We're glad you're here! University Technology Services (UTS) is the central technology department on campus. We manage the wired and wireless networks, offer discounts on software and provide free technical support. This site has the technology-related information you need to be ready for campus in August, and more!
We know you have tons of information to absorb, so we want to make it easy for you. We would like for you to read all of the information on this page, but we know that may not be your top priority. This Quick List section is a condensed version of what you must know about technology as a new USC student:
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- A computer is recommended, not required. We support all brands. Discounts are available to USC students on Apple and Dell computers.
- Your computer must have antivirus software installed and critical operating system updates must be completed before you can connect to the network.
- Your Network Username and password is your “ticket” for access to most USC systems. For security purposes, you will be required to change the password every six months.
- Microsoft Office is available for free to all students, beginning Fall 2014. More information will be released soon.
- Wireless is available in all buildings and many outdoor areas. Use the uscstudent wireless, not the uscguest network. See the Wireless Network section below for more information and if you have issues with wireless.
- Your computer, gaming system, smartphone, tablet, and other devices can connect to the wireless network.
- You can also connect to the wired network in your residence hall. We recommend a 25-foot Cat6 Ethernet cable.
- Wireless printers are not allowed unless the wireless feature is turned off while the printer is on campus.
- Wireless routers are not allowed.
- Digital media devices, also known as streaming players, are allowed on the wired network. Wireless only streaming devices are not allowed.
- We are here to help with your technology questions and issues. Do not hesitate to contact us at the UTS Service Desk or come by our office.
- The iCARE Center provides free hands on technical support to all students, including virus removal, assistance with network connectivity, software installation and more.
- A computer is not required, but highly recommended. The USC network will support all brands of computers, but if you plan to purchase a new computer, we recommend you consider the student discounts available from Apple and Dell. When purchasing a computer from Dell, make sure to use the USC membership number (US11129897) to get your discount. To get education prices at Apple, take your CarolinaCard with you to any Apple Store or go to the Apple Education Store online. For more information and the back-to-school discount promotions, click here.
- If you are bringing a computer from home, please refer to the minimum computer recommendations to ensure your computer has the minimum configuration needed to connect to the network.
- Antivirus software must be installed and updated on your computer before you can connect it to the university network. You can have a UTS technician install a free program on Move-In Weekend, you can download and install a free antivirus software from numerous locations online, or you can purchase software from a retail store. For more information, see the Software section below.
- Operating system updates and software patches must be installed on your computer before you connect to the university network. You may do this before you come to campus, or UTS can help you on Move-In Weekend.
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A Cat6 Ethernet cable may be used to connect your computer, gaming system, or digital media player to the wired network in your residence hall. A 25-foot Cat6 cable will be sufficient in all residence halls. If you are planning to bring a Cat6 Ethernet cable only because you want a backup for wireless for when wireless goes down, please read the Wireless Network section below.
A computer security lock cable (much like a bicycle cable) may be used to lock your computer. If you are like most of the students we know, you will not use a cable because you do not like to be tethered. We understand, so we must point out that your best defense against computer theft is to always lock your residence hall when you leave your computer in your room. When you take your computer to class or to study at the library, do not leave it unattended. You may also be interested in the anti-theft devices available at the USC Police Department.
Backing up your files is an essential part of owning a computer. If your hard drive crashes or you get a virus, you may easily recover your important documents from a backup. An external drive, flash drive, CD, or a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Cloud may be used to backup your files. We recommend you backup your files on a regular basis.
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Wireless routers are not allowed on the university network. You may connect to wireless in all campus buildings and many outdoor spaces. If you have multiple devices to connect to the network in your residence hall, you can use both the wireless and wired networks. If you are connecting to the wired network and only have one network jack, you can use a network switch (not the same as a wireless router!). A network switch will allow you to connect multiple network devices to a single network jack.
Wireless only printers are not allowed. You may bring a wireless printer if it can connect to your computer via USB cable or Bluetooth, but the wireless option must be turned off.
Digital Media Players that are wireless only are not allowed. These devices, also known as streaming players, must be able to connect to the wired network with a Cat6 Ethernet cable. These devices cannot connect to the wireless network.
Extension cords are not allowed in residence halls. We recommend you bring a surge protector.
There are two software programs that are essential for college - antivirus software and Microsoft Office:
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- As we mentioned previously, antivirus software is required on all computers before they can be connected to the network. You can use any antivirus software as long as it is kept up-to-date. We recommend two free software programs - Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows and Sophos for the Mac. If you do not have antivirus software, you can download one of these (depending upon whether your have Windows or a Mac, of course), you can buy a program at a retail store, or we will install and configure one of these programs on your computer during Move-In Weekend.
- University Technology Services is pleased to announce that Office 365 is now available to all students free of charge. You will now be able to work in the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and much more. You can install your Office 365 on up to five compatible PCs and Macs, plus five tablets (including iPad). All work can be saved online in OneDrive so it can be accessed no matter which device is being used. You can use this Office 365 subscription for as long as you are a student at the University of South Carolina.
To get your Office 365 follow these simple steps:
- Visit Office.com/GetOffice365
- Click through to download & sign in with your credentials
- On the download site, select your language and click install
You will use your USC email account to sign in. If you need assistance, contact the Service Desk at email@example.com or (803) 777-1800.
Once you arrive on campus, you will want to get connected to the campus network. Both wired and wireless is available in your residence hall. Wireless is available in all buildings on campus and in many outdoor spaces, such as the Russell House patio, pool area of the Strom (Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center), and the Horseshoe. Here’s some important information you need to know about campus wireless:
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- When connecting to wireless, you should connect to the uscstudent network. This is a secured network designed to protect you, your computer, your data, the university’s data, and your fellow students. Because this is a secured network, you will be required to log in with your Network Username and password every seven days. This helps to prevent people who are not affiliated with the university (and do not have a Network Username) from accessing our network.
- You should NOT use the uscguest network. The guest wireless network is not secure and does not provide you the level of protection that is on uscstudent. This network was designed to allow a limited number of visitors, like your parents and visiting faculty, who do not have a Network Username to access the Internet while they are on campus. There are a very limited number of connections to uscguest and as more people connect or attempt to connect to it, the greater the likelihood that you will have performance issues such as getting kicked off or having a slow connection. The advantage of using this network is that you do not have to log in every seven days with your Network Username and password. The disadvantages are that you are open to more risks (e.g. viruses or other malware) or you may be denied access to some university systems/data since the network is not secure and you may be disconnected at random or have a slow Internet connection due to the limited number of connections available.
- There is no difference in the connection speed between the wired and wireless networks. Matter-of-fact, there are some areas of campus where the wireless network uses newer technology and is faster than the wired network.
- You do not need to bring a Cat6 Ethernet cable to have a back up when wireless goes down. Wireless is monitored 24x7x365 and the up time is very high. Any down time should be minimal, if you even notice it. Of course, it is technology and it may experience unexpected issues from time to time (e.g. power failure, equipment issue, etc.), but we have the data to prove that wireless does not go down. If you experience issues, first check to make sure you are on the correct wireless network - uscstudent. If you are on uscstudent and still have problems, please contact the UTS Service Desk so our teams can work to resolve the issues.
- Once you select the uscstudent wireless network on your laptop, you will need to open a browser and refresh the page. A USC network page will load. Enter your Network Username and password to confirm that, as a USC student, you have permission to access the secured network. You will need to do this every seven days.
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can connect to the wireless network. Like your computer, you will need to register the device on the network by opening a browser and entering your Network Username and password. You will need to do this every seven days.
- Gaming systems are allowed on the network. The network automatically identifies them by the type of device (PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, etc.) so you do not have to register them with your Network Username and password like you do your computer.
There are currently two main login IDs - VIP ID and Network Username:
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- Your VIP ID is an eight-digit number that has been automatically generated and assigned to you. You use your VIP ID to log in to the student system, Self Service Carolina, at my.sc.edu. Your VIP ID was included in your acceptance letter when you were offered admission to the university. You’re also given access to your VIP ID if you’ve applied for financial aid.
- Your Network Username is an eight-character combination of your first and last names, and it may also include your middle initial and/or numbers. To locate your Network Username or set your password, go to my.sc.edu and sign in using your VIP ID and password.
Your Network Username is used to access your student email, the wired and wireless networks, Blackboard, and some college/department systems. For more information on the Network Username, visit here.
- For more information about your USC IDs, visit my.sc.edu.
There are several systems that you should know and become familiar with - my.sc.edu, Self Service Carolina, student email, and Blackboard:
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- my.sc.edu provides you access to your student information and allows you to manage your student account. When the new student system is completely implemented, this site will be your one-stop student portal. You will log in to Self Service Carolina from my.sc.edu.
- Self Service Carolina (SSC) is the system that you use to manage your personal information and perform many common, day-to-day transactions. To log in to SSC, go to my.sc.edu and sign in using your VIP ID and password.
- The student email system is Microsoft’s online email program. Your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org (substituting your Network Username) and your password is the same as your Network Username password. You can log in online at outlook.com using your complete email address (i.e. email@example.com) and the password for your Network Username.
- Blackboard is our online course management system. A Blackboard course is automatically created for every USC class. Some instructors use it, some don’t. Your instructors will tell you if and how they use Blackboard. They may use it to post the syllabus, grades, and assignments, or to share class documents, conduct quizzes, and more. You log in at blackboard.sc.edu with your Network Username and password.
UTS provides technology support during Move-In Weekend and throughout the year at the Service Desk and iCARE Center. The technology fee you pay in your tuition covers various technology initiatives on campus, including wireless, Blackboard, and the technical support you receive at UTS. There is never a cost to you when you come to us for technical support!
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