wifi-campus? VPN? eduroam? What’s the difference?

Service available for students and staff
All of these technical terms can destabilize. What do they mean? What are they for? What is the difference between them?

Wi-Fi


It’s a wireless Internet connection. Wi-Fi allows you to consult Internet web pages or receive your emails, for example, from a laptop, tablet or smartphone. When you’re connected to the Internet wirelessly at home you are connected by Wi-Fi. At the university, eduroam and wifi-campus are Wi-Fi networks.


Differences between eduroam and wifi-campus


eduroam and wifi-campus are two Wi-Fi networks but they are a little different and each of them has their strong and weak points.

wifi-campus


Strong points:
  • It’s a Wi-Fi network available to all personnel and students (and visitors when requested in advance);
  • It’s available everywhere on campus;
  • To use it, all you need is an Internet web browser and your UGA login details.
Weak points:
  • Internet access isn’t secure as the content of your exchanges on this network can be intercepted.

eduroam


Strong points:
  • It’is a Wi-Fi network available to all personnel and students;
  • It’s available everywhere on campus and in other establishments all over the world if these are also federated to the eduroam community;
  • It’s a secure Wi-Fi network.
Weak points:
  • A configuration on your computer is necessary to use eduroam service.


So, what is VPN?


The acronym VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s not a network for Internet connection but a service.

VPN is an encrypted service used at university to protect access to UGA private network. It enables access to certain applications and to share work documents securely from any place. For example, your storage spaces are located on this private network ("Home" and sharing spaces).

VPN can only work if you are already connected to an Internet network by Wi-Fi or by cable.

Note that when you are connected to the Internet at the university by cable you don’t need VPN, you are automatically connected to the secured service of the university.


To sum up

 
  • To access to the Internet by Wi-Fi on campus you can use wifi-campus or eduroam.
  • Once connected to the Internet if you want to access your documents or certain applications you must also use the VPN.
  • VPN can also be used when you are connected to an insecure or unknown Wi-Fi networks because it secures your connection.
Updated on January 8, 2021