Frequently asked questions about laptops

What if I cannot afford to bring a laptop?
Students who are facing financial difficulty and are concerned about the laptop requirement may apply for the Laptop Loan Program, a free of charge service for traditional undergraduate students who qualify. The laptops meet the University’s specifications, and come with applications such as Microsoft Office, anti-­virus software, and Internet connectivity. Application to the Laptop Loan Program maybe submitted through this online form.

Do you recommend I purchase a certain type or brand of laptop?
Although the choice of what laptop to purchase or lease is yours, we do have recommendations to make. Our list of recommended laptop manufacturers are (in alphabetic order) Apple, Dell, Lenovo. This list resulted from evaluations conducted by our staff that considered such factors as price, speed, functionality, reliability, service, industry rankings and feedback from other universities requiring laptops. Most importantly, these vendors have been "tried and true" with our students in the DU mobile computing environment.

Can I bring an Apple/Macintosh laptop?
Maybe, depending on your area of study. Some schools like the Daniels College of Business and the Department of Engineering require PCs (or Macs with virtual machine software), while the School of Art requires Macs. If you opt for a Mac, you may need to purchase a Windows emulation program like VMware, Parallels, or Bootcamp if you have to run specialized Windows software. Please see our Minimum Specification recommendations for more information.

I already have a laptop, however it is 2 years old. Do I have to purchase a new computer to meet DU 's minimum specifications?
No, you do not have to purchase a new computer. We will help you get your computer configured; however you may encounter system/software incompatibilities and support issues. Your computer must be loaded with Windows Vista or above or Mac OS 10.6 or above.

What about International versions of Windows?
Numerous security problems exist with non-English versions of Windows. In order to protect the network community at the University of Denver , we require that all students have the English version of Windows Vista or above installed on their computers. Computers running a version other than the English version of Windows will be denied network access. International students can use Microsoft's "Multilingual User Interface Pack (MUI), a set of language specific resource files that can be added to the English version of Windows. When installed, MUI allows the user interface language of the operating system to be changed to one of 33 supported languages. Both the English version of Windows and MUI are available at the DU Bookstore.

What about Antivirus?
The University has purchased Antivirus software for Windows and Macintosh for all student computers and it is available at no charge for download through the Resources tab in WebCentral.

What is Network Access Control (NAC)?
With the extreme critical issues surrounding campus network security, the University must ensure that all computers linked to the campus network are fully updated and secured, for the protection of all network users. All computers accessing the campus network will require authorization and security vulnerability scanning. Machines that are not in compliance will be denied network access until the security vulnerability is installed. More details can be found at the UTS Network Security website.

What about Wireless Networking?
In order to use the wireless network, you need to have logged in to WebCentral and have a wireless ethernet adapter capable of the WPA2-Enterprise encryption protocol. You will be asked to authenticate with your DU ID and Passcode. The automated configuration utility can be accessed by connecting to the network "DU Guest Wireless" and launching an Internet browser.

It is important to note that wireless network connectivity is not a replacement for traditional wired connectivity--rather, it is designed to supplement areas that currently have no wired connectivity. Wireless connections are considerably slower than the wired connections. Many new computers are equipped with integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless devices.

Do I need a printer in my room?
DU offers students use of more than 20 high-speed public black and white laser printers and color laser printers at convenient locations on campus for student use. The University allocates $21.00 in printing credits per quarter (Simplex: .07 B/W, .70 color) to students. If a student uses all of their printing funds in a quarter, the printing charges are automatically deducted from their flex-account. Please visit the DUnet setup page to install the most up-to-date printer drivers.

What is laptop insurance and how can it help me?
Laptop insurance is an independent insurance policy that covers theft, fire, power surges, accidental damage, natural disasters, vandalism, earthquake, lightning, keyboard spills, shattered screens and other mishaps. This is really important as mishaps occur! The University is not responsible for loss or damage to your laptop, so we strongly encourage you to obtain laptop coverage. All manufacturers now offer complete accidental care warranties for purchase. Some homeowner 's policies provide laptop coverage. 

Do you have the ability to backup my data?
It is critical to backup your documents. When your computer experiences technical difficulties, there is always the chance that your documents will be damaged. You are fully responsible for your data backups. If your computer has to be serviced, you may lose valuable data. There are numerous, inexpensive ways to backup your data to external sources including CD-RW, flash (USB) drives, external drives, and online (cloud) backups.

How can I get technical support for my laptop on the DU campus?
Before you come on campus, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with your computer manufacturers support options. If problems occur, we recommend that you contact your hardware manufacturer first, because they are most familiar with your laptop. Being aware of your support options will save you time and money if the need arises.

The UTS Computer Help Center at the University of Denver has an extensive technical support network to assist you with your questions and technical issues.

What else should I bring with my laptop?

  • Original Operating System CD(s) / Original Manufacturer Reinstallation CD(s
  • Microsoft Office CD(s) and Certificate of Authenticity (Product Key)
  • Laptop Manuals
  • Power cords, CD-Rom, network cords/cables
  • Warranty Information (Warranty Certificate/Proof of Warranty)
  • Copy of Proof of Purchase / Purchase Receipt

Are there any other useful accessories that I should think about bringing?

  • Laptop Carrying Case / Backpack
  • Surge Protector
  • External storage device (jumpdrive, flashdrives, external hard drives )