Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Tech Quick Start

Essentials Checklist

The Right Computer

If you are using a personal computer, we recommend the following configuration or greater to ensure your computer is powerful enough to support your needs.

If you require a new computer or accessories, talk with your Departmental IT Administrator or DSP consultant. The CMU Tech Store is available to assist with your purchase for delivery or pick up.

Processor* Any Intel or Apple Silicon (M1, M1 Pro, etc.)
Hard Drive 512 GB SSD

*Note: Mac computers with an Apple Silicon (M1) processor are unable to run Windows software through Boot Camp or VMware Fusion. If you have an M1 Mac, you can still access supported applications through Virtual Andrew.

Processor Core i5 2.4 GHz
Hard Drive 512 GB SSD

Adequate Internet

On Campus

We've got this one covered. Our campus wireless networks provide all the bandwidth you need. 

  • Use CMU-SECURE for your wireless connection on campus. Be sure to verify and accept the certificate if prompted. 
  • Use CMU-DEVICE to connect your smart devices, including smart speakers like Alexa or Google Home and Smart TVs. 

If you experience Wi-Fi issues indoors, contact our Help Center.

Off Campus

We recommend the following internet configuration for the best remote work experience:

  • You will need a broadband connection with a download and upload speed of at least 3.0 Mbps per person in your household for Zoom.
  • If broadband is not available in your area, a cellular data connection of at least 4G capability (5-50 Mbps) or 5G (50-2000 Mbps).
  • Visit and click Go to test your connection. 

Tips for Connecting Off-campus

If your internet connection is poor, consider the following:

  • Try a wired (ethernet) connection. Be aware that you may need an ethernet adapter for your laptop.
  • Check your wireless router. Make sure your router is under five years old, uses Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security certification and supports both 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.
  • Re-position your device. Move closer to your Wi-Fi router to increase the strength of the wireless signal to your laptop or mobile device.
  • Avoid performing large file transfers. Your upload speeds will always be slower than your download speeds. Wait until after class to move large files to and from the cloud or across a network.
  • Zoom smart. Virtual backgrounds and HD video are great Zoom features, but they will degrade your bandwidth. Turn them off for a better online experience.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If others on your Wi-Fi network are using streaming services such as Netflix while you're working, it could impact your Zoom experience. Sync up your schedules with those closest to you to avoid connectivity issues.

If adjusting these items still does not improve your experience, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

It might be time to update the equipment in your home, such as:

  • Router - allows you to connect to your internet provider's service. 
  • CAT 5e Cable - this cable, often referred to as a patch cable connects your laptop to your router. 
  • Wired Adapter - many newer model laptops do not have a wired (ethernet) input, but you can purchase an adapter for your device.

Take advantage of eduRoam.
To address poor internet connectivity, locate a regional eduRoam partner, and use the shared internet resources at their location.

A Secure Device

Whether you are using a university-owned or personal computer, be sure to update your operating system, apps, and antivirus software. It's important to secure your device before connecting to shared CMU resources on campus such as the network or Virtual Andrew.

How to Use DUO

At CMU, we use the DUO app for two-factor authentication. It provides you with an extra layer of security when managing your data and logging into CMU resources. Review the link below to register or update your device.


Set Up Printers

Install campus printers on your computer or mobile device to print to many locations on campus. Find the printer closest to you using our map.


Access to Zoom

Collaborate, hold meetings, and stay connected to your team using Zoom. Review guidance on hosting a Zoom meeting, including using breakout rooms and defending against Zoombombers.

Resources for large meetings and webinars can be managed via department subscriptions. In addition, Media Services is available to help create and moderate large-scale virtual events.

Follow our instructions to log in to Zoom with SSO and get started today!

Access to Email and Calendar

Your CMU Google email address is your Andrew userID@andrew.cmu.eduVisit our online resources for guidance on scheduling calendar events, setting up email on your mobile device, and more.

Remote Access Options

homecomputer300x-300.svgVPN for On-Campus Resources

When you connect your computer or mobile device to a CMU Virtual Private Network (VPN), your device will act as if it's on campus and your connection will be encrypted for increased security. The following options are available:

  • Campus VPN - best for general access to CMU resources like printing and shared network drives.  Provides an encrypted connection for when you're using campus resources, such as campus printers and shared network drives.
  • Full VPN - just like being on campus. All of your online activity is encrypted and redirected through the CMU network. You may notice decreased performance when connecting to this option as all of your activity will be tunneled through the CMU network.

Connect to Resources from Remote Locations

  • Use the Virtual Andrew desktop client for remote access to a Windows desktop. This allows you to use the software, such as browsers and other applications, installed on our Computer Lab machines.
  • To work as though you're on campus, even when traveling internationally, use the Full VPN option to encrypt and route your online activity through the CMU network.  Although this may improve your access to campus resources, it will also slow your internet speed.
  • Still have questions? Visit our Help and Support page.

Collaborate Online

Share Files

Use Google Drive or Box to share, store and collaborate on files. Visit our File Storage Comparison page to determine which option is best for you.
File Storage Comparison

Chat with a Group

Want to send direct messages to a person or a small group? Try Google Chat. You can communicate with people throughout CMU using a browser or the mobile app. 
Google Chat

Meet Virtually

Collaborate virtually using CMU Zoom or Google Meet. Visit our Web Conferencing Comparison page to determine which option is best for you.
Web Conferencing Comparison

Use your Desk Phone Remotely

Request a desk phone for remote use or use Jabber to make and receive calls from your on-campus desk phone. 

You can also forward your desk phone to a cell or home phone so you don't miss an important call.

Software from Wherever You Are

Download Software

Many programs like Microsoft Office are available at no costVisit our Software Catalog for the full list of programs you can download. 
Software Catalog

If you are on campus, install the new printer to use printers across campus. Scanning and copying are also available at select locations.
Campus Printing

Virtual Andrew

Use Virtual Andrew for remote access to a number of software titles from your Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android devices. This is a great option when software is not available for download or cannot be run on your personal computer due to hardware limitations. 
Virtual Andrew

Cloud Applications

Microsoft Office and Google Workspace for Education's suite of tools can be accessed through a web browser, making them the perfect option for any device. You can also download Microsoft Office for free from the Software Catalog. 

We're Here for You!

News and More

Stay up to date on tech upgrades and tips with our feature news articles. Follow the hashtags #TechTuesdayCMU and #TechLifeCMU on YouTube and Instagram for our latest posts.

View the status of services you use daily, like wireless, email and file storage.

Self-Service Help

Want to learn a new software program or skill? LinkedIn Learning provides thousands of training videos and tutorials on topics ranging from programming languages to strategic thinking and more.

Have a tech question? Our website has detailed instructions on all of the resources you use. If you still need help, ask Scotty or reach out to the Help Center.