Incoming Student Technology FAQ


First-year student mailing

A packet was sent through the mail to all admitted students. This packet contains a Gustavus ID number and a link to create Gustavus usernames and passwords. This account will enable you to check Financial Aid Awards. If you did not receive this mailing, or have questions or concerns regarding it, please contact the Gustavus Admission office (507-933-7676).

Purchasing a computer

Do I need to bring a computer to campus?

Gustavus does not require students to bring their own computers to campus, however, many choose to bring one. If you are unsure about purchasing a computer, we suggest that you spend some time on campus before making a decision.

Should I get a laptop or a desktop computer?

There are many advantages to bringing a laptop to campus:

  • They are easier to transport, allowing you to take notes in class, or do homework from virtually anywhere. When problems arise, it's much easier to bring a laptop to the Technology Helpline for quick help or virus removal than a bulky desktop machine.
  • With the convenience of the Gustavus Wireless Network, you'll be able to access the Internet anywhere on campus.

On the other hand, laptops have a few disadvantages to desktops:

  • Laptops are often more expensive than a comparable desktop.
  • Their smaller size and portability often make them more prone to theft and damage.
  • Laptops are more difficult to upgrade, therefore making it necessary to replace it sooner.

We suggest that your choice reflect your own lifestyle, habits, and personal preferences.

What kind of computer should I get? Macintosh, Chromebook, or Windows?

Your platform choice should be determined by your relative comfort level and previous experience with each operating system. Gustavus owns and supports all platforms, so the decision is completely yours to make. If you are interested in a Google Chromebook, please see our Chromebook web page. Some textbooks come with software that is not web-based, where Chromebooks are not supported by the publisher. Please be aware that lower-end Chromebooks may not be satisfactory when using processor heavy apps such as Zoom.

Are there any computer purchasing programs at Gustavus?

Gustavus does not sell computers to students, faculty or staff but does maintain a relationship with Apple, Inc., Lenovo, HP and Dell allowing community members to purchase computers and supplies at an educational discount direct from the vendor. Please use the following links to ensure you receive educational pricing.

Note: Almost all vendors have educational discounts for students, faculty and staff. All you have to do is ask.

FREE SOFTWARE Microsoft Office 365 is currently available for FREE to download for current Gustavus students and employees.

Also, community members are able to buy certain software and some hardware at educational discounts from stores and directly from their website such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, etc). Remember to always ask for an academic discount. You might be asked to supply an ID or email address.

Do I need to bring a wireless router to campus?

No. Too many wireless access points in a small area can generate a substantial amount of interference, degrading everybody's wireless experience. For best performance, we recommend that students use the college's wireless. It is available in all residence halls.

Can I bring a streaming device to campus?

Yes, definitely! Please see our recommended streaming devices list - Devices such as a Smart TV, Smart Blu-ray players, Apple TVs, and the Nexus Player work well on our network to stream Netflix, Hulu, etc. However, Screen-casting from a cell phone/tablet to the device currently isn't supported. We recommend that when using these devices, you use an ethernet (RJ45) cable (provided free by Technology Services). If you haven't purchased a Blu-ray player or TV yet, look for a wired ethernet (RJ45) port on the back when purchasing.

What are the minimum requirements for the computer I bring to Gustavus?

Before connecting to the campus network, all computers must have current virus protection and up-to-date security updates, along with the following list of minimum requirements:

Requirement Windows Macintosh
Operating System Windows 10 Macintosh OS 10.14
Networking 5GHz Dual Band Wireless AC (aka A/B/G/N/AC or A/G/N/AC), Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector) Wireless access available in most campus spaces.
Anti-Virus Software Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender (free, built into Windows 8/10)
Current Security Patches Microsoft Update Server Run Software Update

What are the recommended specifications for my computer at Gustavus?

Recommendation Windows Macintosh
Operating System Windows 10 (any variety) Macintosh OS 11.6 or newer
RAM 16 GB or higher 16 GB or higher
Connectivity 5GHz Dual Band Wireless AC (aka A/B/G/N/AC or A/G/N/AC), Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
Processor Current Gen Intel i5 Current Gen Intel i5 or M1 processor
Hard Drive 256GB SSD or larger 256GB SSD or larger
Warranty 3 year warranty AppleCare Protection Plan

Generally the "business class" models are more durable and come with longer warranties.

Connecting to the Gustavus Wireless Network

There is no longer a registration process required to access the Gustavus wireless networks.

How do I have the best wireless network experience at Gustavus?

When buying a computer, double check that it comes with a 5GHz wireless card built-in. While Macintosh laptops come with them standard, most PC laptops do not come with 5GHz wireless cards in the preconfigured models in stores. Find out if you can order the laptop with a 5GHz wireless card, or purchase your computer straight from the manufacturer. Purchasing a 5GHz laptop


Things to do BEFORE you get to Gustavus!

  1. If you are a Windows user, make sure your "Windows Updates" are current (visit Windows Update).
  2. If you are a Macintosh user, run Software Update, and apply all critical updates.
  3. Ensure that your machine is protected from viruses by using an Anti-Virus client with up-to-date definitions.
  4. Verify that you have all of the necessary software documentation, serial numbers, and installation media. Please bring these to campus with you.
  5. During any transition, it's wise to make backups of any critical data. We recommend a cloud-based backup.

Get Microsoft Office Free

At Gustavus, all faculty, staff, and employees use the Microsoft Office Suite for Windows or Macintosh.

