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:
- 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!
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
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
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
TIP: If you bring a printer, bring one with a USB port & a cable, since wireless printing is not supported in residence halls.
You: Be Honest with Yourself about Your Tech-Savviness & Check with Your School
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
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
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.
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.)
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.
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/or Windows 8 (to upgrade your operating system or run on a Mac), for just $15 per title—a significant savings from the full price and even the educational discount pricing. To take advantage of this deal, either:
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.
Before you go, you may want to check with Cavalier Computers to ensure they have the software you need in stock.
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
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
Once you have your Permanent password, log into UVa Box to create your account for the first time.
You can store up to 50GB in your UVa Box account, and while software isn’t required for Box—you can access it with just a Web browser—you’ll probably prefer the drag-and-drop interface and auto-synch convenience of installing Box Sync on your computer.
Box offers smartphone & tablet apps and a mobile-friendly website, as well.
Once you get a UVa Box account, your files will be backed up securely, but “in the cloud” and easily accessible from anywhere!
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:
- On a public computer: Several computing labs around Grounds offer access to specialized academic software packages you might need.
- On your own computer:
- Virtually, via the Hive: You can “stream” some specialized academic software via the UVa Hive.
- Downloaded: Some research & statistical software is downloadable from the UVa Software Gateway.
- Purchased: Since a limited number of UVa licenses may be available for use at a time, you may wish to purchase your own copy of certain titles. For many programs, Cavalier Computers offers deep educational discounts for students.
Other Computing Services Available to You
Free Tech Support, Around the Clock
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:
Cellular Phone Boosters
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.
- 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: Not yet set for the coming school year, but last year, cable TV was $17.90/month.
Other Stuff to Know: Course Management, UVa’s VPN, Etc.
You will log into UVaCollab via NetBadge for your courses at UVa.
- Used by UVa professors for course management, UVaCollab provides you 4GB of online storage in your My Workspace area.
- Through your Home Directory account, you can save and store files in the UVa Hive to access them later, or publish to your personal Web space. It provides 4GB of storage.
- Occasionally you may need to access some restricted UVa services from off-Grounds via the VPN.