iPhone & Wireless Connection?
August 14, 2012 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Is there a fast way to log iPhone on to my school's wireless network?

We have a wireless network campus wide at my University. The problem I have is every time I walk off campus and back on I have to log back onto the network. Unlike my home wifi where my password is saved in the "choose a network..." section of the system settings, my school network requires me to open Safari, refresh a page and the enter my username and password for network authentication there.

This is irritating as you can imagine. My office is just off campus and I am reentering my annoyingly long username and "super secure" password a bunch of times. When I forget, the wifi is on, but doesn't transfer any data as it is waiting to authentic.

Any tips on what I can do? I spoke to campus IT, I searched google (I might not have the tech language to find what I'm looking for) and I've tried seeing if there was an app out there... All in all... I'm striking out.

Any solutions would be greatly appreciated!
posted by meta x zen to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Depends entirely on the software/hardware that your school is using.

Are there multiple wireless networks, like "yourschool" and "yourschool-guest"? That's the way it is here, and the guest network requires the type of authentication you're talking about. For the normal wireless network, though, the network installs a "profile" on my phone, which does automatic authentication.

Otherwise it's doubtful that there's a good way around this, and you'd just need to petition campus IT for a better solution. Any workaround would likely be a violation of the TOS and may get your hardware addresses banned.
posted by supercres at 10:58 AM on August 14, 2012

Will Safari let you save your username & password? If not, could you try downloading another browser from the app store - maybe Chrome - and see if it will let you save your username & password?

You'll still need to open the browser & log on, but you at least won't need to type in all the information.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:59 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are is a University and University-Guest network available to choose from in the system settings where I can pick which to get on. But with either one I then still have to do the wireless network authentication page that loads in Safari. There is no "preloaded" profile. The IT women was very nice and agreed that it was annoying, but said it was the same for her.

I work at this University and doing something again TOS wouldn't be an acceptable solution for me.
posted by meta x zen at 11:01 AM on August 14, 2012

Good suggestion insectosaurus! I'll try that right now.
posted by meta x zen at 11:02 AM on August 14, 2012

Short answer: "No." The best you can do is find a browser that will save this information. But there isn't any way around the requirement that WiFi users go to a website before their access is authorized. It's a pain in the neck, but there's nothing for it.
posted by valkyryn at 11:07 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you can't find a browser that will save the info, you can set up auto-expand rules to make typing in the info less tedious

alu expands to annoying long username
ssp expands to super secure password (of course, this is less secure and if it is your password for other things not really advisable)
posted by mikepop at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

Or even if there's no browser that will save the information, good old copy-paste can improve your accuracy and save you time

If there's a clipboard app with one-tap copying, even better, but I don't know of one to recommend.
posted by itesser at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can try 1Password for the iPhone. You will still have to open the app and type your master password, but it may save a step or two - and it very useful beyond just getting on to your school's wireless.
posted by nightwood at 11:33 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might try VPN fun. Most schools have a VPN to log onto campus services off campus. My school does not require the Safari authentication when using VPN on the phone. There's an app (cisco anyconnect) that makes the VPN setup and connection easy. You log on to the school's network when you connect to the VPN, and as long as you don't turn the VPN off, you don't have to log in again.
posted by nickhb at 12:15 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does your school have any interest in expanding their wireless services? An 802.1X network - which runs on top of the existing stuff - stores your login in the security certificate information and you'll only have to update it when your password changes.

It's not as hard to sell as you might think; it prevents wireless snooping and provides a way to deploy wireless devices securely. Here's some discussion of how one school did it.
posted by phearlez at 12:39 PM on August 14, 2012

My school used to have a setup like this and a friend of mine made a bookmarklet for safari on the iPhone that made logging in happen by just going to the bookmark when faced with the authentication page (after putting my login/password info into the bookmarklet code). Unfortunately I don't know how to create such a bookmarklet- ask anyone you know in your school's computer science department, maybe?
posted by MadamM at 1:51 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I work for a company that provides this kind of service and we do have several large universities as clients, but even the ones I know about have their own pre-us on-campus wi-fi networks.

There is a protocol that iPhones can use called "WISPr" that your campus IT could provide. It embeds the information to make a secure request in a comment in the login web page and allows you to use that. This is what gets used at Starbucks and McDonalds and places like that. If the nice lady in IT wants to implement it, it's really pretty easy.

There's also a company and piece of software called "DeviceScape" that may have a solution specifically for your university. They're sorta jerks, but they may be jerks who have a piece of software that solves your problems.
posted by Mad_Carew at 3:32 PM on August 14, 2012

It sounds like your school has a captive portal, and yes, there's an app for that (though I haven't tried it myself, I just googled captive portal iOS automatic and found this stackexchange post). Possibly more relevant info here.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:09 AM on August 15, 2012

Besides apps and bookmarks that fill in the info for you there is no other way. captive portals do have a whitelist that gives devices access while skipping the page BUT if the help desk people do not have access to that you stand no chance of getting on that list.
posted by majortom1981 at 6:24 AM on August 15, 2012

« Older (pun) name that blog!   |   How do I sew this type of applique? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.