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Student Technology Guide (Academic Year 2024-2025)

A technology overview for UWL students.

What computer, printer and hardware should I buy?

PC or Mac?

  • We support both, its up to you!

  • Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors should go with a MacBook because a Unix-like operating system provides a better experience for technical users.

  • Primary Device: Dell laptop (Windows) or an Apple MacBook (macOS) are recommended and work best with our WIFI.
  • Secondary Device (Optional): Chromebook or iPad, these are not recommended as a primary device as they are unable to run necessary software for some classes.

  • Extended Warranty? This is recommended, with accidental coverage is preferred, so you are covered if accidents happen.

Recommended Minimum Computer Specs:

  • Processor: Latest Intel i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or Apple Silicon
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Operating System: Latest Windows or macOS
  • If your budget allows: increased RAM, storage and/or processor

Should I buy a printer?

What software and apps do I need?

Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus is FREE for attending UWL!

See Office 365 - Accessing Office 365 Applications (and Installing Office)

Additional Productivity Tools and File Storage

Though Office 365 is used campus-wide, students also have access to Google Drive, Sheets, and Sites. 

See Also:

Adobe Creative Cloud

Depending on your major, you may want/need to buy Adobe Creative Cloud. Courses that use this software generally have computers to use during class and the lab in Murphy Library also Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe does offer education pricing if you do need their software on your computer, see

Antivirus & Malware Software 

We encourage safe, virus free, computing and without antivirus software your computer can become severely infected. ITS STRONGLY recommends all computers have antivirus software installed before using the campus network. Paid versions, such as Webroot, may offer more features, though there are free options available such as Windows Security from Microsoft, Bitdefender, Avira, and Malwarebytes.

Virtual Desktop (WVD - Windows Virtual Desktop)

This service allows you to use your Windows, Macintosh, Apple iOS, or Android devices to connect 24x7 to a Windows desktop with software installed like ITS computer labs. See Windows Virtual Desktop - Access and Sign In

VPN (Virtual Private Network) 

The UWL VPN service allows you to connect to campus remotely from many available network connections, almost anywhere. This includes from home, many hotels, and even from some company networks. See VPN - Install and Connect


Your UWL Zoom account allows you to host and join Zoom meetings. See Zoom - FAQ

What accounts do I have and how do I manage my passwords?


This unique username allows you to log into most UWL technology services. It consists of your last name followed by four randomly generated numbers in the format [Lastname.####]. For example: smith1234. 

Student ID Number

Your student ID number is a 9 digit numbethat is only associated to you and it shows you are a part of UWL. This number should have been originally provided to you by Admissions. If you misplace or forget your student ID please contact Records and Registration. Your student ID number is not the same as your NetID. It is used for a various of reasons including activating your NetID via First Time Access and when you need Password Reset Help

Note: If you need assistance with a physical student ID card, then please reach out to the Card Office. Information about physical student ID cards can be found here too:

Account and Password Management

ITS provides a convenient self-service password and account reset page. This tool helps you gain first-time access, the ability to reset passwords and unlock your account 24x7 at:
Need Help? See

What is multi-factor authentication (Okta)?

Okta is our 2-step authentication method needed when logging into UWL accounts, like Canvas, WINGS and email. This authentication method requires a second device, like the Okta Verify Mobile app on a smartphone, which is our most recommended and most common choice of Okta device. This makes your UWL account more secure against online attacks and phishing because if your password becomes compromised, only you have access to the Okta device for your account. 

Need more info? See Okta - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

How do I access the student information system (WINGS)?

WINGS is the name for UWL's Student Information System (SIS). This software provides students, faculty, and staff with access to information relating to recruiting and admissions, records and registration, financial aid, student financials, and enhanced self-service capabilities. 

How do I access my courses in Canvas?

Canvas is our learning management system (LMS), and is the central hub for online course materials for face-to-face as well as entirely online classes. You can find Canvas resources and your login page at: 

How do I access the free WIFI for students and visitors?

Note: Personal routers not allowed

UWL-Eagle (for Students)

Wireless is available throughout campus. UWL-Eagle is a secure wireless network which requires you to enter your NetID and password. This should be your default wireless network for full access. See

UWL-Guest (for Visitors and Smart Devices)

UWL-Guest is available to family, friends and guests for Internet-only access. It should be used for smart devices that do not accept your UWL NetID. i.e. XBox, Playstations, Switch, SmartTV's, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Firesticks, etc...

Where should I backup or store my files?

Students may use Microsoft OneDrive (1 TB), Google Drive (30GB). Online files can be accessed using your NetID from campus computers, from home, and as read-only files online. More info at

What, where and how do I print?

You may print remotely to multiple printers on campus from your computer using your NetID. More info at Printing - Student Printing - Pay for Print (Academic Year 2024-2025)

What is Phishing?

Sometimes you may receive "phishy" or spam-like emails sent to your UWL email account. Thus, we encourage UWL students to be on the lookout for potential phishing attacks and emails. More info at Phishing - How to Spot a Phishing Email.

Need Help?
 Contact the Eagle Help Desk 

Keywordsstudent, technology, guide, tech, new, UWL, NetID, account, password, canvas, wings, mobile, virtual desktop, printing, online file storage, antivirus, malware, software, computer purchasing advice, wireless, access, UWL Eagle, productivity tools, Microsoft, Office, 365,Pro Plus, purchases, Okta, information, ID, number, zoom, faq, frequently, asked, questions   Doc ID91037
OwnerDavid H.GroupUW-La Crosse
Created2019-04-15 08:56:54Updated2024-07-19 15:48:23
SitesUW-La Crosse
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