Carnegie Mellon University

Get Started with Computing

Welcome, Pre-College Students! Before you start your Pre-College session, make sure these top three tech resources are in place. Get your tech ready following our guidelines below and explore the computing resources available to you.

1. Check your Connection

You’ll be participating in classes remotely. We recommend the following internet configuration for the best class experience:

  • A broadband connection of ideally 10 megabit per second (Mbps); minimum 1.0 Mbps.
  • If broadband is not available in your area, a cellular data connection of at least 4G capability (5-50mbps) or 5G (50-2000mbps).
Try these tips to improve your internet speed:
  • Don't stream movies/tv while working.
  • Reposition your Wi-Fi signal if it's weak.
  • Avoid using virtual backgrounds and disable HD video streaming in Zoom.
  • Temporarily turn off file syncing for Box and Google Drive.
  • Schedule OS and software updates when you're not using your computer.
  • Restart your router/modem.
  • To avoid using extra bandwidth, turn off your phone's Wi-Fi when connecting via your computer.

If none of these things work, consider using a mobile hotspot or upgrading your internet speed. Check with your local internet service providers. Many ISPs are providing free internet access to support their communities through this event. 

2. Update your Computer

Before you connect your personal computer to CMU resources, make sure your computer is up-to-date and the recommended security settings are configured.

  • Update your operating system.
  • Install antivirus software.  

Windows 10

If you're sharing a computer with family or friends, keep your account safe:

  • Create separate, non-admin, accounts and passwords for each person using the computer.
  • Do not save your Andrew account password to the computer.
  • Save files in Google Drive.

3. Prepare to Use Zoom

Remote learning at CMU takes place over Zoom. Don’t wait until right before your first session to get up to speed. Install the Zoom app and log in with your CMU Zoom account.

Note: Always log in with your CMU Zoom account. Do not use a personal Zoom account for CMU classes.

Explore Our Tech Resources

Share Files

Use Google Drive to store and organize files, collaborate on work, and access your information securely from any device, anywhere. With your Google at CMU account, you have access to unlimited storage space.

Chat and Collaborate

For group chat or 1:1 instant messaging, we recommend Google Hangouts Chat. Collaborate over video using Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet. Both offer web conferencing and screen sharing capabilities.

Download Software

Before you buy, visit our software catalog! Many titles like Matlab, Autodesk and VPN are available at no charge

Learn with LinkedIn

With your Andrew account you have access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers thousands of training videos and tutorials covering web languages, online technologies, website best practices and more.