WIFI Service

The service provides wireless connectivity to the CERN network for mobile users in conference rooms and public areas.

 


I work at CERN and I have a CERN account. How do I connect to the CERN Wi-Fi Network?

I am a visitor and I only need access to Internet and CERN public resources. How can I get Wi-Fi access?

I do not have a CERN account but need to access CERN internal resources. How do I connect to the CERN Wi-Fi Network?

What is the SSID of the CERN Wireless network?

Is eduroam available at CERN?

What can I do when I am connected to the CERN wireless network?

Is there any limited Wi-Fi access (internet only) for visitors?

Which Wi-Fi standards are supported by the CERN wireless network?

Whom can I contact for support?

Where can I access the wireless network at CERN?

I lose my connection when I move? Why?

What is the procedure to follow to request an official wireless installation?

Is a campus-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure foreseen for CERN?

Can I ask CERN to install wireless in my office?

My building is fully covered by CERN the wireless service, may I use a private Access-Point?

May I install my own Access-Point in my office?


I work at CERN and I have a CERN account. How do I connect to the CERN Wi-Fi Network?

The easiest way to connect your mobile device (Laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc…) to the CERN wireless network is to:

  • activate Wi-Fi on your device
  • connect to the Wi-Fi network named “CERN”

Once your device is connected to this Wi-Fi network, open a web browser and you will be redirected to the CERN registration portal. You will then be guided step-by-step to register your device using your CERN account and, after a short while, you will be granted access to the CERN network.

As the CERN Wi-Fi network security mode is “open”, no specific settings are required (no WPA, no 802.1x options, etc…), but please note that this also means that the traffic you send over the Wi-Fi network is not encrypted. You should ensure that any sensitive data is encrypted at the application level (SSH, HTTPS, SSL, VPN, etc.). More information concerning computer security at CERN can be found at http://www.cern.ch/security/

If you wish to have an encrypted Wi-Fi connection, you can connect using eduroam (please read the instructions here).

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I am a visitor and I only need access to Internet and CERN public resources. How can I get Wi-Fi access?

For this use-case, please connect your device to the “CERN-Visitors” Wi-Fi network.

You should be redirected to the “CERN Visitor Wi-Fi” registration portal. If not (as this is device dependant), open a web browser and you will see the registration portal.

This portal provides registration-free access to a limited number of publicly available CERN websites. For full internet access, you need to agree with the CERN computing rules and register by providing your email address and a mobile phone number to which an access code will be sent by SMS. Once you have received and entered the access code, you will be able to access remote web sites (via http and https) as well as other authorised services such as e-mail, VPN and  SSH.

Note that the “CERN-Visitor” Wi-Fi network is not currently available in all buildings. If you cannot see this network you will need to ask a member of the CERN personnel to approve your access to the CERN Wi-Fi network as for the case below.

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I do not have a CERN account but need to access CERN internal resources. How do I connect to the CERN Wi-Fi Network?

You may be concerned if you are for instance a conference attendee, or an employee of a company having a contract with CERN. In this case, there are two ways for you to connect to the CERN network:

  • If you are an eduroam user, simply connect to the “eduroam” Wi-Fi network. Please see “Is eduroam available at CERN” for more details
  • If you are not an eduroam user, connect to the Wi-Fi network named “CERN” and open a web browser. You will be redirected to the CERN registration portal where you will be guided step-by-step to register your device as a “guest”. As you do not have any CERN account, you will be asked for:
    • Your personal contact (name, email, etc…)

    • Visit detail (arrival/departure)

    • A CERN contact person. This person will receive an email and will have to approve the network connection for your device. Once this is done, your device will have full access to the CERN campus network and to the Internet.

As the “CERN” Wi-Fi network security mode is “open”, no specific settings are required (no WPA, no 802.1x options, etc…), but please note that this also means that the traffic you send over the Wi-Fi network is not encrypted. You should ensure that any sensitive data is encrypted at the application level (SSH, HTTPS, SSL, VPN, etc.). More information concerning computer security at CERN can be found at http://www.cern.ch/security/

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What is the SSID of the CERN Wireless network?

