Information for New Students
Before You Come to Campus
Computing is a vital part of life at Yale. You will use computers for email, browsing the Internet, registering for courses, accessing library catalogs, writing papers, submitting assignments for classes, and countless other tasks. Each student is provided with 50 GB of secure storage space in the cloud through Box at Yale and unlimited storage through the Drive on their EliApps (Google) email account. All students are required to abide by the University's policies for computer usage.
Yale College does not require computer ownership nor have an operating system preference. However, more than 90 percent of Yale undergraduates own personal computers, and two-thirds own Macintosh (as opposed to Windows) computers. Students with personal computers may connect to Yale's network from their rooms using in-room Ethernet connections or wireless connections, or from various locations around campus by means of both wired and wireless networks. Information about connecting to Yale's network may be found on the Wi-Fi page of the Yale Information Technology Services (ITS) website.
If you bring your own computer, also bring all documentation, software media, and warranty information. These materials are essential to connecting to the network and solving computer problems that may arise. Also a must is a method for backing up data, usually to a dedicated external hard drive or cloud service.
Buying Computer Hardware & Software
Students who wish to purchase new computers should consider the recommendations published by ITS. Yale students are not required to buy computers through the recommended sites, but the Yale-negotiated prices and packages are worth investigating. For information about Yale student computer purchasing recommendations and discounts, visit the ITS Buying Guide.
ITS strongly recommends that you have the following accessories for your computer:
- Four-year extended warranty with on-site support for protection against computer hardware failure
- Accident coverage for protection against spilled liquids or dropped computers (check with your manufacturer or vendor to see if your warranty covers these contingencies)
- Computer location tracking device that may be activated if your computer is stolen
- An external hard drive for automatic, routine, and complete data backup
When buying software, take note that many vendors sell software for academic use at lower prices. ITS has negotiated special pricing for Microsoft Office. For a list of software currently available to students, visit the Yale Software Library (requires login with Yale NetID and password).
You can get discounts on laptops, laptop accessories, external hard drives, printers, and other technology through GovConnection. It's like a discounted NewEgg (or Amazon, but for technology). www.govconnection.com/yalestudents
All Hard Drives Go to Heaven
The data on your computer is not necessarily safe. Hard drives often stop working unexpectedly, and your data may be lost. ITS recommends regularly backing up data to an external hard drive using Time Machine (Mac OS X) or Backup and Restore (Windows). External hard drives are available at the Yale Bookstore or online. Yale students can use their Yale email address to purchase from Western Digital at a discount. http://www.wdstudentstore.com
Technology on Campus
ITS supports nearly 700 public computers located throughout campus for use by members of the Yale community. Each residential college has its own computer room, and all students may use the general-purpose computer labs available in Bass Library, Connecticut Hall, Dunham Laboratory, the Center for Science and Social Science Information, and Sterling Chemistry Laboratory. The public computers have commonly used academic applications loaded on them. Some also have special hardware such as color laser printers and scanners. For more information about Yale's general-access computer spaces, visit the Community Accesss Computers page on the ITS website. Also, see the map of Yale ITS Walk-In Support Centers to find out which center is most convenient for you.
Telephones, TVs, and Computers
All on-campus residences are prewired for telephone, high-speed wired (Ethernet) and wireless data communications (Wi-Fi). There should be good Wi-Fi coverage in all areas of all Yale buildings and at least one ethernet port in all on-campus student dormitory rooms. Student dorm suites are wired for telephone lines, but telephones are not provided. Most students choose to purchase a cellular phone and bring it with them to campus.
Yale has partnered with Comcast to provide students on campus with access to traditional cable and on-demand services through Xfinity on Campus. At Yale, the service is called IPTV. IPTV has replaced in-room cable TV in on campus dorms; in-room cable is no longer available in student dorms. Before using this service, please carefully review Yale's Information Technology Appropriate Use policy.
Many areas on campus, including residential college courtyards and all Yale buildings, offer wireless Internet access for computers with 802.11b/g/n-compatible adapters. All residential college and Old Campus dormitory rooms have wireless access. For information about wireless recommendations, see the ITS General Student Recommendations page.
The "YaleSecure" wireless network is the recommended and encrypted network. Connect using your NetID. To use the older, non-encrypted “Yale Wireless” network or the Ethernet (wired) network, you will need to register your computer. Visit Wifi@Yale to find out more about connecting to Yale’s wireless networks.
