This guide is intended for incoming students and parents to help make informed decisions on purchasing or bringing a computer for use on campus and in the residence halls.

General information about PCs

Most current personal computers will connect to the SU Network wirelessly, or through the network port in your residence hall room using an Ethernet cable. Your computer should have one of the following as a minimum system configuration. Windows based computers must be running at least Windows 7, updated Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software. Macintosh computers should be running the latest version of Mac OS X and have an updated Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software. Microsoft Security Essentials is available for free for Windows users at BitDefender and Sophos Home are free Anti-Virus tools available for Macintosh Users.

Note that some computers (like Chromebook) or operating systems (like Windows 10 S) only allow installation from an app store, rather than from outside sources. For these devices, many of our applications like Respondus Lockdown Browser will not be able to be installed. Please keep this consideration in mind when shopping for a new device, and how you intend to use the device.

Windows PC

Personal computers brought to campus should be running Windows 7 or higher, have at least 8 GB of RAM, and have an Ethernet card and cable. Wireless is also highly recommended. If you are purchasing a computer, or looking to upgrade, most new computers that are shipping from major computer manufacturers meet or exceed our minimum requirements. See our guidelines (minimum and recommended) for specifications needed to use our wired or wireless network. Check with the department of your major course of study for any special requirements.

For a new computer purchase we recommend at least:

  • Intel Core i5 equivalent or better
  • 8 GB RAM or more
  • 128 GB or larger hard drive 
  • Windows 7 or higher
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet card or USB Ethernet Adapter ( and an Ethernet Cable and/or wireless Ethernet 802.11a/n. Intel chipset recommended over Broadcom chipset.
  • CD-RW/DVD-ROM Drive
  • Keyboard, Speakers, Mouse, Soundcard, 22" Monitor
  • Optional but recommended: Surge Suppressor, USB Flash Drive

Apple Macintosh

All of the current Macintosh computers meet or exceed our minimum requirements. For those of you looking to bring an existing Macintosh to campus, we suggest the following minimum requirements:


Tablet computers such as the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon Fire HD, and Windows Surface can make a great complement to your laptop or desktop computer, due to their small, lightweight profile and portability. Most all of them connect easily to our SU wireless network. With the exception of the Windows Surface Pro, which runs a full version of Windows, we do not recommend using a tablet for your only computing solution. For the Windows Surface Pro, we also recommend a USB Ethernet Adapter (

What Not To Bring

Not all "network" devices are compatible with our network. Specifically, the following items are known not to work.

  • Routers, Switches and Wireless Access Points. Routers, switches and wireless access points are not permitted on the ResNet network. Plugging one in may result in your network port being deactivated.
  • Wireless Printers. Wireless printers will not be able to connect wirelessly on our network. These are meant to be shared on private networks, and cannot be set up on the SU wired or wireless network. You can connect your wireless printer directly to your computer using a USB cable (usually provided with the printer).
  • Wireless or Network Storage Devices. Like wireless printers, these devices are intended for small, private home networks. Also like wireless printers, these devices usually have cables that can be used to directly attach them to your computer for use in Residence Halls.
  • Devices that connect to your computer wirelessly. Some devices, like Google Chromecast, require a computer to wirelessly connect in order to function. These devices will not work on our wireless network. Other devices, like Apple TV, have both stand alone and connected features. These will work, but the features that require wireless connection to other devices will not. 

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