Using Wi-Fi at the University of Akron: Eduroam vs Roo-Guest

The difference between the Roo-Guest and Eduroam networks remains a very frequent question from students, faculty, and staff. There are also many people who connect to Roo-Guest, and then wonder why things are not working correctly. This document aims to explain that both of these networks are, and which one you should use in different scenarios, and give a quick guide on how to connect to either network.


The roo-guest network is a public Wi-Fi network, hence you do not need to enter a username or password to use it. While it may feel convenient, this network is slow, and is a security risk. It is intended for people who are visiting any of Akron's campuses, and are not from a Eduroam-connected university.

Suffering from the same problem as many other public Wi-Fi networks you may find in stores and restaurants, Roo-Guest is not encrypted, which makes it possible for third-parties to snoop through the data being sent and received over that connection -- which may include your usernames and passwords if you are connecting to servers or services that are not secured properly.

Unlike Eduroam, Roo-Guest is separate from the University of Akron's network-based services, so all Intranet-based services (for example, things on 10.X.X.X) will not work for you on this network.


The Eduroam network is an international Wi-Fi network that replaced both Roo-Secure, and the even older Rootown.

This network is faster and safer to use, being that it is actually an encrypted connection. The encrypted connection still would not make encrypted or non-encrypted connections to servers or services any safer, but it still eliminates a large risk point for many people.

Since it requires a username to log in, it also has the drawback of requiring the user to identify perself before having network access.

When to use either network at the University of Akron:

Roo-Guest: Eduroam:

Connecting to either network, when appropriate

  1. Select Roo-Guest from the Wi-Fi list, and click Connect.
  2. Your web browser will open with a page on Click the Log In button.
  3. It will then redirect you to, and will notify you that you are authenticated, and it will automatically take you to in 10 seconds. Your computer should now be connected to the Internet.
  1. Select eduroam from the Wi-Fi list, and click Connect.
  2. When prompted, enter your institution-provided username and password. At the University of Akron, this will be the same as your e-mail address.
    If prompted for settings, ensure the following are set:
  3. You will not see any web browser windows connecting to this network. Your computer should now be connected to the Internet.


Use Eduroam if you are a University of Akron faculty, staff, or student, or a part of an Eduroam-connected institution. Use Roo-Guest if you are none of those.

University-owned Mac users: the Wi-Fi certificate expires every year. You should use the UA Self Service utility to "check in" (using the setting found under "Maintenance") every year while either connected to the local ethernet/Wi-Fi or the VPN if you are either not going to be on campus with you University mac frequently, or if you are not going to have the computer on when the certificate would get updated. Either solution should reduce the chance of certificate-based connectivity issues from happening.

Need assistance?

If you need assistance, feel free to contact the ITS help desk via e-mail at, by phone at +1 (330) 972-6888, or by walk-in at the Computer Center, located at 185 Carroll Street, Akron, OH 44325. The Computer Center is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (8:00 to 17:00) on Monday to Friday.
Anton McClure /