Wireless or wired, options for connecting to MITnet
August 30, 2019
Robyn Fizz
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Looking to get online while on campus? Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) offers a few ways to connect to MITnet, the Institute’s campus-wide computer network. MITnet provides both wired and wireless (WiFi) access for a range of devices: desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, and printers.


Wired internet connectivity is available to the MIT community and guests. This type of connection offers optimal speed and reliability. Setup may be required for devices when plugged into a wall jack. For instructions, see How do I configure my computer to connect to MITnet via a wired Ethernet connection?” in the IS&T Knowledge Base (KB). Those visiting MIT may also want to view the Network Connectivity for MIT Guests page.

MIT students can get a network cable free of charge from the IS&T Service Desk.

Wireless: MIT Secure and MIT Guest

IS&T strongly recommends that MIT community members use the MIT SECURE network for wireless connections. Visitors on campus are welcome to access the MIT GUEST network. For a comprehensive overview of these options, see the Wireless Networks at MIT page in the KB.

Community members can access both the internet and MIT online resources such as Atlas and Stellar through MIT SECURE; an MIT Kerberos ID and password is required. MIT SECURE uses the wireless protected access (WPA2) protocol to encrypt all network traffic between your computer and the MIT wireless network controllers.

Instructions on how to connect to MIT SECURE on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and mobile devices are available in the KB.You may get a security alert when trying to connect. If you do, you’ll want to verify that the server used for authentication is legitimate. See the MIT SECURE Wireless Certificate Fingerprints KB page for details.

MIT Guest
For guests visiting the campus, IS&T provides an open wireless network called MIT GUEST. It doesn’t require authentication and is not encrypted. Visitors need to make sure their wireless card is on and enabled before selecting MIT GUEST as their wireless network option.

MIT GUEST provides limited access to the internet and MIT resources: for example, printing in Athena clusters is not possible through MIT GUEST.

This WiFi network is intended for short-term use and is not recommended as the main network for community members.


Instructions on connecting a printer to MITnet are available online. Note that, at this time, wireless printers cannot use MITnet.

Incompatible devices

Some non-computer devices, including certain smart TVs and gaming consoles, won’t work on MIT SECURE. IS&T details the reasons for this on its website. Such devices can use a wired connection.

Personal routers and switches are not permitted on any MIT network because they interfere with the operation of the network.

Connecting from off campus

The MIT Remote Access VPN lets users securely access MITnet from off campus – for example, when working from home. To make the connection, use Cisco AnyConnect software.

MIT community members can also securely connect to WiFi networks around the world through eduroam.


IS&T’s KB has several helpful articles about connecting to MITnet, starting with the MIT Network Landing Page. Other KB pages that may be of interest include:

Feel free to contact the IS&T Service Desk if you need help making a network connection or have questions about the compatibility of a device.