University of Wisconsin–Madison
Student in dorm room on laptop

Most used tech in the residence halls

Eleven is the record number of wireless devices a single user had connected to the UW network at one time.

That’s a less surprising number considering University Housing say they’ve seen some well connected students bringing twelve to fourteen devices to campus. On average though, housing residents have about four to five devices online according to University Housing Technology Services Manager Mike Crawford.  

Housing residents connect to the internet the same way the rest of campus does; wirelessly via UWNet, or wired through an ethernet data jack located in their room. With the help of University Housing, here’s a look at the most used technology in the res halls.

Not too surprising

Smartphones and laptops are the two most used devices, and Crawford notes smartphones are soon going to overtake bandwidth usage over laptops. That trend is echoed in a 2016 EdTech report. He says the smartphone is becoming the main/primary device for internet access for this generation of students.

What’s new in the res halls?

It’s pretty typical to see smart TV, a drastic change from only three years ago. Alexa is making a showing too. Wireless smart speakers like the Amazon Echo are showing up more often.

Questions, questions, questions

At the res halls, Technology Services get asked similar questions to those that tech experts at the DoIT Tech Store and Help Desk get. Here’s what they say:

Wireless routers — Generally, residents do not need one. If residents want to print wirelessly to their personal printer, use a Chromecast or Apple TV, Firestick or similar devices, then they will need a wireless router.

Printers — Generally, residents do not need one. There are 13 Computer Labs throughout housing and they provide easy access and affordable laser printing (color and b&w).  

The Tech Store also shares out advice on similar topics via the We Are Badgers blog.

Got questions about connecting your devices? Contact the DoIT Help Desk. If the issue can’t be resolved there, a house call to the residence halls are an option too.

If you were wondering about who has more than ten devices connected, Crawford says they’re typically serious gamers with several consoles connected, as well as other online devices such as tablets, speakers, watches and more.