Carnegie Mellon University

Tech Quick Start

Get your tech ready for the semester! Whether you’re on campus or learning remotely, make sure your computing resources are in place. Follow our guidelines below to get started.

Devices  Internet  Zoom  Email Tech Resources

1. Secure your Devices

Before you connect to CMU resources, make sure your devices are up to date and antivirus software is installed on your computer. 

2. Connect to the Internet

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. 


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.

If you're learning remotely, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access some on-campus resources, including digital library materials.

3. Prepare to Use Zoom for 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 up to speed. 

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

4. Read your Email

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

Email basics

Collaborate with your Class

Share Files

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

Web Conferencing Comparison

Access Software

Download Software

Many programs like Matlab and Autodesk are available for freeVisit our Software Catalog for the full list of programs you can download. 

Software Catalog

Virtual Andrew

You can also use Virtual Andrew to access some software that isn't available for download, like arcGIS or Visual Studio. It's like logging into a Windows computer lab on campus!

Virtual Andrew

Cloud Applications

Microsoft Office and Google 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.

Use On-Campus Resources


Print files from a computer lab or your computer at any printer on campus. If you don't have your computer with you, use Web Stations to browse and print your files.

Campus Printing

Computer Labs

Computer labs are available throughout campus. Each location has an extensive selection of software.

Computer Labs

We're Here for You

News and More

Stay up to date on tech upgrades and tips with our feature news and Instagram posts on Life@CMU  (#TechTuesdayCMU and #TechLifeCMU).

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

Self-Service Help

Have a tech question? Search our website for help. You'll find how-to and quick start guides for the services we support.

Still have questions? Call or email our Help Center


LinkedIn Learning

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.