Gustavus currently has Microsoft Office 365 available for free for all current active students. Please visit our Office 365 page for more information.

Get access to InfoBase for free!

InfoBase is an online, on demand, training site that offers over 50,000 tutorial videos on over 250 technology applications, including Microsoft, Google, and Adobe. Topics are subdivided into very small chunks, and presented in videos of one or two minutes, so learners can easily and quickly find the training they need on specific topics. Instructors can pull Hoonuit videos directly into their Moodle courses.

24/7 access to training offers flexible, just-in-time learning - just navigate to and login using your GAC Credentials!

What about Anti-Virus software?

Should I come with an anti-virus product?

It is recommended that you use an anti-virus product before you come to campus. If you do not use the built-in Windows anti-virus product and use a different anti-virus software, please be sure your subscription is up-to-date.

Does Gustavus provide anti-virus software?

As Windows 8 and Windows 10 have anti-virus included, Gustavus does not provide anti-virus software.

What can I do to protect my computer from spyware?

The best way to avoid getting spyware and adware is by not installing "high-risk" applications like peer to peer music downloading software, and other suspect "freeware," and "shareware" programs.

Use caution when installing software. Make sure your operating system, software and browser plug-ins are all up to date. Use a long and unique password. Gustavus requires a passphrase of at least 15 characters.

Connecting to the Internet

Which connection method is recommended?

When connecting to the Gustavus network from your residence hall room, we recommend using the "wireless" connection.

How many wired ports are in each room in the Residence Halls?

This depends on the room that you are assigned. However, in most cases, for first-year students, it will be one per room.

Can I bring a wireless router to campus?

No. Using personal wireless routers will interfere with this network, therefore, we do not allow personal wireless routers.

Where else is the wireless network?

For an up-to-date listing of where the Gustavus wireless network is located, please visit Gustavus Wireless Network. All buildings and many popular outdoor spaces have wireless available.

How do I connect to the Gustavus network?

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. Connect to the Gustavus wifi or GustavusSecure with your Gustavus username/password.

How many networked devices can I connect to the network?

You can connect as many as you would like.

How do I connect my video game console such as the Xbox One or Playstation 4 to the Internet so I can use the online features?

Connect to the Gustavus wifi network or plug into the wired network. No registration needed.

Are there any devices that don't work well on the Gustavus network?

Due to the design of the Chromecastand the Amazon's Fire TV Stick, these devices are not compatible with our network.

Are there any streaming devices that you recommend?

Devices such as a Smart TV, Blu-ray players, and the Apple TV work well on our network to stream Netflix, Hulu, etc. However, Screen-casting from a cell phone/tablet to the device currently isn't supported.


Can the Helpline visit my room and help me connect to the Gustavus network?

The Technology Helpline does not visit students' rooms. Please stop by Olin Hall for support.


Do I have access to campus owned printers?

Yes, there are printers in the Residence Halls that are available for you to print to from your personal computer in your room. Here are instructions on configuring your personal computer to print to the printer in your building.

Do I need a personal printer?

We do not recommend bringing a personal printer to campus. All residence halls are equipped with black and white laser printers in the labs. Please see Printing to set your computer to print to the residence hall printer.

If you need to print in color, color laser printing is available in the Library, Confer Hall, the GIS computer lab in Nobel, and Anderson Hall.

Are there any fees for printing in computer labs at Gustavus?

Print Option Cost per Page Printed
Single-Page B/W $0.06
Two-Sided B/W $0.12
Single-Page Color $0.25
Two-Sided Color $0.50


When do I find out my username and password for my Gustavus e-mail account?

Gustavus usernames and passwords are created during the financial award process. If you do not receive this information, or have questions or problems, please contact the Technology Helpline.

Can I configure my Gustavus e-mail on my iPhone or Android?

Yes, definitely. Please use the Gmail mobile app, using your Gustavus credentials, from the App Store or the Google Play store.

Is there an online storage space for me to save my files?

Yes, Gustavus Google Drive cloud storage is available for all students. You can access your Gustavus Google Drive at This website utilizes your Gustavus e-mail username and password. A great place to save papers and files.

Are the classrooms technology-enhanced?

Currently, there are 87 technology-enhanced classrooms complete with a projector, wireless networking, laptop hookup, and DVD/VCR player hookups. Classrooms require that faculty and students to use a laptop to connect to the projector. Each year, the number of this type of classroom continues to rise.

What personal information can I view online - my grades, class schedules, degree progress, transcripts, or other information?

As a student, you will be able to check all of this by logging into MyGustavus with your Gustavus username and password.

Is there a way to find contact information for faculty, staff, and other students?

Yes, we have an online directory found at Faculty and staff information does not require a log-in. Student information is only available to those who have a Gustavus username and password.

Can I create and host a web page through Gustavus?

Yes, you can have a personal homepage by creating web pages from a variety of different programs and placing them in the "www-docs" folder in your Home Directory. This files will be available as your website at the following link -

What public access for computing is available to students, parents, and guests of the college? Are there any Internet cafes?

There are computers for public use in the Library, Campus Center, Student Union, and parents can log in as a guest in the Residence Halls' computer labs. During the academic year 20-21, the number of public use computers have been limited. Guests of the College may connect to the Gustavus wireless network. No registration needed.

Where are the computer labs?

We have computer labs in all of the residence halls (except Arbor View apartments and Chapel View apartments), and most academic buildings. There are also computers located in the Campus Center and Student Union for students, faculty, staff, and guests of the College.

See also