Gone are the days of searching for an unlocked wireless signal while visiting another university — safe and secure high-speed Internet access is now as simple as opening your laptop.

Through a service called eduroam, Keck Medicine of USC physicians, students, researchers and staff visiting other universities and research institutions now have the ability to log into secure, roaming wireless access on their computer and mobile devices.

The service gives users from USC the ability to access the Internet safely and easily, without the inconvenience of searching for a guest network.

“These days, you have to be connected,” said Keith Paul, chief technology officer of Keck Medicine of USC. “This is a safe and secure way to connect to the Internet without accessing a network as a guest. You don’t have to worry about being on the open network, especially with confidential information.”

Accessing the secure eduroam network is simple. Users can connect anyplace they see an eduroam access ID in the wireless settings of their device. After putting in their Keck Medicine ID and password, users have an instant connection to the Internet with high-speed access. Log-in information and credentials are not revealed to the institution at which an eduroam user joins, according to eduroam officials.

Eduroam, which dubs itself as global WiFi for roaming academia, is available at more than a hundred university and research centers across the country, including dozens in Southern California such as both USC campuses, Loyola Marymount University and UCLA.

“Unlike any other Wi-Fi service, eduroam provides free, instant and secure access to hotspots around the world,” said Philippe Hanset, eduroam co-founder and CEO of Anyroam LLC. “Use eduroam the same way whether you visit the building next door or a university on the other side of the globe”

The service has been in place at the Health Sciences Campus for about a month and was implemented through the work of Network Engineer Brian McCollam, Paul said. About 10,000 students, faculty and staff now have access.

“Brian was instrumental in putting all of this together, figuring out how to implement it in our environment and do it securely,” Paul added.

— Douglas Morino