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IT Project: Northwestern Wireless SSID Retirement

Northwestern IT is retiring the “Northwestern” SSID (wireless network name) in favor of making the “eduroam” wireless SSID the primary campus secure wireless network by the end of 2021.

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


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 – Summer 2021: Students, faculty, and staff begin the transition to connect via the eduroam network. Beginning August 1, 2021, the "Northwestern" SSID is no longer a visible network connection option. (Devices that are configured to connect to the "Northwestern" SSID will remain able to do so).

Fall 2021: Final reminder notifications to remaining users connecting to the "Northwestern" SSID. The "Northwestern" SSID is retired on December 20, 2021.

Project Timeline




Target Completion Date


Technical discovery and creation of end-user documentation

In progress

Winter Quarter 2021


Begin the transition to eduroam


Summer Quarter 2021


"Northwestern" SSID is retired


December 20, 2021


Last Updated: 13 May 2021

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