UITS Enhancing the Campus Computing Experience

UITS Enhancing the Campus Computing Experience

By University Communications
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This Friday, University Information Technology Services will implement two changes to enhance the quality of the computing experience for University of Arizona employees and students.

As part of its efforts to enhance the speed and security of the UA’s wireless networks, UITS will discontinue the UAGuest wireless network. UITS also will launch a redesigned WebAuth page, which is used to verify a user's NetID and password before allowing access to secured areas. Both changes will take effect this Friday.

Each separate wireless network, regardless of its usage, uses time and resources of its respective access point, said Justin Miller, network systems analyst at the UA.

The benefits of consolidating the UA’s wireless networks include:

  • Reduced amount of wireless noise.
  • A clearer wireless signal.
  • Increased speeds.
  • Increased security.

UA employees and students are encouraged to use the UAWiFi network – which is available only to people with a valid NetID – whenever possible.

For those instances where UAWiFi is not available, use the UAPublic network in conjunction with a VPN (virtual private network). For information on VPNs and to download software, visit the Site License page at https://sitelicense.arizona.edu/vpn.

Changes to WebAuth

The current WebAuth page features a centered login area and yellow box containing the entry fields. The new design has a gray box on the left side containing the entry fields.

On the right side, campus services using WebAuth, such as UA WebMail, will be able to individually brand their login page. This will make it clear to users what service they are gaining access to by signing in, and the service will be able to provide links for further information on the login page.

For example, the WebMail page (https://www.email.arizona.edu) will no longer require an additional click to reach the WebAuth login page, as its help links and notification alerts will be displayed directly via WebAuth.

Some services will redirect to a page with WebAuth log-in only and white space in the main page area, but a successful login will still redirect the user back to the service requested.

UITS is making the changes to the WebAuth page as part of a larger upgrade project. New hardware and infrastructure are being installed to enhance WebAuth's availability and scalability. The software also is being upgraded in order to support new features and capabilities, and to stay up to date with the latest authentication protocols.

In a campus memo distributed earlier this week, UITS reminded the campus community to be careful with NetID passwords, and be sure that they are entered on an authentic UA WebAuth page.

UA employees and students with questions the new WebAuth page can contact UITS Support Services at 626-TECH (8324).

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