Skip to content »
ITS and UVa logos for printed output
MENU

Students at UVa

Essential Computing Info for New Students

Technology Recommendations: Minimums for Support

You may opt to buy a new computer or bring an older one from home. It should fit within currently supported computing technologies at UVa and meet these minimum standards for support:

Photo of a 
                    student on a laptop

  • Minimum operating system:
    • PC: Microsoft Windows 7
    • Mac: OS X 10.9 or 10.8
  • Minimum free space on hard drive: 100GB
  • Minimum processor speed & memory: Intel Core 2 Duo/4GB or equivalent
  • See also Recommended Software

Consider These 5 Things When Choosing Your Computer for UVa

Software: Save Your Money!

Photo of student on a Mac laptop

Don’t pay extra for software that you can get at low or no cost as a UVa student.

TIP: UVa students get Microsoft Office & the Windows operating system for just $15 each, plus 50GB of online file storage for easy backups, and an antivirus program for free!


Warranty Coverage: You May Need Repairs While at School

Photo of laptop computer

TIP: Compare service plans carefully. Look at both coverage length (e.g., 3 vs. 4 years) and location. Are on-site repairs an option?

The Cavalier Computers Service Center in the UVa Bookstore is licensed to repair Dell, Apple, and Lenovo computers.


Portability: Keep Weight in Mind

Photo of students collaborating on laptops

You’ll carry this computer around a lot for the next few years, so balance horsepower with heft when making your decision.

TIP: Take advantage of collaboration spaces around Grounds with comfortable chairs, power outlets, and wireless to do group projects, print on the go, or work in between classes.


Printing: Wirelessly to Public Printers, With a Cable to Your Own Printer

Photo of USB cables

TIP: If you bring a printer, bring one with a USB port & a cable, since wireless printing is not supported in residence halls.

Printing is supported in public locations around Grounds—either via your own laptop or the public printer stations—using a pre-paid deposit to your Cavalier Advantage account.


You: Be Honest with Yourself about Your Tech-Savviness & Check with Your School

Photo of student assisting another student unfamiliar with Macs

Many majors and programs have specific technology recommendations; ask first!

TIP: Thinking about switching to a platform you’ve never used before? Consider whether that may cause you extra stress. Or, if your heart’s set on one operating system though your program advises another, consider whether you’ll feel comfortable providing your own tech support—or not.

Your Accounts & Passwords

ID Verification Process for New Students


Photo of student getting picture taken for UVa ID card


Review the ID verification process for new students: from passwords to wireless as you move from applicant to new admit to UVa student.

Students are provided a UVa Gmail account. View UVa Student Email FAQs and how to configure your smartphone or mobile device to read your UVa email account.

NetBadge & Passwords

Sample NetBadge login screen

Many University websites are protected by the NetBadge authentication service. Log in with:

Forgot Your Password? Use the Lost Password Wizard to get a new one. Select the appropriate status for yourself: “not yet a student” for lost Temporary passwords or “current student” for Permanent passwords.

3 Things to Know About Internet Access at UVa

Both wired & wireless are available across Grounds. Wireless is in all residence halls, in the libraries, on the Lawn, and in most classrooms. Wired connections are available virtually everywhere, too.

Photo of student on a tablet

TIP: Wi-Fi works like cell phone coverage. It has occasional “dead spots” and slower speeds if you’re in a crowded location or are doing bandwith-intensive things like streaming video. So, don’t forget you have an Ethernet connection option. (More on that below).

Good news: we’re currently upgrading UVa Wi-Fi across Grounds!


First-time Wi-Fi setup requires your Permanent password. (It won’t work with your Temporary one.)

Photo of student on a laptop

TIP: Got your Permanent password? Upon arrival at Move-In, you can connect to UVa Wi-Fi.

Windows & Mac computers, plus iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches), can connect to UVa’s encrypted cavalier wireless network. All other devices must connect to the unencrypted wahoo network instead.


