You will soon be part of the virtual community on the Willamette Campus Network, which is managed by Willamette Integrated Technology Services (WITS). Below you will find information about bringing your computer to campus. We'll provide some very brief notes and tips to get you started. For additional info, visit the WITS site on the Willamette website. Just search for WITS!
Bringing a computer to campus
It is highly recommended you have a Windows or Mac laptop computer upon your arrival. Although there are multiple computer labs on campus, several of which are accessible "24/7", many courses depend on regular access to a computer and for your own benefit and convenience a laptop is highly beneficial. WITS does offer both Windows and Mac checkout laptops for short-term usage as well as trouble-shooting, repair, and upgrade assistance for student-owned computers...all free of charge. We'll do everything we can to support you and your computer during your time at Willamette!
Locking-up your laptop
Your room will not be equipped with anything to lock your laptop to, so we advise you to always lock your room and insure your laptop (your home insurance may not automatically cover your laptop, so check with your insurance carrier). Services are also available that can allow your laptop to be tracked on the Internet if it is stolen. WITS does not provide this technology or offer any direct support, but it can be ordered on a new laptop or added later. A popular option is Computrace, see their website for additional details.
The WITS website has a trove of useful information and help documentation. Search "WITS" from our main website along with appropriate search terms to find the answers and instructions you seek.
You will want to create your @willamette.edu email account as soon as possible. This will be the primary means the university will use to communicate important information with you in the time leading up to your arrival on campus. It's a self-service process and all you need to get things rolling is your Student ID number which will be listed in your Welcome email. Search for "Create Account" at the Willamette website to get started.
Antivirus and Security
Any computer that is connected to a network is at risk for infection from viruses, spyware, malware, extortionware, and other unpleasant-sounding uninvited guests. One infected computer on campus can cause a campus-wide outbreak so WITS requires you to keep your operating system and anti-virus software up-to-date.
- Operating System Updates: Make sure that you've installed all the latest security patches for your operating system. Both Windows and Apple systems can be set to download updates automatically.
- Anti-virus: Always be sure a full version anti-virus software on your system and kept it up-to-date. Many computers come with a limited-time trial, which is not sufficient.
- Windows: Microsoft has integrated their own anti-virus product into all versions of Windows 8 and 10. This is usually sufficient, but other programs can be purchased which offer anti-virus protection. Check with the WITS Help Desk for additional assistance because running multiple AV applications on a computer simultaneously can severely degrade system performance.
- Macintosh: Apple's macOS may have a reputation as being less susceptible to infection but it is still a prime target for irritating malware. Keeping an up-to-date anti-virus program on your Mac computer is just as important as it is for Windows. Many of the major anti-virus software companies make products for macOS.
- Mobile Devices: iOS Devices typically have the upper hand when it comes to virus and malware avoidance. Android devices are more vulnerable but as long as you run the latest updates you should be in good shape. Norton offers malware and virus protection software for both devices. See their website for additional info.
Purchasing a computer
If you do plan to purchase a new computer, Willamette has some recommendations you might wish to consider.
- Extended warranty & accidental damage coverage. Laptops suffer more wear than desktop computers, and the longer you own one the more likely it will need costly repairs. Carefully consider any extended and accidental damage coverage offered. A single cracked screen or dead system board can cost up to $700 to replace depending on the make and model of your laptop.
- Microsoft Office: Willamette has an agreement with Microsoft to provide Office 365 free of charge to students, faculty, and staff. Once you have created your willamette.edu user account, you can use it to access a free download of Office. This is not a "trial" version, it's the real deal, and it's free to you for being a Willamette student! Search "Office 365" on the Willamette website to get started.
- Preferred Brands: Apple and Dell are Willamette's preferred vendors and each offers student discounts on hardware and accessories. Search for Apple Education in your browser to sign in and get your student discount price. You can also visit any Apple Store and inquire there. Dell has an education site as well; search Dell University in your browser for additional info.
Windows or Macintosh?
Willamette supports both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. All of the essential services Willamette provides are available on both platforms. Keep in mind that some course-specific software may not work in both operating systems. Be sure to match your OS to the needs you'll have most.
External Drive / Cloud Storage for backup
Your data (school work, pictures, etc..) is the most important part of your computer. Hard drives are prone to failure, and the drives that ship with most modern computers are extremely difficult to recover data from once corrupted or damaged. WITS highly recommends the purchase of an external hard drive to use for backing-up your data. These drives are very inexpensive and offer more than enough storage for most users. Additionally, you can keep your files in Google Drive, which comes with unlimited storage when used with your willamette email account. Just log in to your email account in a browser, then click the "9-button" icon in the upper right corner, and you'll have access to Drive, Calendar, an the Google suite of applications.