Internet Access

Here are some resources to connect to the internet no matter where you are. 

Staying Connected

Wi-Fi and Internet Connections

Ohio State is committed to providing information to help you stay connected securely.

Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is a “free wireless” internet connection that is usually advertised by coffee shops, restaurants, airports, hotels and many other places that usually involve travel, hospitality and food. Public Wi-Fi is either secured or unsecured.

Secured public Wi-Fi:

  • Requires password to use
  • Encrypted so that outsiders won’t be able to intercept data
  • Is the recommended option for secure web browsing

Unsecured public Wi-Fi:

  • Does not require a password
  • Unencrypted so that outsiders may see, or “sniff” data
  • Susceptible to attacks/may be an elaborate ruse

Public Wi-Fi usually does not require a password and offers no protection to its users. Public Wi-Fi is also easy to “clone” and create a rogue Wi-Fi access point. A rogue Wi-Fi access point is Wi-Fi that pretends to be legitimate but is controlled by someone who wants to steal your data. There is no assurance that your data is private while using a public Wi-Fi. Read more about public Wi-Fi security concerns and tips.

  1. Always choose secured public Wi-Fi over unsecured.
  2. Don’t log into password-protected sites (such as banking, social media, school, etc.)
  3. Don’t shop online
  4. Turn off automatic connectivity on your device

Using Mobile Hotspots

Many smartphones enable the creation of a mobile hotspot through tethering, accessing the phone's existing cellular data connection. Please contact your cell phone carrier to explore your options if you do not have a personal hotspot available on your current plan (some internet providers are temporarily offering expanded mobile hotspot service to customers. See below for more information).

Eduroam: National and International Access with Name.#

Ohio State students, faculty and staff can access the internet at more than 3,000 locations worldwide using eduroam (education roaming), a secure network service that can be accessed using your Ohio State name.# login credentials.

View a map of where you can connect to eduroam with your Ohio State credentials. Android and iOS apps can also help you locate the nearest access point.

Using Wi-Fi at Home

Setting up secure Wi-Fi at home is easy. The first step is to change the default administrator password, which is usually not very strong. 

It is also extremely important that you choose a secure encryption protocol. Encryption protocols are what protect your password, keys, data, and all other types of information sent over the wireless connection. We strongly recommend using WPA-3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access III) where possible, WPA-2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) and disabling WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) if not.

At home, we recommend that users:

  • Avoid using a router’s default admin password.
  • Create a strong, unique password for the Wi-Fi connection.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working remotely.
  • Disable Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).
  • Use the best/latest encryption available.
  • Keep the router’s firmware updated (turn on auto-updates if available).

Importance of Wi-Fi Passwords

The Wi-Fi password is a pre-shared key (PSK) that ensures the privacy and protection of your data and internet connection.

Your Wi-Fi password is important to ensure that the data flowing to and from your internet connection is secure from outsiders. It also ensures that your internet connection is private; you wouldn’t want a stranger using your internet connection! 

If your Wi-Fi is not password protected or if your password is weak, a stranger can connect to your Wi-Fi router and use your internet connection, potentially even to conduct illegal activities. If this were to happen the authorities would knock on your door to ask questions.

1. Have a password.

This may be hard to believe, but many people still insist on not securing their own Wi-Fi at home. The first step to defending your data and internet connection is to set up any type of defense at all.

2. Have a strong password.

Password cracking is literally a science. A password that is difficult to guess (through social engineering and open-source intelligence gathering) and also difficult to brute force (by being long enough and relatively complex) is a strong password.

Ohio State recommends:

  • At least 8 characters long
  • A mix of CAPITALS, lowercase, numb3r5, and $ymbol$.
  • To avoid using common dictionary words such as “football” or “password”. Check the most common passwords to avoid.
  • Cycling passwords every 90-180 days (Ohio State’s standard is to cycle passwords at minimum, in 180-day increments.)

Please note: Many routers are shipped with default passwords such as “admin” or “password.” It is important to change these defaults as soon as possible. Manufacturer specifications, including default passwords, are freely available on the internet. We recommend changing both factory passwords and the factory SSID (Service Set Identifier, or the Wi-Fi “name” that pops up when scanning for available Wi-Fi).

Also, some new routers are shipping with complex, unique passwords. It is still a good idea to change these as well as the SSID. Consult your user manual or ISP to get directions on how to change your password.

 

Together as Buckeyes Emergency Grants

Emergency financial support is available to aid students who are experiencing financial hardships related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic, including technology and internet expenses. For more details and to apply, visit the COVID-19 financial assistance for students page through the Office of Student Academic Success.

 

Free and Reduced-Cost Internet Options

Multiple broadband and telephone service providers have created programs to help Americans stay connected during these exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Although Ohio State does not promote or endorse any specific vendor, if you need internet access, one of these options may be right for you.

Note: Third-party internet providers may change their offerings at any time. Please check each company's website for official details. 

AT&T

All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited home internet data overage charges for AT&T Internet customers through September 30. AT&T is also offering internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.

BroadbandOhio: Ohio Wi-Fi Hotspot Locations

BroadbandOhio – the state’s office dedicated to improving access to high-speed internet – has been working with providers to find public hotspot locations that Ohioans can use in areas where they may not otherwise have access to internet from home.

See a listing of free Wi-Fi locations across Ohio here.

Charter/Spectrum

Spectrum offers Spectrum Internet Assist for low-income households and offers speeds up to 30 Mbps. To enroll in the program, call 1-844-488-8395. Spectrum has also opened free Wi-Fi hotspots at hundreds of locations across the country to anyone who needs them. See a map here.

Comcast

Comcast offers home internet at $9.95/month for eligible low-income customers through their Internet Essentials program. Customers also receive free access to Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.

Click here to apply for the Internet Essentials program. 

EveryoneOn

EveryoneOn is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing low-cost internet offers to those who need them. Use EveryoneOn's offer locator tool to see if there are any discounted internet offers in your area.

Verizon

Verizon offers reduced rates for Fios Home Internet service for Lifeline eligible customers

 

Campus Wi-Fi Offerings

Access to osuwireless and eduroam will be available in designated parking lots on each campus in addition to campus buildings. This secured internet access will require your Ohio State username and password to login.

Columbus Campus

Informal Study Spaces

Certain spaces around campus, including unused classrooms, are open at reduced capacity. Visit the classroom services website for information about informal, public computing, and student drop-in spaces.

 

Carmack 5 Lot - West End

1080 Carmack Road
Columbus, OH 43210

Carmack 5 Lot aerial view

Lima Campus

The Webb Parking Lot

4240 Campus Dr
Lima, OH 45804

The Webb parking lot aerial view

Mansfield Campus

Riedl Hall Parking Lot

1760 University Drive
Mansfield, OH 44906

Riedl Hall parking lot aerial view

Marion Campus

Alber Student Center Parking Lot

1463 Mt Vernon Ave
Marion, OH 43302

Alber Student Center parking lot aerial view

Newark Campus

Adena Hall Parking Lot

1159 University Dr
Newark, OH 43055

Adena Hall parking lot aerial view

Wooster/ATI

Land Laboratory Parking Lot

6197 Dover Rd
Wooster, OH 44691

Land Laboratory parking lot aerial view