Montana State University
IT Center Home > What's a NetID?

MSU IT Center

Renne Library Commons
P.O. Box 173240
Bozeman, MT 59717-3240
406-994-1777 |

Chief Information Officer

Jerry Sheehan

What's a NetID?

What's a NetID?

A NetID is a new kind of unique user ID that we are implementing for non-Banner For readers not familiar with Banner, it is the information system that the university uses to manage student records, financial aid, payroll, human resources, accounting, etc. When you go to MyInfo, you are interacting with the Banner information system. As with any large organization, every member has personal data recorded in the information system that the organization needs to track, such as names, addresses, and social security numbers. For universities, it also includes academic information such as class registration, grades, personal financial information, instructors and courses. The information system generates a user ID for each member, which is referred to as the student ID or the GID (generated ID). Because the GID is tied to sensitive personal data, it should be treated carefully. systems at MSU.

Why another ID?

Currently there are many user IDs in use on campus. We are moving toward a single user ID system, using the NetID form.

Why the NetID form?

Computer systems need to keep track of users with a unique identifier. Names don't work as unique IDs because names often change and many systems don't allow unique IDs to change. Rather than force people to keep names they don't want, we opted for a unique ID that would work independent of names. We canít use the Banner GID because the GID is associated with personal data. NetIDs are independent of any personal information, and because NetIDs are randomly assigned and never change, there are fewer issues with name changes, data protection, or efficient management of IDs.

What about my other IDs?

The NetID does not replace your email address or GID. You will still receive email through your current email address and use your GID when interacting with MyInfo or Banner.

Where to use a NetID?

The NetID can be used by several MSU applications that need authentication services. The NetID is currently used by Desire2Learn, Google Apps, iClicker, TAC-Math, McAfee Download, the password reset tool, the Library, and a growing number of other applications. This allows students and faculty to use many of the services they interact with on a daily basis with a single NetID and password.

How do I get a NetID?

NetIDs were automatically assigned for existing students, faculty, and staff. New students’ NetIDs are generated when they register, with up to a 24-hour delay. When you encounter a need for a NetID, you can obtain yours by going to MSU’s password help page,, scrolling to the NetID section, and following the instructions to set up your NetID password. You will need your Banner or student ID to successfully set the NetID password. When completed, the NetID information will appear at the top of the page.

A closer look at NetID?

The NetID is generated by a computer algorithm providing 21,316,689 unique ID choices. The use of a random syntax and a large number of choices makes it very difficult for malicious people to guess usernames. NetIDs look something like x99y999.