Internet Access & Connectivity
Find information on connecting to the Internet from the libraries as well as connecting to library electronic resources from on and off campus.
Northwestern's wireless network provides secure, mobile Internet access from hundreds of access points on both campuses including the University Library buildings. In addition, the various library buildings have more than 90 wired (ethernet) connections that allow users to connect to the University network and the Internet. See below for instructions on connecting through a wireless or wired connection.
Start by configuring your device. (If you need assistance, see NUIT's instructions on making a wireless connection.) When your laptop searches for available networks, choose from the following Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs):
- Northwestern: This is the new wireless SSID available for faculty, staff, and students. This network is the most secure, does not need VPN, and requires a NetID. Your computer must accept 802.1x/WPA2 technical standards.
- Guest-Northwestern: This SSID should be used by guests and visitors who have a temporary NetID; or faculty, staff, and students with laptops that do not meet 802.1x/WPA2 technical standards. This SSID requires the use of VPN.
You will need to have an Ethernet cable to connect to this network. Ethernet cables are available for loan from the John P. McGowan Information Commons desk.
- Once you physically connect to the network, boot up your laptop and connect to the Internet, the NetPass process will scan your workstation.
- Laptops must pass the NetPass test before connecting to the wired network on campus and in the Library. NetPass is a computer vulnerability inspection program implemented in the Library, residence halls and Greek houses designed to help prevent common or potentially harmful network viruses, worms, and other threats. To protect the NU Network from these threats, students are not granted access to the Internet unless their computers are free of vulnerabilities.
- If a vulnerability is detected on a laptop, NetPass will present "clean-up" instructions and/or information to help solve the problem. With these self-service solutions, students can often avoid calls to their ResCon or the NUIT Support Center. Once vulnerabilities are repaired, NetPass will re-scan the computer before granting the student network access.
Campus wireless and off-campus access to electronic resources
The license agreements for most of the Library's electronic resources, such as electronic journals and databases, allow off-campus access and campus wireless access only to Northwestern University students, faculty and staff with valid NetIDs.
When using either of these two access methods you will be automatically directed to the NU Online Passport login page when you select an electronic resource.
- After you log in with your NetID and password you will be redirected to the electronic resource site you originally wanted.
- Access problems have been reported to the Library by members of the NU community using an NU VPN client when trying to access these resources. Therefore, we recommend that you do not use an NU VPN client when accessing the Library's electronic resources.
If you have problems accessing electronic resources through the wireless network, or from off campus, please contact the Library by e-mailing us or by calling the University Library reference desk at 847-491-7656.