Printers are available throughout campus, primarily in public computing spaces. To print from your laptop or a public cluster computer, you need to have funds in a BluePrint (powered by PaperCut) account. To learn how and for more information, visit Yale Printing & Publishing's BluePrint page.
Yale Information Technology Services
Yale Information Technology Services, known as ITS, is the organization that supports the technology needs of students, faculty, researchers, and staff. Below are some of the services Yale ITS provides to you.
Free & Discounted Software
Yale provides a range of free and discounted software for students including: Matlab, Mathematica, Endnot, SPSS, and Microsoft Office. Browse the Software Library at software.yale.edu (NetID and password required).
To keep your computer safe, Yale highly recommends having antivirus software installed on your computer and running the most up-to-date version of your operating system. Antivirus software is available at software.yale.edu.
Yale no longer provides cable TV service through traditional coaxial cable. Yale has partnered with comcast to provide students on campus with access to traditional cable and on demand services through Xfinity on campus. For more information, see the IPTV service page.
Box at Yale Storage
Yale provides 50 GB of online storage for all students through Box at Yale. Use your Box space to send documents to people, collaborate on projects, and store important files. You can even transfer your Yale box account to a personal account to keep the free 50 GB even after graduating! Use Box Sync to keep a local folder automatically synced with your Box space its. Learn more about Box on the ITS website. Access your Box account at yale.box.com (NetID and password required).
Yale requires multifactor authentication when logging into the VPN or to Yale sites from off campus. Multifactor authentications adds a layer of security by requiring you to use a mobile phone or other device to verify your identity. The app used in this process is called Duo. Learn more about multifactor authentication on the ITS website. If you need assistance setting up a device with Duo, call the ITS Help Desk at 203-432-9000 (24/7), or see a Student Tech on Old Campus in LC during freshman move in or in Bass Library L05.
Some of Yale's digital resources are only available while on campus. If you are off campus, you can obtain access to these resources by connecting to Yale's Virtual Private Network, or VPN. If you’re planning to travel outside the U.S., make sure VPN is set up before you leave campus. Download and setup VPN at access.yale.edu.
Student Technology Services
The Student Technology Collaborative (STC), part of Yale ITS, provides technical support to Yale students. The STC is committed to educating both student employees and student clients in the constantly changing field of computer technology.
Walk-in Computing Support
Each residential college has its own team of Student Techs (STs) whose job is to assist fellow students with technology issues. Students can also get walk-in or phone assistance at the Technology Troubleshooting Office, located in Bass Library. To get more information or to contact an ST using the online request form, go to the Student Technology Collaborative website.
Student Techs will help you troubleshoot any issues and even repair your computer for you if it is broken. STC services are free! You may be asked to purchase parts if necessary.
Get computer help from the Student Technology Collaborative (STC):
- Visit one of the Technology Troubleshooting Offices (TTO), located in Bass Library, lower level, Room L05; and Sage Hall, third floor, Room 37
- Call the TTO at 203-432-5242
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
On-Campus Student Technology Support
Bass Media Equipment
Borrowing media equipment: The Bass Media Equipment Checkout (BMEC) service provides media equipment to the Yale community, including DSLR cameras, video cameras, tripods, microphones, light kits, tablets, and more. Equipment is checked out through Bass Library at no cost, as long as it is returned on time and undamaged. Contact the Media Techs at email@example.com for assistance choosing the correct equipment for a project and learning how to use it. reservations.yale.edu/bmec
Borrowing laptops: Bass Media Equipment Checkout (BMEC) has loaner laptops available for two-week periods. You may want to reserve one well in advance, because they are quite popular. reservations.yale.edu/bmec
The Student Technology Collaborative provides loaner laptops to students whose computers they are actively repairing.
Where to Find Us
During freshman move-in, Student Techs will be able to help you configure your computer for Yale's network, answer general questions, and provide troubleshooting. You should also plan to attend one of the "Computing@Yale" information sessions, which give a brief orientation to Yale computing resources. More information about the times and locations of STC orientation events will appear in the Calendar for the Opening Days of College, published online in mid-July.
ITS Student Jobs
The Student Technology Collaborative hires undergraduate and graduate students to work in various part-time roles:
- Student Techs provide tech support and perform hardware & software repair for students’ personal computers
- Cluster Techs maintain the most of the public computer areas and printers
- Media Techs assist students with audio/video equipment, digital media projects, and event support
- Student Developers develop web and mobile applications for students