The CERN Wi-Fi network has three (case-sensitive) SSIDs available in both the 2,4GHz and 5GHz band:

  • CERN , which provides full access to CERN network
  • eduroam, which also provides full access to CERN network. Please see “Is eduroam available at CERN” for more details.
  • CERN-Visitors, dedicated for visitors who just need an internet-only access. This SSID is only available in places where the new Wi-Fi infrastructure has been deployed (see more details here)

In some places on the campus, you may also see the “CERNn” SSID, broadcast by the older Wi-Fi infrastructure. This provides the same service as “CERN” ssid, but is only available in the 5GHz band (802.11a/n). If you see the “CERNn” Wi-Fi network, and usually do not move too much from your building, you can use it to ensure a connection in the 5GHz band (usually less subject to interference), but note that this SSID will disappear when the new Wi-Fi infrastructure is enabled in your building.

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Is eduroam available at CERN?

Yes. Eduroam (education roaming), the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community, is available at CERN.

If you are an eduroam user from elsewhere, please connect to the eduroam SSID and open a browser. You will be redirected to the registration page where you will need to agree to abide by respect CERN's Computing Rules but you will not need to give the name of a CERN contact. Once you have connected to eduroam once, you can connect to eduroam, CERNn or CERN as your details will have been entered into our database automatically.

CERN staff members, fellows and technical students can also use eduroam to connect to Wi-Fi service at participating institutes (including Geneva airport). To use eduroam elsewhere, you must first connect to the eduroam Wi-Fi service at CERN in order to configure your device.

More details about the Eduroam service can be found at http://www.cern.ch/eduroam.

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What can I do when I am connected to the CERN wireless network?

If you connect and register to “CERN” or “eduroam”, you can basically do anything! Once connected to the wireless network, you have the same access level as with a standard wired connection. However, please remember that you have agreed to respect CERN's Computing Rules.

If you are a visitor connected to the “CERN-Visitors” network, you have access to Internet (including CERN publicly available resources) for a restricted set of protocols—http, https, e-mail, VPN and SSH. No direct access to CERN internal resources is possible, but you can use the mail2print service to print, for example a boarding pass.

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Is there any limited Wi-Fi access (internet only) for visitors?

Yes, an Internet only access, with easy, sponsor-free registration, has been introduced with the Wi-Fi service enhancement project. This Wi-Fi network is named “CERN-Visitors”. Explanations on how to connect to it are available here.

The new Wi-Fi infrastructure is currently being deployed. Thus, the “CERN-Visitors” Wi-Fi is not yet available in all buildings. Nevertheless, visitors needing Wi-Fi access in a building where “CERN-Visitors” is not available can still be sponsored by someone at CERN. The name of the sponsor must be given during the registration procedure and the sponsor must approve the request before network access is granted. More detail about this is available here.

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Which Wi-Fi standards are supported by the CERN wireless network?

As of today, the CERN WLAN provides a wireless coverage based on the following standards, depending on the location:

  • IEEE 802.11a/n (5 GHz frequency band)

  • IEEE 802.11g/n (2.4 GHz frequency band) 

In the context of the Wi-Fi service enhancement project, the Wi-Fi infrastructure will progressively be migrated to support the latest standard, IEEE 802.11ac (Wave2) for the 5 GHz band, while keeping 802.11n support for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. You can find more details about this project here.

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Whom can I contact for support?

If you need help to configure your wireless device or want to report any wireless network connectivity problem, please make a request via CERN’s Service Portal. The Service Desk will then follow-up your request with the IT Department.

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Where can I access the wireless network at CERN?

Prior to the launch of the Wi-Fi service enhancement project the Wi-Fi service was deployed primarily to serve areas such as meeting/conference rooms, the restaurants, the library and the hostels on the Meyrin site in order to facilitate network connections for people attending conferences, workshops and meetings.

With the on-going deployment of the new infrastructure, more and more buildings are becoming fully covered. Full campus Wi-Fi coverage is expected to be complete by the end of 2018. You can find more details about the Wi-Fi Service Enhancement project here, including the list of all buildings already fully covered with Wi-Fi

For even more details, if you want to check if there is a CERN Wi-Fi Access-Point deployed near your location, you can check CERN’s geographic information portal for IT equipment (login required). The approximate positions of Access-Points are shown on the map when you select the objects “IT EQUIPMENT > IT_Access-Points”.

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I lose my connection when I move? Why?

