WIFI Service

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

 


How do I connect my mobile device to the CERN Wi-Fi Network?

What is the SSID of the CERN Wireless network?

Is eduroam available at CERN?

Who can connect to the CERN wireless network?

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

Is there any limited “guest 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?


How do I connect my mobile device 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 one of the CERN Wi-Fi networks, either CERNn (preferably) or CERN (if your device does not see the CERNn SSID).

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 and, after a short while, you will be granted access to the CERN network.

Eduroam users should read the instructions here.

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:

  • CERNn in the 5GHz band only. This should be your preferred SSID, because this frequency band is globally more stable and less subject to interferences.
  • CERN in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This provides the same service, but is recommended only for older devices that do not support the 5GHz band.
  • eduroam in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Please see “Is eduroam available at CERN” for more details.

As a general rule, if your device can see the CERNn SSID then use it. If not, then connect to CERN.

Note: With the new infrastucture deployed in the context of the Wi-fi Service Enhancement project, and in order to simplify the setup, the new access-points will not advertise CERNn SSID anymore. Anyway, as long as the new infrastucture has not been deployed globally on the campus, the general rule above is valid.

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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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Who can connect to the CERN wireless network?

Anyone known to CERN—staff, fellows, students, users or contractors—as well as visitors if they are eduroam users or if they are sponsored by someone at CERN.

However, devices must be registered in the CERN network database before they are allowed to connect to the network. If your device is not yet registered, simply connect your device to the network and open a web browser; you will be redirected to the registration portal which will guide you in the registration process. You will be asked for your CERN credentials or, if you are a visitor, for the name of someone at CERN who will be asked to approve your request.

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

Anything! Once connected to the wireless network, you have the same access level as with a standard wired connexion. However, please remember that you have agreed to respect CERN's Computing Rules.

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Is there any limited “guest access” (internet only) for visitors?

No. The current Wi-Fi infrastructure at CERN does not provide any way to keep some traffic away from CERN’s internal network. For this reason, visitors needing Wi-Fi access must 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.

Provision of Internet only access, with easy, sponsor-free registration is one of the objectives of the Wi-Fi service enhancement project. You can find more details about this project 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 lasted 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?

Today, the Wi-Fi service is 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.

A few buildings are fully covered, notably buildings 1, 2, 3 and 26, but in most cases there is no Wi-Fi coverage in offices. 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 position of the Access-Points are shown in blue on the map when you select the objects “IT EQUIPMENT > IT_Access-Points”.

Full campus Wi-Fi coverage is part of the objectives of the Wi-Fi service enhancement project. You can find more details about this project here.

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I lose my connection when I move? Why?

Currently, there is no campus wide WLAN coverage at CERN. When you move, you may go out of the CERN Wi-Fi network range.

Further, due to the current network and Wi-Fi infrastructure design, 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 such as B40. 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).

Addressing these known issues is an objective of the Wi-Fi service enhancement project. You can find more details about this project here.

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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.

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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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