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Get Started: Before You Arrive

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What to pack?

There are many computing options on campus, so you don’t have to bring your own computer to get work done. If you do intend to bring a device, we recommend bringing the following items:

  • Computer
  • Charger
  • Sleeve or case to protect your device
  • Multi-outlet power strip
  • External hard drive (1 TB) to backup your computer, in addition to setting up cloud backup system

Both Macs and Windows are used and supported on campus, and public computer clusters include both operating systems. It's also wise to add an extended warranty to your devices.

If you own or require adaptive computing equipment, contact the Office of Accessible Education. They will advise you on system configurations and resources available to students with disabilities. You can reach out to them at or call (650) 723-1066.

What not to pack?

Stanford maintains a regularly updated record of devices known for their inability to connect the Stanford network as intended or that are prohibited for use on the Stanford network. Fortunately, it's not a very long list. Review Unsupported Devices FAQ here.

Are you buying a new computer?

If you don't want to wait and are looking for deals, be sure to check out your options for special educational pricing for Stanford students at the Stanford Bookstore's Cardinal Computing Center.

With varying requirements for different software and majors, we cannot specify the technical specifications. You can consult with a Peer Technology Specialist for help.