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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 https://www.speedtest.net/ and click Go to test your connection.
Tips for Connecting Off-Campus
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.
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!
View the status of services you use daily, like wireless, email and file storage.
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.