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.
Tech Quick Start
Get your tech ready for the semester! Follow our guidelines below to get started.
Before class begins, ensure that you have:
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.
Processor: Core i5 2.4 GHz
Hard Drive: 512GB SSD
Graphics: Intel® Integrated Graphics
Microphone (if not included)
Webcam (If not included)
If you require new hardware or peripherals, the CMU Tech Store is available to assist with your purchase for delivery or pick up.
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.
- Use CMU-DEVICE to connect your smart devices, including gaming systems, smart speakers like Alexa or Google Home, and Smart TVs.
If you experience Wi-Fi issues indoors, contact our Help Center.
We recommend the following internet configuration for the best class experience:
- 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 https://www.speedtest.net/ and click Go to test your connection.
Make Your Connection Stronger
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).
Know When to Upgrade
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.
Access to Zoom Before Your First Class
Remote learning takes place over Zoom and important course information is shared in Canvas. Don’t wait until right before your first class to get set up.
Remember to turn on Canvas notifications to ensure you don't miss communications about your courses.
After classes start, check out these tools...
and access software from wherever you are.
We're Here for You!
View the status of services you use daily, like wireless, email and file storage.