institutions have made these configurations available via the eduroam Configuration Assistance Tool (CAT), which offers an easy installer to configure your device.


Is eduroam safe?/How secure is eduroam?


eduroam is based on the most secure encryption and authentication standards in existence today. Its security by far exceeds typical commercial hotspots. Be aware though that when using the general Internet at an eduroam hotspot, the local site security measures at that hotspot will apply to you as well. For example, the firewall settings at the visited place may be different from those you are used to at home, and as a guest you may have access to fewer services on the Internet than you have at home.


The operators of eduroam are committed to protecting your privacy.


What should I do before I travel?


Before you travel, check with your home institution's I.T. help desk whether there is anything specific you need to do to enable eduroam roaming. Policies vary, and it's often easiest to do this whilst still at home.


You might also want to check whether the place you're visiting has eduroam.


What are my responsibilities when using eduroam?


When using eduroam, remember that you are a guest on someone else's network and that they're granting you access free-of-charge as a courtesy. You should behave appropriately, and familiarise yourself with your host's policies and the local laws (which may be different to your home country).


These responsibilities are outlined in more detail in the Responsibilities of eduroam Users in South Africa document.


What services can I expect to work?/X isn't working when roaming!


The eduroam service definition provides a minimum set of services that all eduroam service providers must make available to visitors: you can expect normal web browsing, email, VPNs (IPSecOpenVPNPPTP & SSTP), passive FTP and SSH to work without needing to configure a proxy server.


Anything beyond the minimum set of service is at the discretion of the individual service providers, although service providers are encouraged to provide as unrestricted access as possible. Most sites typically allow at least the common instant messaging protocols as well.


If you encounter a service in the minimum list that isn't working, please let the site you're visiting know! Sometimes services get inadvertently blocked and they are not aware that it no longer works for visitors. You may need to refer them to the eduroam service definition to remind them of what should be allowed.


How do I log into eduroam at another site? Are my credentials safe?


The login process is always the same from any eduroam enabled site. Your credentials will never be exposed at the remote site. Your own device (laptop, mobile device, etc.) will establish a secure encrypted tunnel to an authentication server at your home institution and it will verify your credentials and decide if you may use eduroam at the remote site. Only an accept/reject message is sent to the service provider (they don't even need to know who you are).


My login is different!/I see a captive portal!


STOP! Do not enter your home organisation's credentials into a service provider's web page.


The eduroam service definition does not allow for captive portals, web-based logins, or terms and conditions pages. If you see things like this, please let your home organisation's I.T. help desk know so they can follow up with the service provider concerned.


My question isn't answered here


Please contact your home organisation's I.T. help desk and see if they can help you.