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‘Homelike’ Wi-Fi experience coming to IoT network portal

The online management portal used to onboard Internet of Things (IoT) devices at the University of Utah is gradually being replaced.

The “My Devices” portal is designed to provide ULink network users with a wireless experience that makes multiple IoT devices easier to discover and manage with a single password. Examples of IoT devices include Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, and Roku.

2023 Network Operations Center (NOC) fast facts

  • ServiceNow tickets completed: 13,463
  • Engineer-to-device ratio: 1:648
  • Network Operation Center (NOC) service availability: 37%
  • Wireless access point distribution: 71% U of U Health/29% U of U
  • UIT network managed devices: 16,200
  • Network physical interfaces: 274,236
  • Wireless clients in use per day: ~ 60,000

Source: Rosalia Villegas, business data analyst, UIT Network Services (compare with 2018, 2019 and 2020 NOC fast facts; data is unavailable for 2021 and 2022).

“Registering a device in the My Devices portal will be simpler, easier to support, and more secure,” said Curtis Larsen, principal wireless engineer for UIT Network Services.

Pilot testing on the new portal recently concluded ahead of an anticipated February 2024 release to the broader U community. Although devices connected to UConnect can be registered in the new portal in order to control ULink-connecteddevices, Larsen noted that UConnect remains the recommended network for laptops and smartphones.

The My Devices portal project has been in development for more than a year, Larsen said. Phase One involved the installation of new wireless access points (APs) and wireless controllers in student housing, where ULink is utilized the most. Phase Two focused on testing, Phase Three will center on deploying the new portal, and Phase Four will involve the migration of managed devices.

Introduced in 2018, ULink was designed, in part, to divert device-based traffic from UConnect and free up space on crowded university Wi-Fi networks. On any given day, about 35,000 devices sign on to UConnect and 3,000 devices connect to ULink, Larsen said.

Moving to the new portal supports UIT’s strategy to keep high-capability devices (e.g., smartphones and laptops) on UConnect and low-capability devices on ULink. The move also adds a feature where users can control, for example, a Roku player connected to ULink from an Android phone connected to UConnect.

Screenshot of the My Devices portal user interface (select the image to enlarge)

Screenshot of the My Devices portal user interface (select the image to enlarge)

Larsen said the new portal will offer a more “homelike” Wi-Fi experience without forgoing enterprise-level control and security.

How the My Devices portal will provide a more homelike experience, according to Larsen:

  • Users will see only their own smart and streaming devices on UConnect/ULink and won’t have to worry about the public seeing or controlling their devices.
  • Users will receive one unique password for all ULink devices instead of one password per device, which can be difficult to manage.
  • Users will be able to manage, update, and change their passwords on all ULink devices rather than one at a time, similar to logging in to a Wi-Fi router at home.

After the rollout, laptops, tablets, and smartphones will continue to use enterprise encryption and authentication methods on UConnect. Most users, Larsen said, don’t have this “gold standard in Wi-Fi security” at home.

More details, including revised onboarding instructions, will be distributed at a later date. If you have questions about the initiative, please email UIT Senior Project Manager Earl Lewis at

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Last Updated: 1/31/24