IT Introduces New Way To Access WiFi


Information Technology has provided antivirus software to access the WiFi. (Courtesy of The Ram)

By Sandor Lorange and Theresa Schliep

Information Technology has provided antivirus software to access the WiFi. (Courtesy of The Ram)

Information Technology (IT) rolled out a new method of accessing the wifi network this semester, or “onboarding,” according to Mark McNeil, director of network services. He said students should find accessing devices like Amazon’s Echo system, or televisions and game consoles, through the network, easier than with the previous system.

The new system incorporates a login wizard called NAC which checks for antivirus software and ensures your system is up to date. NAC will remind users to download antivirus software and update it before connecting devices to Fordham’s secure network. IT moved towards this onboarding system because the old system did not support Bitdefender, the software some students downloaded when prompted by the wizard.

McNeil said that users who do not have the proper antivirus software or do not update their computers can connect to the network five times before losing access.

NAC improves guest access to the network, according to McNeil. Previously, users had to authenticate using their AccessID and password – making guest access to the network difficult. Now, guests can access the network without that information.
McNeil said the new method of onboarding should be of a particular benefit to movie crews who need wifi while on campus. Past examples of this include 2001’s “A Beautiful Mind” starring Russell Crowe and 2011’s “The Adjustment Bureau” with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Now, it will be easier for future projects to take advantage of the campus’s expansive wireless network.

“We didn’t have a comprehensive guest network,” said McNeil. “We’ve had a lot of movies filmed here and they always needed guest access, and that was always very time consuming.”

NAC also helps usher Fordham’s internet into the modern-era, with increased support for screenless devices like Amazon’s Alexa. “[The NAC] allows us to bring those devices on in a more efficient way. We’re now allowing you to ‘onboard’ those devices,” said McNeil.
Some users, however, have not had such a positive experience. Daniel DiOrio, FCRH ’12, said he has had trouble connecting Amazon’s Alexa to the internet. He said the wifi network would not show up on the application used to connect it to the network.

Matt Marcon, GSB ’19, said he had trouble finding information on the new network access and still has trouble connecting. He also has been unsuccessful I downloading the antivirus software, and said he tried to twice.

Other students have had a good experience with the wifi. Dan Parmach, FCRH ’21, said he appreciates how he is connected wherever he goes.
“I think the WiFi is pretty good. It’s nice how I have it everywhere on campus, so I don’t have to worry about using my data just because I’m not in my dorm,” said Parmach.

“You have to go find one of the very few flyers hung around campus and tediously spend 30 minutes trying to connect,” he said. “Only to be told that on Oct. 1, you will lost wifi unless you upgrade your nonexistent security system.”

McNeil said students encountering trouble connecting their devices to the network should consult with IT and submit a help ticket.
The new antivirus software should protect everyone on the network from potential breaches.

“Personal information safety and safety for everyone else on the network,” said McNeil.

McNeil also said wifi should work more effectively now on the university’s green spaces. IT recently installed connectors in the blue light system on campus, which should increase connectivity on places like Edward’s Parade.