The IT Help Center is open throughout the fall move-in weekend and extended hours during the week to assist with your technology needs. We are here to help everyone get connected to the wired and wireless network as quickly as possible, and the information below will get you started.
The Residential Network – Wireless and Wired
The University provides secure, encrypted wireless access in most residences, libraries, campus dining facilities, the athletic facilities, and most other public areas. Wireless access is not available in every campus location, but it is very widespread. Please note:
- For security reasons, and because they interfere with existing BU network addresses, personal wireless access points are prohibited in the residences.
- For best results, when purchasing new devices, look for those that support 802.11a/b/g/n. Devices that only support b/g/n (without the 802.11a/n – 5 Ghz.) are more likely to experience sluggishness in places where there is a high density of wireless device usage.
When wireless access is not available, or when you wish to use a device that does not support 802.1x, you can use the high-speed, wired Ethernet connection available in each room of all residence halls. It’s important to note that, because our campus uses 802.1x authentication to secure our wireless network, you could find occasions to use wires, even with technology that works wirelessly at home. Please bring any cables that came with your devices, just in case you need them.
Another important note: Many of the newer computers and devices no longer contain Ethernet ports. Students may want to purchase Ethernet adapters to have the ability to connect to our wired network as an alternative or back up.
During fall move-in, the IT Help Center maintains a large staff of technicians. Full-time and student staff will provide specialized technical support to students as they return to the residence halls each fall, offering telephone and drop-in support, as well as on-site visits to students’ rooms. The goal is to get everyone connected as quickly as possible.
In order to use the Ethernet (wired) network, you will be prompted to register your computer on the BU network the first time you connect. Network registration is not required on the wireless network because the use of 802.1x guarantees that each connection is registered by default.
Connecting other Devices
Although wireless access points are prohibited, you may use other devices (such as an game console, Blu-ray player, or smart tv) on the network. As mentioned above, because of our required 802.1x authentication, you may need to use these devices via wired Ethernet, even if they work wirelessly at home. See our detailed setup information.
All new students will get a BU Google Apps account and can log in to it at www.bu.edu/google/ or www.bu.edu/webmail. Please see our additional information about the use of BU Google Mail, such as how to use it with a desktop client or device.
If you have an existing email account that you prefer to use, you can forward your BU email using the Settings menu within BU Google Mail.
Television in Student Residences
Check out our BUTV satellite service page for information on TV in student residences.
You are required to install effective anti-virus software in order to connect to the Boston University campus network. Windows computers should also have anti-spyware software. If you don’t keep your Windows computer patched and running current anti-virus and anti-spyware software, it will become infected.
We maintain a page dedicated to securing your computer. There you can:
- Protect your PC by downloading and installing the latest Microsoft service packs and security patches (PCs).
- If you need anti-virus sofware, download free McAfee anti-virus software (PCs and Macs).
- Download free anti-spyware products (PCs).
- Learn how to protect your identity.
You should never leave your laptop unattended in a public area or in an unlocked residence. To assist with retrieval of a stolen laptop, The Boston University Police Department (BUPD) runs a Laptop Registration Program called STOP (Security Tracking of Office Property).
Hardware Purchases and Educational Pricing on Software
Take advantage of educational pricing on Apple, Lenovo and other systems. The IT Help Center is authorized to service all of these brands. All current BU students can install Microsoft Office at no cost.
The IT Help Center performs manufacturer-authorized warranty service and out-of-warranty repairs for most major brands.
Most documents are distributed on-line, which makes for reduced printing. If you do choose to buy a printer, please bring all cables that came with it. As mentioned above, because our campus uses 802.1x authentication to secure our wireless network, you will not be able to use the wireless functionality.
If you do not have a printer, or for occasions when you need large-scale printing, you can use the MyPrint system. The MyPrint system allows you to print directly from your own computer to a number of print center locations. Once the MyPrint drivers are installed on your computer, you can use File-Print (or comparable) just as you would if you were printing to a local printer. Learn more about MyPrint and follow the driver installation instructions on the Using MyPrint page. If you need assistance, contact the IT Help Center.
File Storage and Back-up
Students interested in backing up their computer can take advantage of a 10% BU discount for personal licenses to the CrashPlan service. In addition, students who create (or upload and convert) files to their BU Google Drive space (at www.bu.edu/google) have a limitless storage capacity. Beyond that, people do a variety of things, ranging from external drive use to use of other cloud services. In addition, those who have logged into a thin client machine in the BU Common @ Mugar have 250 MB of storage that they can access remotely through MyFiles.