Student Computer Recommendations

You don't necessarily need to bring a computer to campus.  There are 270 computers available to you in public labs around campus, many of them open 24/7. However, if you'd like to bring a computer with you, consider the following:


  • Windows: Windows 10 is recommended. Older versions are also allowed to connect to our network.
  • Mac OS X: OS X 10.14 (Mojave or higher) is recommended. Older versions are also allowed to connect to our network.
  • Linux, Chrome, and other operating systems are not supported (no documentation or assistance is available), though they are allowed on the network. If you are considering a netbook with an alternative operating system, be sure it can support WPA-2 Enterprise wireless networking; in our limited experience, not all of them do.
  • Laptop or Desktop? Most students have laptops, but the choice is up to you. Our wireless network provides campus-wide Internet access.
  • Other Internet-Capable Devices: We support network access for most smartphones, mobile devices and game consoles, and campus email access for Windows Mobile, iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android devices. Be sure yours is fully updated.

What to Bring

  • Anti-virus software: Your computer probably comes with some pre-installed. Make sure it is working and updated. There are many free options; ones with good reputations include Sophos and Avira for Mac and Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows.
  • A backup solution: Your files are understandably very important to you. Having a backup drive or using cloud storage to backup your important files will give you peace of mind in case you experience trouble with your computer. Davidson provides free cloud storage options for students including, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. 

What Not to Bring

  • Wireless routers, access points, and printers: Personal wireless routers and access points are not allowed on campus because they interfere with the college's network. This includes wireless backup devices that also serve as routers (such as Apple's Time Capsule). We also recommend that you not bring wireless printers. 
  • File sharing programs: Sharing music, videos, ebooks, and other copyrighted materials is illegal. The college cannot protect students who violate copyright by sharing files. Uninstall your file-sharing and BitTorrent software before you arrive on campus. Become familiar with our copyright compliance policy.

What Technology & Innovation Will Provide

  • Microsoft Office 365: The full Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive) is licensed for Davidson students to install on their personal computers.
  • Email: Outlook, as part of Microsoft Office 365, is provided so you can access your Davidson email account. 
  • Google Drive: Davidson provides you an account with unlimited storage at no extra charge. Your account allows you to share and collaborate with professors, classmates, and friends.
  • GSuite: You get an account with unlimited storage for sharing and collaborating with friends, professors, and classmates. 

Before You Come to Campus

  • Update Windows: On your Windows computer, visit the Microsoft Download Center and install all critical updates.
  • Update Mac OS X: On your Mac computer, click on the Apple icon and select Software Update. Install all offered updates. Do this until it reports no further updates are needed.

Help Resources

During the academic year, the Support Center is available to help you. Come visit us at Technology & Innovation (T&I) Main located on 213 N. Main St., or on the first floor of the E.H. Little Library at the information desk. If you have questions not answered on our websites, email the T&I Support Center at, or call/text us at 704-894-2900.

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