CoE Laptop FAQ for Students

As a College of Engineering student at UW-Madison, you have access to various resources to get the most out of your laptop. Below is a list of common questions and answers about how to leverage and maintain your laptop for school. If you have any additional questions, please contact the CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) Helpdesk, and they will direct you to the right resources. You can reach the CAE Helpdesk from the CAE website (, email at, or by walking in at 1410 Engineering Drive, room 116.

What laptop should I buy? Do I need to buy a new laptop?


You should own a laptop that runs Windows 10 or 11 (Education or Pro). More information can be found here:


How do I keep my laptop secure?

The College of Engineering follows UW Madison guidelines for computing security. Being vigilant about security is critical for your own safety. Please take time to review the campus responsible use policy:


How do I get my laptop onto the campus wireless network/ access the Internet?


The University offers two ways to connect to the campus wireless network: UWNet and Eduroam. While both will get you connected, we suggest that you use Eduroam, as it is more secure than UWNet and it will allow you to connect to any institution worldwide that participates in the Eduroam network.  


For information on how to access UWNet, please follow this link:

For information on how to access Eduroam, please follow this link:  


What if I need to connect to the campus network from off-campus?


Some of the resources that you will need to access through your CAE account, such as file space (, can be reached through the UW campus network. Other access, such as “tethered” software (see below) will require the use of VPN. Graduate students will also need VPN in order to reach research clusters and other CoE resources. Information on installing and running the College of Engineering’s VPN utility can be found here:


What software is available to me, and how do I get it?


As a student of the University of Wisconsin, you have access to the Campus Software Library. In addition, college of Engineering students are also able to log on to XenApp, a server-based platform where you can remotely find many engineering software titles. In addition, you will be able to log into the Azure for Teaching program, using your CAE credentials.


    • The Campus Software Library ( provides a list of software that is licensed for installation on personal computers. Access to each title is based on your status with the University (undergraduate, graduate, faculty/staff). Please note that some of the software may have restrictions governing where you can use it, for what purpose, and/or may only be installed on UW owned machines.

    • XenApp ( is a server-based application delivery system where students can log onto a website and remotely access many of the engineering software titles that they will need for class. XenApp is useful for applications that are not licensed for use on personal machines, as well as very large programs that can be demanding for a laptop.

  • Azure for Teaching( Here, you can find many Microsoft programs for use on your own machines. While Office is not on the list of free titles available from Azure, Project, Visio, Windows (multiple versions) and Windows Server are all available. If you own a Macintosh computer, you can download a copy of Windows to install using Boot Camp.

Can I print from my laptop?


Yes! The printers in CAE labs are accessible using Mobility Print. Directions can be found here:

What about backing up my data?


The data and documents on your laptop for your coursework are important to your life as a student. A personal backup solution is up to you. CAE does offer a limited amount of personal storage that is mapped to your account on the CAE lab machines, which is backed up daily. You may choose to store important files there. It can be accessed remotely using ( In addition to the CAE filespace, the UW Madison offers several cloud storage options. We recommend using the UW Box Sync service to keep your data backed up. One benefit of this is that your Box files will be available in the CAE labs using the Kumo service.


Options include:


How do I share files with others?


Where can I get support?


The best place for do-it-yourself help is the CAE Knowledge Base ( You can easily search the KB from the CAE homepage as well.

If you need help from a real person, you can always start with the CAE Helpdesk. If they don’t know the answer, they will do their best to point you in the right direction!

Contact the CAE help desk:


DoIT help desk:


See Also:

Keywords:laptop software security wireless wifi network printing print support   Doc ID:65924
Owner:Noel K.Group:Computer-Aided Engineering
Created:2016-08-09 15:04 CDTUpdated:2022-08-24 10:41 CDT
Sites:Computer-Aided Engineering
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