When you move, you may go out of the CERN Wi-Fi network range. Further, due to some network design constraints, your mobile device may need to change its IP address even if you stay in the CERN Wi-Fi coverage zone, for example when moving between buildings, or even within a large building. This change of address leads to a disconnection or freeze of some applications (stateful application like ssh will disconnect, stateless application like web browsing will freeze).

These known issues are fully addressed by the Wi-Fi service enhancement project and do not occur in buildings where the new Wi-Fi infrastructure is installed. You can find more details about this project here, including the list of all buildings where the new service has been deployed.

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What is the procedure to follow to request an official wireless installation?

In order to apply for a CERN WLAN installation in your work environment, please make a request via CERN’s Service Portal. Please specify all your needs as well as the necessary technical information (why you need wireless coverage, which area(s) you want to cover by the wireless service, etc). The Service Desk will then follow-up your request with the IT Department.

Wireless network deployment in public areas (official meeting/conference rooms, restaurants, library, lobby...) is financed by the IT Department.

Please note that requests for installation in office areas are not currently accepted (see the next question for the reasons why); only requests for deployment in public areas, such as meeting/conference rooms registered in Indico, will be considered. Requests for some technical areas may also be considered but will not be financed by the IT Departement. 

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Is a campus-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure foreseen for CERN?

Yes. The IT Department has launched a Wi-Fi service enhancement project. One of the goal of this project is to deploy a campus-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure based on the latest 802.11ac “wave 2” standard. This is a major project which will require a radio-frequency survey of all buildings and the installation of dedicated structured cabling that can support the high bandwidth requirements of these Access-Points.

Given the workload required for the deployment of the campus-wide infrastructure, the limited number of 802.11n Access-Points that we have in stock and the fact that these Access-Points will be obsolete in the near future, the IT Department is not currently accepting requests to extend Wi-Fi coverage outside public areas.

You can find more details about the Wi-Fi service enhancement project on this page.

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Can I ask CERN to install wireless in my office?

You can ask, but the answer will be no. Please see the answer to the question above.

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My building is fully covered by the CERN wireless service, may I use a private Access-Point?

No. Private Access-Points are strictly forbidden in buildings fully covered with the official CERN wireless infrastructure. Connecting a private Access-Point will not only interfere with the CERN wireless infrastructure, but will also dramatically slow down both networks.

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May I install my own Access-Point in my office?

Private Access-Points are strictly forbidden in buildings fully covered with the official CERN wireless infrastructure.

Elsewhere, the installation of private Access-Points is not advised as this may interfere with the installation provided in public areas. Should any such interference be detected, you will be required to dismantle your installation.

Nevertheless, as the IT Department is not currently accepting requests to extend Wi-Fi coverage in office area (see question above “Is a campus-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure foreseen for CERN?”), if Wi-Fi is really mandatory for you to work and you cannot wait until the new infrastructure deployment, we can allow you to use a private Access-Point in areas not currently covered by CERN Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Note that once the new Wi-Fi system will be deployed and will cover all your building, you will be asked to remove any private Access-Points.

If you install your own private Access-Point, no support will be provided by IT and the following configuration requirements must be adhered to. Please note that compliance with the last two points is required to satisfy the requirements of the rules governing the use of CERN Computing Facilities.

  • Your private Access-Point must be officially registered as a portable network device giving details such as the device name, MAC addresses of the Ethernet Interface AND the Wireless interface, owner, contact information, etc). This procedure can be easily done via the web application form  located here (Network Connection Request Form for Portable devices).

  • Prior to install your own Access-Point, make a request via CERN’s Service Portal. This will inform us about the presence of such an Access-Point, and we will provide you with the appropriate settings (channels, power, etc.) you should use in order to limit interferences with existing CERN Wi-Fi infrastructure.

  • Private ESSID must be broadcasted and different to those of the official CERN wireless network, which are "CERN", "CERNn", and “eduroam".

  • The use of NAT (Network Address Translation) is strictly forbidden.

  • The local DHCP server of the private Wi-Fi Access-Point must be disabled before connecting the equipment to the CERN network.

 

Note that the use of private Access-Points is not a perfect solution in terms of support or in terms of service level. It should be avoided as much as possible and we highly encourage you to wait until the new Wi-Fi infrastructure is deployed in your office. You can find more details about the Wi-Fi service enhancement project on this page. Once this new infrastructure will be deplyoed in your building, private Access-Points will no more be acepted; this means that if any have been installed, you will have to dismantle them.

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