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Wi-Fi at UB: new and improved

Article and photo by Blake Cooper 

Published October 8, 2015

You may have noticed posters around campus saying Wi-Fi at UB is getting a boost. If you’re living, working or just passing through one of the upgraded buildings, there are a few things you should know.

Blake Cooper (UB Student, Class of 2016) is originally from Canandaigua, NY. He is studying Spanish, Linguistics and Comparative Literature, and beginning work on translating an Argentinian novel into English.

UB Secure is still your best option for encrypted Wi-Fi

If you aren’t new to UB this year, you may have noticed changes when you first tried to connect your device on campus this fall. In areas Wi-Fi has been boosted, there’s a new wireless option: UB Connect. But according to Jerry Bucklaew, UBIT Network Architect and Manager for the Wi-Fi Boost project, UB Secure will still be your first choice for encrypted Wi-Fi.

“We’re in the process of simplifying the options for Wi-Fi, but those changes don’t affect UB Secure right now,” Jerry said. “Most students are still going to want to use UB Secure for its security and reliability.”

If you brought a Windows 10 device to campus this semester, Jerry cautions that you should run all updates to the operating system to ensure successful connection to UB Secure.

For guests and smart tech, enter UB Connect

Jerry says the new UB Connect Wi-Fi option, while currently only available in locations where Wi-Fi has been boosted, will eventually replace UB Wireless, UB Gaming and UB Guest across campus.

"UB Connect is the place for new people to start,” Jerry said. “It has a link to XPressConnect to help people configure their machine for UB Secure. It also has a link for people without UBITNames, and it’s also for students who want to connect devices that can’t be configured to work on UB Secure.” He cited Chromecast, Apple TV and Smart TVs as examples of devices that might not be compatible with UB Secure’s 802.1x authentication.

“If your device is not compatible with UB Secure, you’ll need to configure it to use UB Connect,” Jerry added. “Once connected, you’ll automatically be redirected to the UB Connect login page from your device’s browser.”

And if your smart device doesn’t have a browser, you’re still covered:

  1. Connect to the UB Connect wireless network from a laptop or other device with a browser.
  2. Under “Smart TVs, Game Consoles, etc.” click the “Register This Device” button.
  3. Log in with your UBITName and password.
  4. Enter the MAC address (usually found in the configuration settings for your device) , give it a name, and click “Create Device.”

Introducing eduroam

eduroam has been a Wi-Fi option at UB since 2014, and it comes with an advantage: it’s available across hundreds of university and college campuses worldwide.

Jerry encourages anyone who might be traveling to another eduroam participating university in the future to set up eduroam on their laptops and mobile devices from UB’s campus, so they can automatically connect to secure Wi-Fi when they get there. 

A list of participating institutions can be found on the eduroam website.

“Don’t forget to include the ‘@buffalo.edu’ in your username,” he added. “That’s really the only difference when connecting to eduroam as opposed to UB Secure.

To stay connected to Wi-Fi Boost upgrades as they occur, check out our Wi-Fi Boost project page.