XpressConnect is a software utility developed by Cloudpath Networks to provide automatic configuration of client machines to connect to 802.1x networks. 802.1x technology is used at URI to authenticate users of the URI_Secure network before allowing them to connect. Connecting to 802.1x networks often requires complex configurations, including the installation of certificates on the client machine. This significant overhead often deters people from using 802.1x. URI’s Information Security Office believes that achieving good security should not be a painful and laborious process. To balance the usability of an open network with the security of a WPA2 network, XpressConnect is provided for URI faculty, staff, and students to help facilitate the adoption of the URI_Secure network.
Running XpressConnect is a one-time process; it will simply configure your computer to connect to connect to URI_Secure, then exit. As part of this process, XpressConnect installs other software that is required to access the network:
- Safe•Connect: required for Windows and Macintosh
- SecureW2: required for Windows. SecureW2 is an 802.1x supplicant; it installs drivers necessary to allow your computer to connect to URI_Secure, and performs the task of authenticating you on the network. As part of this process, SecureW2 will save your credentials so you don’t need to provide them everytime you connect.
Other configuration tasks performed by XpressConnect include:
- Verifying that your computer’s time is correct.
- The configuration of SecureW2.
- Installation of CA certificates.