Skip to main content
IT Service Status
IT Service Status

IT Project: Northwestern Wireless SSID Retirement

Project Status

February 2 2022:The "Northwestern" SSID is retired. Users who try to connect using the "Northwestern" SSID on are redirected to a web page with self-help instructions for connecting their devices to "eduroam."

This project is complete.


Northwestern IT is retiring the “Northwestern” SSID (wireless network name) in favor of making the “eduroam” wireless SSID the primary campus secure wireless network on February 2, 2022.

There are three choices for wireless connections; Northwestern, eduroam, and the less secure connection, Guest-Northwestern. The “Northwestern” SSID is functionally a duplicate service to the “eduroam” SSID for on-campus users. A Northwestern user who connects to either SSID has the same experience with IP address assignment, performance, and security.

After this change, students, faculty, and staff who use the secure campus wireless network will be guaranteed to have the “eduroam” SSID configured on their devices. When visiting another eduroam-enabled institution, their devices will automatically connect to the “eduroam” SSID, creating a secure and encrypted Wi-Fi connection.

Phasing out the “Northwestern” SSID reduces a layer of service management and will improve overall wireless network performance. It also makes it easier to provide traveling members of the Northwestern community with secure, seamless wireless communication when visiting institution utilizing eduroam.

Goals and Objectives

  • Continue to provide students, faculty, and staff with a secure and seamless wireless connection while on campus and when visiting any of the 10,000 eduroam-enabled institutions worldwide
  • Help prevent users from manually connecting to an unencrypted and less secure “guest” SSID when traveling.
  • Simplify device set-up
  • Reduce a layer of service management
  • Improve overall wireless network performance


The transition will occur over approximately 12 months and be accomplished in three phases:

Fall 2020 – Winter 2021: Develop new and update existing end-user documentation and deliver advance notice to the University Community.

Spring 2021 – Fall 2021: Students, faculty, and staff are urged to switch their on-campus wifi connections to the eduroam network. Users with devices connecting on-campus via the "Northwestern" SSID, will receive monthly reminders to make the switch.

Winter 2022 : Final reminder notifications to remaining users connecting to the "Northwestern" SSID. The "Northwestern" SSID is retired on February 2, 2022.

Project Timeline




Target Completion Date


Technical discovery and creation of end-user documentation


Winter 2021


Begin the transition to eduroam


Summer - Fall 2021


"Northwestern" SSID is retired


February 2, 2022