Carnegie Mellon University

Student Tech Quick Start

Whether you’re on campus or learning remotely, make sure your computing resources are in place for the start of class. Follow our guidelines below to get started.

Essentials Checklist

Before class begins, review:

The Right Hardware

To make sure your device is powerful enough to support learning at CMU, we recommend the following or greater.  Always check with your school or instructors, however, as some may have specific hardware requirements.

Hardware Specifications
Processor: Core i5 2.4 GHz
Hard Drive: 512GB SSD
Graphics: Intel® Integrated Graphics
Microphone (if not included)
Webcam (If not included)
Headset (optional)

If you require new hardware or peripherals, the CMU Tech Store is available to assist with your purchase for delivery or pick up.

A Secure Device

Once your device is ready for learning, 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.

Register for 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. If you're new to CMU, you'll need to register your smartphone, tablet, or Yubikey for DUO. If you've already registered but have a new device, you can update your existing DUO registration.

Register Your Device with DUO


Connect to Campus Internet

Our campus wireless networks provide all the bandwidth you need. 

  • Use CMU-SECURE for your wireless connection on campus.
  • Use CMU-DEVICE to connect your smart devices, including gaming systems, smart speakers like Alexa or Google Home, and Smart TVs. 

Find outdoor wi-fi coverage using our mapIf you experience Wi-Fi issues indoors, contact our Help Center.

How to Connect to Wireless

Download Campus Printing Software

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

Most classes are being held in person, but you may still have a few Zoom sessions! Be prepared and be sure to log in to Zoom with SSO. With SSO, you'll log in with your Andrew userID and password using the CMU Web Login page.

Remember to turn on Canvas notifications to ensure you don't miss important communications about your courses. 

Access to Email

Your email address is your Andrew Check your CMU email regularly for official university messages and updates from your instructors. You can read your email using a browser or an app on your mobile device.

Email basics

Collaboration Tools

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 your 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 up 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

Software Options

Download Software

Many software programs like Microsoft Officethink-cell and Autodesk are available for freeVisit our Software Catalog for the full list of programs you can download. 

Software Catalog

Computer Labs

Windows, Mac, and Linux computer labs are available across campus and offer an extensive selection of software. All computer labs are available for drop-in use 24/7 without appointment unless reserved.

Find the lab closest to you using our Computing Services Campus Resources Map.

Computer Labs

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

Timeshare Linux

Need remote, command-line access to a Linux system? Most of the software that requires a Linux environment is available in Timeshare Linux, including MATLAB, SAS and Minitab.



Remote Learning Resources

Most classes are being held in person, but if you need to attend class remotely, we're here to help you stay connected. 

Attend Class

Need to join a class over Zoom? No problem. Review our guides below to get started.

And don't forget to log in to Zoom with SSO

Access Software

If you need access to the latest software titles, you have several options, including downloading it or accessing it through a web browser. For information, visit Software for Education.

Software for Education

Access On-Campus Resources using VPN

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. To learn more about the VPN options available to you, visit How to Use a Virtual Private Network.

Virtual Private Networking

Off-Campus Internet Recommendations

If you're connecting from outside of campus, we recommend the following internet configuration:

  • You will need a broadband connection with a download and upload speed of at least 3.0 Mbps per person in your household.
  • 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 when learning online, 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 and 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 in class, 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.

We're Here for You!

News and More

Stay up to date on tech upgrades and tips with our feature news. 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

Have a tech question? Check out the Computing Services website for detailed instructions on all of the resources you use.

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.

Still have questions? Contact our Help Center at or 412-268-4357 (HELP), Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-7:00 pm.