Networking & Wireless

Xirrus Adds Google Integration for Streamlined Authentication

Xirrus EasyPass enables single sign-on WiFi access with Google credentials.

Students and teachers can now use their Google credentials to log on to a school’s wireless network, thanks to a new offering from WiFi provider Xirrus. The company’s EasyPass mobile access management product now allows schools to integrate WiFi access with the Google Apps for Education ecosystem, streamlining the authentication process and bolstering security and ease-of-use.  

Xirrus’ EasyPass Google integration makes it easy and inexpensive to secure a school’s WiFi network by leveraging the cloud-based Google authentication system already in place. Users simply open a web browser, and then enter their Google credentials to access both their Google account and the WiFi network. For added security, the EasyPass Google integration has optional two-factor authentication where an additional passcode can be sent via SMS to the phone number linked to the account.

"This ultimately simplifies the student and teacher experience while reducing the administrator’s ‘to do’ list. Whether students are working on solo projects, collaborating with their peers or studying from home, fully utilizing cloud technologies available to us opens up new possibilities to integrate, simplify and lower costs,” according to a news release.

Feedback from administrators using the EasyPass Google integration has been positive so far. “The new integration has been easy to implement, user friendly and written in plain language. It’s very granular and scalable, meaning there are different ways to onboard students and onboard guests,” reported Chad Lewis, director of technology for Tampa Prep School. The Florida school operates on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model; it has been using Xirrus WiFi for the past six years and has piloted Google EasyPass for the last two months.

Lewis explained that the school’s previous authentication system was tied to AD (Active Directory) and offered limited security. Tampa Prep is now in the process of moving away from directory services and moving onto a Google authentication model. The school’s learning management system (Haiku Learning), tools for building interactive lessons (Apollo) and other products now all authenticate off of Google.

With the network access control system, students have to enroll their device using their school-provided e-mail address. “Now, if anything happens on the network, we will know exactly who or what caused the problem,” said Lewis.

The Google integration is now available to customers who are using Xirrus EasyPass.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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