Information technology tools and resources at the UW
Using Wi-Fi at the UW
Overview of UW wireless
The University of Washington’s wireless network is designed to be a primary access network for UW students, faculty and staff. Approximately 11,000 wireless “access points” are located throughout most buildings and common areas of all three UW campuses, research areas at South Lake Union, as well as UW Medicine hospitals and clinics.
UW Information Technology (UW-IT) offers two Wi-Fi services for the UW community:
- University of Washington – This unencrypted, general purpose Wi-Fi service requires a device to be registered to get out to the Internet. Registration is automatic after the user successfully enters their UW NetID and password.
- Eduroam – This is an encrypted, visitor and general purpose Wi-Fi service. Not all devices support eduroam, but most properly configured laptops, smart phones and tablets should be able to use this service. Once configured, the device should automatically join the network not only at UW locations but at the thousands of other eduroam sites around the world.
- See below on this page for basic instructions on how to connect to UW networks with wireless (WiFi).
- Most buildings offer indoor Wi-Fi connectivity. Outdoor Wi-Fi is available in most areas at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma and in selected areas of the UW Seattle campus.
- The UW Wireless Policy explains how the UW wireless infrastructure is suitable for some types of uses and not others. Please familiarize yourself with the policy before using UW wireless, particularly if your activities are likely to generate high volumes of network traffic.
- Wi-Fi on UW campuses, UW Medicine, and other locations is managed and operated by UW Information Technology (UW-IT). Do-it-yourself wireless networking is not allowed without express, written authorization from UW-IT.
- Most computers and smart devices do not require special configuration to connect the University of Washington service. To connect, simply choose the University of Washington from the list of available networks. Within a few seconds, a UW NetID login page should open on the device. Simply enter your UW NetID and password and your device will automatically register and connect to the network. Please note that this is not an encrypted network and care should be used when working with sensitive information.
Most computers and smart devices should also be able utilize the eduroam service, but devices such as cameras, printer, gaming devices and other devices may not. Devices also need to be configured to securely and reliably access eduroam. For more information, please visit our eduroam information page.
- Visitor access
- Visitors from campuses and institutions participating in the Eduroam network can use it to access the UW’s Wi-Fi network.
- If you are a UW staff or faculty member, you can assign temporary UW NetIDs to visitors. Please review the Temporary UW NetID Support Roles and Responsibilities information before creating a temporary UW NetID.
How do I connect to the UW wireless network?
The UW’s main Wi-Fi networks are “University of Washington” and “eduroam“. Other locations including UW Medicine locations, may have other networks, such as “Patients and Visitors“.
No login is required to use UW’s “University of Washington” wireless service unless you want to connect to services or sites outside the UW.
- If you use your browser to connect to a non-UW website, you automatically will be prompted to enter your UW NetID and password.
- If the UW NetID page does not display, open a web browser and go to a basic, unencrypted web site such as Seattletimes.com. This should bring the UW NetID login page.
- If your wireless device does not have a Web browser (e.g., some phones, printers, etc. do not), please see our Manual registration page.
The “eduroam” encrypted Wi-Fi service must be configured on your device before you will be able to connect. Most computers and smart devices should be able to connect to the eduroam service. Devices such as printers, cameras, game systems, etc may not support the WPA2 Enterprise technology that drives eduroam. An installer program should simplify the configuration of your Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS or Linux device. For more details please visit our eduroam information page.