Wired connections will perform better than wireless. For a better streaming experience, use Ethernet.

Photo of Ethernet cable

TIP: Although you’ll primarily use Wi-Fi, bring an Ethernet cable with you to UVa. That way, if you really need a more reliable connection, you can take advantage of the wired ports available all around Grounds.

While we’re currently upgrading UVa wireless across Grounds, for now, wired is still faster and more reliable.

Recommended Software Programs

Microsoft Office: Recommended, and Just $15!

Yes! UVa students can get the latest full version of Microsoft Office for Windows or Mac, and Windows 8 (to upgrade your operating system or run on a Mac), for just $15 each—significant savings off full price and even the educational discount pricing. To take advantage of this deal, either:

Image of Office 2013 software

Whether you have a Mac or a PC, don’t pay for Microsoft Office or Windows ahead of time. They’re just $15 each (plus tax) if wait until you arrive at UVa!

  • Buy a computer through the CAV program at Cavalier Computers, and your Microsoft software comes pre-installed, no extra charge; OR
  • Bring or buy a computer from elsewhere, but wait to get the latest version of Office, to upgrade an older PC to Windows 8, or to get a copy of Windows to run on your Mac.

    Once at UVa, take your new University student ID card to either Cavalier Computers location, sign a form, and pay your $15 to get your licensed Microsoft software.

This deal is possible through an agreement UVa has with Microsoft for all degree-seeking students. (Not working towards a degree? You still can still get educational discounts on software at Cavalier Computers.)


Antivirus: Recommended for Both PCs & Macs, and Available for Free

Logo for UVa-provided antivirus: Microsoft SC Endpoint Protection

An antivirus program called Microsoft Endpoint Protection is provided for you at no cost as long as you are at UVa.

TIP: Once you have your Permanent password, go to the UVa Software Gateway and download the appropriate version for your operating system.


Backup File Storage: Free through UVa Box

Photo of student in UVa Box T-shirt

Once you have your Permanent password, log into UVa Box to create your account for the first time.

You get a whopping 50GB of storage in your UVa Box account for free, and while software isn’t required (you can access Box via a Web browser), you’ll probably prefer the drag-and-drop interface and auto-sync convenience of installing the Box Sync software.

Box offers smartphone & tablet apps and a mobile-friendly website, as well.

Once you get a UVa Box account, all your files will be backed up securely “in the cloud,” easily accessible from anywhere. Even better: you get to keep your 50GB when you graduate!


Specialized Software Programs: Prices Vary

You may need specialized software for some of your courses, but these will vary with your program and degree. Your access options are:

Other Computing Services Available to You

Free Tech Support, Around the Clock

Photo of tech support

TIP: Contact the UVa Help Desk for tech support anytime. You can be helped via phone, live chat, or email—whichever you prefer—24/7.

And, connect with us on social media for tech news, tips, events, downtimes, & more:

Add UVaITS to your circles in Google PlusView the UVaITS YouTube channelFind UVaITS on FacebookFollow UVaITS on Twitter


Cellular Phone Boosters

Photo of UVa student using mobile device

TIP: Choosing a new phone provider? Know that AT&T, T-Mobile, & Verizon have boosters to improve signal strength in dorm areas and public venues like the John Paul Jones Arena, Scott Stadium, and Newcomb Hall. Other cellular carriers do serve the Charlottesville market and may work for you, though.


Cable TV

  • Optional: If desired, you can request cable TV in your residence hall room. (Note that some residence halls have cable TV included in the Housing fee.)
  • Signup: Available once you have received your Housing assignment in mid-July. Coordinate sign-up and payment with your roommate, if you have one.
  • Pricing: $18.25/month for the 2014-15 academic year.

Other Stuff to Know: Course Management, UVa’s VPN, Etc.

Screenshot of UVaCollab, UVa's course management system

You will log into UVaCollab via NetBadge for your courses at UVa.

  Page Updated: Thursday 2014-08-14 11:18:09 EDT