University of Wisconsin–Madison
Line art image of a rocket launching

Getting started with tech for students

  5 minutes to read | Last updated May 18, 2020

Welcome to UW‑Madison! We’re here to help you with technology so that you can get the most out of your time at the university. Below you will find some guides to help you navigate all the resources available to you.

You can also contact the DoIT Help Desk via phone, email and chat for help with all your technology issues.

Top 5 things to do before classes start...

someone typing on a laptop

1. Learn what tech you need for college

Access to a laptop or computer is essential for your learning. Learning activities may include downloading or streaming video lectures, accessing coursework or taking quizzes in Canvas, participating in course discussions in Blackboard Ultra or group projects via Google Docs, among others. It’s important to ensure your laptop has the minimum specifications necessary to run certain software applications related to your courses.

See tech recommendations

See the learning online technology guide


 

password field superimposed over hands typing on a keyboard

2. Know your NetID and password

Your NetID provides access to resources like Course Search & Enroll, Learn@UW and LinkedIn Learning. As an applicant, you received your NetID via email. If you are unsure of your NetID or need to reset your password, the Help Desk can assist you.

Contact the Help Desk


 

Smartphone displaying Duo log in screen

3. Get multi-factor authentication on your device

UW–Madison uses Duo Security (MFA-Duo) for our multi-factor authentication service. You must enroll in MFA-Duo in order to access your UW–Madison online data (Canvas, email, MyUW, etc). This additional security step uses something you know (your NetID and password) with something you have (your smartphone or token/fob) to “prove it’s you!”

Prove it’s you


 

Data and a lock

4. Secure your computer and data

Make sure your computer has antivirus software installed and use a virtual private network (VPN) when you’re connected to public networks. Additionally, use a password management tool to store your passwords and learn how to recognize and report phishing emails.

Use Windows Defender

Enable Gatekeeper for macOS

Install WiscVPN

Learn about phishing


 

Download icon

5. Download essential software

Office 365 by Microsoft is available free to students and provides access to email, calendaring and the Office Suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneDrive. To facilitate document sharing and group collaboration, take advantage of cloud-based productivity tools included in G Suite such as Google Drive and Google Docs. Visit the Campus Software Library to discover other no-charge software applications available to you as a UW-Madison student.

Get free Office 365

Login to G Suite

Visit the Campus Software Library