Troubleshooting University WiFi (eduroam, OWL, Sky WiFi)

General troubleshooting 

Use the information on this page to help diagnose and resolve common WiFi problems. If you have a connection but apps are performing poorly then we would recommend skipping straight to the Slow connection section as this will help determine whether the issue lies with the WiFi connection or the app itself. 

If you need further assistance, then please contact your local IT support staff

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eduroam should show up in a WiFi network list in most University of Oxford and college spaces including accommodation, teaching and research spaces, function rooms and open spaces adjacent to University buildings.

OWL (Oxford Wireless LAN) should show up in a WiFi network list in most University of Oxford spaces and some college spaces including accommodation, teaching and research spaces, function rooms and open spaces adjacent to University buildings.

Sky WiFi (public WiFi) is only available in selected areas, mainly colleges.

If these networks are not showing up then the following steps may help:

  • Check that you have WiFi enabled on your device
  • Try switching flight mode on and then off
  • Restart your device
  • Contact local IT support for the department, college or building that you are in

Our WiFi networks will not normally be available in privately rented accommodation, and may not be available in some annexe buildings or larger open spaces away from buildings.

  • If you’re having trouble setting up eduroam on your device, the following may help:
    • Check that your username is formatted as abcd1234@OX.AC.UK
    • Check that you are using your Remote Access password, not your Single Sign-On (SSO) password. If you forget your Remote Access password you can reset it on our Self-Registration page
    • If you have unsuccessfully tried to set up eduroam, then you should forget the network before trying again
    • Look for errors in the settings, such as OX.AX.UK rather than OX.AC.UK
    • If you are using manual settings, try using the eduroam Configuration Assistant Tool website. iOS users should use the Safari browser to access this
    • The date and time on your device needs to be correct - set this to automatically update
  • Your device must support WP2-Enterprise (IEEE 802.1x) to connect to eduroam. This is standard on almost all modern phones, tablets and computers, but is missing from many home assistants and gaming consoles
  • Language conversion software can stop you from being able to log in, as these can change the username or password that gets used for logins, and some extended character sets don't work reliably with eduroam in some institutions. Turn off any language conversion software you have installed before entering your username and password
  • If you are a Mac user and receive an error message saying ‘Authentication failed on network “eduroam”: The identity of the authentication server could not be established’ then your computer may not have automatically updated eduroam’s security certificate. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu and search for Profile, then delete any profile named eduroam. You should be prompted to accept the updated certificate when you next connect
  • If your network appears to be configured but you still can’t access the internet, your connection may be blocked by a third-party firewall. You can test this by temporarily disabling your firewall. We ask that all users connecting to the University network use appropriate anti-virus software and provide a free copy of Sophos Endpoint anti-virus to eligible staff and students
  • iOS users who have changed their Connect password may need to forget the eduroam network and reconfigure it using eduroam CAT
  • If you can’t connect to WiFi on an iPhone or iPad, resetting your network settings can help. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will forget any WiFi networks and passwords, cellular settings and VPN settings you have saved on your device

We recommend the use of an internet speed testing service such as Ookla to report the actual WiFi speed on your device. If you have a fast connection but are having trouble using the internet, the issue may be with the app or site you are accessing or with your WiFi configuration.

  • USB 3.0 ports and cables, known as SuperSpeed USB, can reduce the speed of your WiFi. This is because they emit ‘noise’ on the same frequency used by most WiFi networks (2.4 GHz). USB 3.0 ports and cables have nine pins, opposed to four for USB 2.0, and the ports generally have blue plastic inside them. If you think a USB 3.0 cable may be negatively affecting your WiFi service, you can use a shielded USB cable to reduce interference or remove USB 3.0 cables from your laptop when using WiFi
  • Mobile phone WiFi hotspots, wireless devices and Bluetooth can all interfere with WiFi signal. Disable these devices where possible to improve signal strength for you and your neighbours
  • Disconnection can be caused by poor or variable signal. You can use a WiFi analyser app to check network signal strength where you are, and find better coverage. There are free versions available for Android, iOS and Windows, and Macs have this as a built-in feature. 
  • Disconnection issues can occur in Windows if the ‘Connect automatically’ option is not selected. You can enable this when first connecting to eduroam, or by going to Start   > Settings  > Network & Internet > WiFi > Manage known networks > eduroam > Properties and turning Connect automatically when in range to On
  • iOS 14 has a feature called ‘Private Address’ that randomises your network address (MAC address) every 24 hours, which can lead to disconnections. You can disable this setting by going to Settings > Wi-Fi and then tap the blue information button next to the network. You can then disable Private Address for eduroam
  • Out of date network drivers can cause WiFi connections to drop on Windows PCs. Check that your network drivers are up to date by looking in Windows Device Manager 
  • Intel Wireless Software can cause eduroam connections to drop intermittently on Windows computers. You can uninstall this in Programs and Features. If the issue persists then you can disable the wireless adapter’s power-saving mode through the Control Panel. Select Power Options > Change Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Options to change the setting

Get support

If you cannot find the solution you need here then we have other ways to get IT support