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What’s With Downloading Software to Access University Wi-Fi?

Some universities require mobile or desktop software downloads to access their Wi-Fi, but could these downloads be a security risk?

Gone are the days of students plugging in Ethernet cables in their dorms or heading to the library just to check their emails. University campuses now have high-speed Wi-Fi in almost every spot you can imagine — from the lecture halls to the lawn outside — but is sharing Wi-Fi with so many people really that secure? Click here to use the wi-fi check feature to check the security of your campus Wi-Fi:


It’s reasonable to be wary, what with the rise of increasingly stealthy phishing attacks and all the sensitive information we share over Wi-Fi. The wi-fi check feature is designed to test the speed and security of your Wi-Fi network. It helps you verify the download speed, check the DNS security, and ensure that your network is safeguarded overall.

Read More: Phishing Attacks Can Be Stealthier Than You Think

Many universities now have their own software that you have to download to access the Wi-Fi, promising greater security and giving the institution greater control, supposedly to your benefit. But, as always, whether it’s for desktop or mobile, there are risks in downloading new software online.

The bring your own device (BYOD) classroom has brought on all sorts of changes and challenges to how education works. Now, classrooms are filled with laptops and tablets of students doing their work, taking notes (or, let’s be honest, slacking off). However, all these random devices bring their own security risks to these large-scale networks. That’s why many universities have opted to use software to manage certificates, help with device onboarding, and check the security of their system.

Of course, this often means that you, the consumer, have to download this product, too. While this may seem odd at first, especially if you’re used to just tapping into Wi-Fi at home or at your favorite café, universities are managing giant networks of students, faculty, and guests — they need the additional security.

While, overall, universities are using software that is designed to keep you protected and safe, double-checking your online security never hurts. Download the software you need to connect, but be smart about it by having software installed to protect you beforehand and to check the security of the network you’re on. A little vigilance goes a long way in cybersecurity.