eduroam – the worldwide single sign-on secure network which provides Wi-Fi connectivity access for education and research – reached more than 600,000 internet-enabled devices in the UK last month.
During October a total of 608,131 devices were successfully authenticated using the eduroam national infrastructure, which is managed through the Janet network provided by Jisc. This is in comparison to 487,437 devices in the previous month, and is almost double the amount year-on-year (337,109 in October 2013).
Over the last three years an exponential increase in the number of devices counted roaming between member organisations has resulted in this milestone being reached. It is a measure of just how many students, teachers and researchers are benefitting by being able to connect to eduroam networks away from their home organisations when travelling.
There are over 220 member organisations now providing eduroam in the UK. Membership includes 95% of higher education (HE) and 20% of further education (FE) institutions. Other public sector bodies that support education and research and local authorities, including almost 100 hospitals, participate in eduroam across the UK, and in addition there are thousands participating organisations overseas.
eduroam is widely available throughout the rest of Europe and in over 50 countries globally, including Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA, making learning and research on the go seamless.
Users are able to gain authenticated logon and internet access using a single Wi-Fi profile, wherever the service has been made available by participating organisations. The result is a combined saving in time for the individual and expense for organisations, as users simply connect to Wi-Fi services without needing to sort out guest credentials or change device settings.
The service is also designed to provide maximum security confidence. Users are never prompted to enter their credentials onto a web page, which is vulnerable to being hijacked. Instead the infrastructure is based on 802.1X standard technology, a best practice authentication solution that provides end-to-end encryption and protects against ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks.
Ed Wincott, who manages the eduroam service at Jisc, said:
“The proliferation of mobile devices and growing trend for bring your own device (BYOD), coupled with increasing fears around managing cyber security, are creating a demand for easy, ubiquitous and safe access online.
Reaching more than 600,000 devices in October demonstrates just how valuable eduroam is in helping registered users get high quality and secure internet connections as they move between locations and across various devices.”