Many computer resources are available for general use by the campus community. IT staff will be available to incoming students during FOCUS and over the summer to answer questions regarding computer hardware/software and assist you in making a more informed computer purchase.
The best computer for you is ultimately based on several variables including budget, usage, and your field of study. Systems less than these suggested specifications will work on the network. We recommend buying the best configuration you can afford to maximize its lifespan.
Looking to save a little money when purchasing your computing equipment? Check out our Available Discounts webpage.
Main System Components
- Intel Core i5 processor (quad core) or better
- 8GB RAM or more
- solid-state hard drive with 256GB (or more)
- operating system: Windows 10 (64 bit encryption), or Mac OS: 10.7 (Lion) or newer
- 802.11 N wireless card or better (5GHz or faster recommended)
- 100mbps network card or faster, with RJ-45 cable (optional, for wired connections)
Service & Support
Purchase a support and/or damage plan for your equipment. We recommend a multi-year agreement for the best coverage. Due to liabilities and warranty restrictions, IT staff members are not permitted to perform hardware repair work on personally-owned equipment.
Anti-virus software should be installed on your personal computer, configured to automatically update, and scheduled to run regular scans. You are welcome to install either a free or subscription-based anti-virus suite.
NOTE: Do not run multiple anti-virus programs on the same machine.
Anti-malware / anti-spyware software, or a security suite which provides similar functionality, is also recommended. Enable your computer’s firewall for additional protection.
Peripherals & Accessories
When considering peripheral devices such as printers, speakers, docks, external hard drives, etc., take residence hall desk space into account.
Personal printers should plug directly into your computer via USB connection. Wireless printing is not permitted on our network due to interference with the campus wi-fi network.
Microsoft Office is available on all public computer lab workstations, and Office 365 is available free of charge to all students, faculty, and staff on up to five computers and up to five mobile devices. If you choose to purchase Office for your personal computer, select version 2013 or newer for Windows or 2011 or newer for Macs.
Additionally, all students are provided with a lifetime Gmail@Valpo account, including full Google
Drive functionality and unlimited space.
College / Program Requirements
Some programs, such as the College of Engineering or other academic programs, may offer their own suggestions of machine capabilities or system requirements for the specific work being done in those programs. Please consult your program for these specifications.