Eduroam is a WiFi network, which allows you to gain access to the wireless and wired network without contacting with local administrators. Institutions participating in the project undertakes to comply with common security policy and to trust information sent from other institutions included in the system.
In a typical scenario, a user can accesses a WiFi network on his mobile computer at other institution without configuring anything. Settings, which are used in their own institutions enable him to access WiFi in any other place. This does not mean that the access is anonymous and uncontrolled. Each network access is recorded and any abuse can be later associated with a particular person.
Eduroam network access requires user authentication 802.1x compliant. Such authentication may be enabled for both standard (wired) and wireless connections. Now this second case can be considered as definitely predominate.
802.1x allows pre-check whether the user has access to the network. Authentication can be accomplished a number of methods, except that the choice of method depends on the settings in his parent institution rather than in an institution where the user wants to connect. In addition to authentication, automatic encryption is performed using a one-time session key; the key is repeatedly mentioned during the session. Based on user authentication data can be classified to the appropriate security group and give it the proper permissions. Thanks to this approach users in their institution of origin has more rights than guests, even though the configuration parameters remain the same.
Eduroam in practice
The simplest case: a notebook with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, and modern wireless card. The user has configured access to the network named eduroam. Network configuration is enabled for 802.1x, certain authentication way. Usually credentials are already stored on a computer. In such a situation, when user turns on the computer network should be immediately available. You do not need to configure anything. If there are available any other wireless networks, the user may have to select the eduroam network from the list, but if eduroam is marked as a prior, it will not be necessary.
On other operating systems, the procedure might look slightly different, but in general, configuring everything correctly at his alma mater should allow immediate network access to WiFi network at other places.