First Days Computing Guide

Please read the important guides below regarding college accounts, getting your computer on the network, computer security and other fun and important information that will help you get online quickly and safely at Williams.

If you have not purchased a computer for use while you are at Williams see: Student Technology guide

Once you have your computer you can do some preparation before you arrive on campus by following guides below. This will save you the hassle of doing it during first days. If you have any trouble you can email [email protected]. When possible please use your Williams email address to contact OIT.

You can visit or call us as well.

  • Stop by the Student Support Desk at the Center for Educational Technology (CET) on the second floor of Sawyer Library
  • Call x3088 (413-597-3088 from off-campus)

Hours during First-Days

The scheduled hours for the Student Help Desk in the CET for First Days 2022 are as follows:
  • Tuesday Aug 30 through Friday Sept 2:    8am to 5pm
  • Monday Sept 5  to Sept 8:   8am to 5pm

1. First, please read our Computing Ethics and Responsibilities policy

2. Follow these instructions to get your computer ready to be on the Williams network.

  • Before arriving at Williams

    Secure your computer - Run Windows Updates
    All Windows computers must have current critical updates and anti-virus software.

    • Windows 10 and 11: Start menu > Settings > Update & Security or Windows Update

    You will need anti-virus software on your PC - if you have Windows 10 or 11 then the built-in Windows Defender software is fine.  If you'd like a different anti-virus we recommend Sophos Home (free) edition:

  • Before arriving at Williams Secure and Update your computer 

    • Run OS updates on your Mac, go to the Apple menu and choose Software Update. Or for newer operating systems, System Preferences: Software Update.
    • Install and/or Update Anti-Virus software.  Macs do have built-in protection but if you'd like a different anti-virus we recommend Sophos Home (free) edition:

3. After you arrive on campus connect to our wireless network.

  • Computers, Smart Phones and Tablets can be connected directly to our Wi-Fi network Eduroam – Select the eduroam wireless network and log in with your email address (including the and your email password.  For detailed information about getting on Eduroam see:  Eduroam at Williams
  • Other devices such as Smart TVs, Game Consoles, Streaming Devices and older devices that can not directly connect to the Wi-Fi will need to be registered by OIT:  Wireless device registration
  • Note that not all wireless devices work on a large switched network.  In general devices which “search” for your computer in order to connect will not work.  Wireless devices built for home networks
  • Ethernet (wired) jacks in dorm rooms:  Ethernet jacks in dorm rooms are off by default.  Jacks in common rooms will be on.  To request activation for jacks in your room fill out the Data jack activation in dorms.

Due to the increased need for videoconferencing we recommend having the following:

  • Headphones/earbuds with a microphone
  • Webcam (likely already built into your laptop)

Other important information: