Connecting to the Wireless Network

Connecting to the Wireless Network


UC Merced provides two ways of connecting to the wireless network. The way you connect to the wireless network will depend on your desire for security and the hardware capabilities of your wireless NIC (Network Interface Card). Below is a brief description of each network, which is referenced by the SSID (Service Set Identifier).


  • "UCM-Auth" SSID is an WPA2 encrypted network. Users on this network will authenticate using a utility called Secure W2. In order to initially connect to UCM-Auth, users will first connect to UCM-Wireless.  On UCM-Auth, the user's data is encrypted from the wireless device to the UC Merced campus network. It is recommended for use while on campus as it is more secure than UCM-Guest. Note: UCM-Auth is a more secure and complex network and requires some effort to configure. Instructions are available below.
  • "UCM-Guest" SSID is an open, non-encrypted network. This network has a browser based captive portal that authenticates users. Users must use VPN or application based security methods (SSL, SSH) to protect personal information. Note: UCM-Guest is a coffee house type public wireless network and is relatively easy to configure and connect to. Instructions are available below.


To start using the UC Merced wireless network, you need all of the following:

  • A wireless capable Desktop, Notebook, or mobile device.
  • Wireless network interface card (NIC) that adheres to the IEEE 802.11a, 802.11g, and/or 802.11n standards
  • Choose which network (UCM-Wireless or UCM-Guest) to use. Read the configuration pages
  • UCMNetID – You will use your UCMNetID to login to the Wireless network. Not required for UCM-Guest.

Connecting to UCM-Wireless (UCM-Auth)

Join Now by Secure W2 is a system used by the University of California, Merced to provide encrypted wireless Internet access to current students, staff, and faculty. You only need to run once, and your computer will no longer be prompted to log on to the wireless network. Select your operating system below to find instructions for connecting to the secured wireless at UC Merced.



Mobile Devices

Connecting to UCM-Guest (Guest Network)

Guest access is available by connecting to UCM-Guest SSID. Users should take special note of the port restrictions listed at the bottom of the documents.

Policy and Guidelines

Wireless networking is being deployed throughout UC Merced on an ongoing basis. Because of the shared nature of the wireless media as well as the security issues that surround wireless networking, deployment of wireless networks at UC Merced is managed by the Information Technology department, and restrictions are in place as to the use of devices (including portable telephones and other non-computer devices) that may interfere with the proper functioning of wireless. Please consult the UC Merced Wireless Policy as well as UC Merced's Wireless Guidelines for the actual policies and guidelines.

Looking for help?

We offer a number of tutorials and FAQs available in the Guides & FAQs section.
If you have any questions, problems, or comments, please contact the IT Help Desk via email at, via phone at 209.228.HELP (4357), or visit them in the Classroom and Office Building room 132A.