Students at UVa
Essential Computing Info for New Students
Consider These 6 Things When Preparing to Come to UVa
#1 Bring UVa-Supported Technology
When choosing what computer to bring with you to school, consider:
Your program’s recommendations
Many majors & programs have specific technology recommendations; check first!
If your heart’s
set on one operating system but your expected school or major advises another, consider whether you’ll be able to provide your own tech support—or not
Laptop minimums for support
You may opt to buy a new computer or bring one from home, but ensure it fits within UVa’s
currently supported computing technologies.
Operating system: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit) or Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)
Minimum hard drive free space: 100GB, SSD recommended
Minimum processor speed: Intel 4th Gen Core i5 or faster Minimum RAM: 8GB
Also keep in mind:
UVa WiFi requirements
Smartphone & mobile considerations
Choosing a new phone or service provider? Consider these factors:
AT&T, T-Mobile, & Verizon have boosters to improve signal strength in dorms & public venues like the John Paul Jones Arena, Scott Stadium, and Newcomb Hall—though other carriers do serve the local market
iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPods)
connect to UVa’s encrypted cavalier WiFi Androids & other mobile devices
connect to UVa’s unencrypted wahoo WiFi
Download the official UVa app from iTunes or from Google Play to enjoy interactive GPS maps of Grounds, UVa PeopleSearch, class search, athletic scores, news, & more
#2 Save on Software
Don’t waste money paying for software that you can get at very low or no cost as a UVa student!
Microsoft Office & Windows just $15!
Get the latest
full version of Microsoft Office & the Windows operating system (to upgrade an older PC or to run on a Mac).
Each just $15—
significant savings off retail & even educational discount prices Buying through
the CAV program at Cavalier Computers? Microsoft software comes pre-installed, no extra charge
Bringing from home or buying a computer elsewhere? Show your new UVa student ID card at either UVa Cavalier Computers location, sign a form, and pay $15 to get your software Offered through a UVa-Microsoft agreement for degree-seeking students
Free antivirus software
For security, install Microsoft Endpoint Protection—provided to you at no cost.
We recommend this anti-malware program for both Mac & Windows computers
License fees are covered as long as you’re at UVa
Once you have your Permanent password,
download from the UVa Software Gateway
Other software titles
Other software programs are available at low or no cost to you, too.
#3 Plan Ahead for the Inevitable
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good warranty & regular file backups—
before disaster strikes. You’ll likely have a computing problem sometime while you’re at UVa, so plan ahead.
Warranties & repairs
Compare service packages carefully; you’ll thank yourself later.
Back up your files in the cloud (free!)
Take advantage of the free 50GB of storage you get through UVa Box to back up your files online so you never lose anything.
#4 Learn Your Password
You won’t need your Temporary password long, but you’ll use your Permanent UVa password the whole time you’re at the University—and beyond!
Your accounts & passwords
You’ll go from having a Temporary password (as an applicant & newly admitted student) to having a Permanent one (after Summer Orientation).
ID process for new students: from passwords to wireless for what to expect Your
Temporary password gets you through NetBadge to a few UVa systems Once you set your Permanent password, you can get a digital certificate & do your
first-time WiFi setup You will use your Permanent password to access SIS, your UVa email, UVaCollab (for courses), everything—you won’t need a Temporary one anymore
Forgot your password? Use the
Lost Password Wizard to get a new one; select “not yet a student” for lost Temporary passwords or “current student” for Permanent passwords
UVa Gmail for life
Your UVa email account is powered by Google.
#5 Bring It to UVa or Leave It at Home?
WiFi in a University setting is different from wireless in a home or office. So:
Bring an Ethernet cable
Optional wired connections are available in some locations.
WiFi works like cell phone coverage, with occasional “dead spots” & slower speeds if you’re in a crowded location or are doing bandwidth-intensive activities
Although you’ll primarily use WiFi, wired connections are faster & more reliable
Bring an Ethernet cable to take advantage of wired ports where available
Bring a USB printer cable
You don’t really need to bring your own printer, but if you do, bring a cable for it.
Leave routers & wireless access points
Leave routers, personal wireless access points, and WiFi signal boosters at home.
Decide about a coaxial cable
Legacy, standard definition (SD) cable TV service is available in some residence halls.
Where available, pricing is $18.60/month; see
cable TV info for details Once Housing assignments are made, coordinate with your roommate, if you have one,
for sign-up and payment
If you decide to contract for this service, you’ll need to bring a
coaxial cable to connect your television
#6 Take Advantage of Free Tech Support
Free computing help is available to all UVa students, no matter where you purchased your technology.
Contact the 24/7 Help Desk
Contact the UVa Help Desk for free tech support anytime, day or night.
Connect with us on social media
Follow us for tech tips, news, giveaways, & job opportunities for UVa students. We want to hear from you!