Getting Online

Online Authentication


MSU NetIDs are assigned to all current faculty, staff, students and retirees. A NetID is a unique alphanumeric identifier auto-generated from the user’s name.

Your NetID is your personal identifier at MSU and serves as your login to many university computing and networking services.

Before accessing the MSU network, you’ll need to activate your MSU NetID.

Community ID

Community IDs are used to provide limited access to web-based services for users are who not affiliated with MSU directly. Users typically include members of the general public who sign up for non-credit courses, distance learners, and non-MSU affiliated library borrowers. The services accessible with a Community ID are limited.

Users can create a Community ID online at Account creation requires a valid email address.

MSU Network Registration

To connect to the MSU network and Internet, you must register computers and mobile devices with DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). You must register separately for wired (Ethernet) and wireless connections.

Getting Connected to the Internet/MSU Network

  1. Register your computer and mobile devices to access the MSU Network (wired) and MSUnet Wireless by connecting devices to a working Ethernet jack or MSUnet Wireless where available.
  2. Open your web browser to
  3. Log in using your MSU NetID and password and then follow the directions.
  4. Reboot or restart your devices when complete.

Connecting Smart TVs & Gaming Devices

Register a device that is not able to connect to the Internet by calling the MSU IT Service Desk at (517) 432-6200 with the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Your residence hall and room number
  3. Your type of connection (e.g., wireless, wired using an Ethernet cable)
  4. The MAC address of the device you wish to register (Read more on MAC addresses.)
  5. A name of your choosing to associate with the device (e.g., Sparty’s smart TV)


MSUnet Wireless is the university’s wireless Internet service. Campus buildings vary in their wireless coverage. Signs located throughout each building indicate where MSUnet Wireless is available. MSUnet Wireless supports all of the current Wi-Fi standards – 802.11a, 802.11g, and 802.11n. The 802.11n standard operates in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies.

MSU is engaged in a multi-year project to install wireless network services in residence hall rooms. Current halls with Wi-Fi are Akers, Butterfield, Case, Holmes, Landon, Rather, Snyder-Philips, and Wilson. If not in one of these residence halls, students may want to set up their own access point. Read more about setting up an access point in a residence hall room.

Read more in the MSUnet Configuration: All Supported Operating Systems article.

Connecting to Guest Wi-Fi

MSU guests and visitors can connect to MSUNet Guest Wireless without needing an MSU NetID or to register their devices.

Read more about MSUNet Guess Access.

SSL Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The MSU SSL Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides faculty and staff a secure connection for accessing the MSU network when off campus. Using the VPN provides the connection with an IP address local to the MSU campus network.

While the VPN provides access to MSU’s campus network, it doesn’t ensure an encrypted path between you and the servers your department may host. If you work with sensitive data online, get help from your local system administrator to make sure your communications are secure and encrypted.

Regular faculty, full-time staff, retirees, trustees, and graduate students can log in to the SSL VPN service using their MSU NetID at

For on-call employees and students employees, the SSL VPN is available for a $10 setup fee plus $7 per month recurring fee billed to departmental account. The supervisor or another administrator of an on-call employee or student employee should fill out the online form and include the NetID to be authorized and departmental account information.

The SSL VPN service is available on a limited basis for undergraduate students living on campus. Students may request access in order to remotely access or administer their personal computer systems located within the campus residential hall or university apartments system.