Your Computer & ResNet

Many students living in Purdue's student residences have questions about using computers in their rooms and apartments. Here is some advice from the manager for Purdue Housing and Food Services' Residence Hall Network Service (ResNet).

A primary objective in the University's strategic plan for developing information technology facilities is to create a state-of-the-art data network that is fully accessible to all members of the University community. Over the past several years we have undertaken and completed several major network development projects to provide network access from all university buildings, including the ResNet system in the on-campus student residences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ResNet?

ResNet is a service that allows you to connect your personal computer to the campus network using an industry standard 10/100 switched Ethernet connection. The service also provides a shared connection to the Internet and is the service used by most students living in the residence halls and university-operated apartments.

Visit My.ResNet and the My.ResNet Knowledge Base

Apply to be a ResNet computer consultant

Is wireless internet access available at Purdue?

Purdue offers wireless computing services in academic buildings and other public areas. All residence hall public lounges and activity areas currently provide wireless network services. Student rooms in the residence halls do not have wireless service, but do have the wired ResNet service. A standard wireless router can also be hooked up to ResNet. These can be purchased at many retail electronic stores.

For more information about wireless access around campus, please visit Purdue AirLink (PAL).

Is it necessary to bring a computer to Purdue?

You do not have to bring a computer to campus, and Purdue does not require students to own computers, but most students do. All residence units have printer kiosks utilizing laser printers and computer labs can be found throughout campus. About 3,000 additional computers are available in public computer labs located throughout campus. Because of the wireless service, the laptop computer is an increasingly popular option since it can be used in your room with ResNet and in other areas with wireless services if it is equipped with both an Ethernet card and a wireless network card.

If I want my own computer, when and where should I purchase it?

If you don’t own a computer now, consider waiting to see what your computer needs will be. Once classes start and you have an idea of how much space you have in your residence room, you will be better prepared to make computer equipment and software decisions. You may buy your computer from a dealer near Purdue, a mail order firm, or a retailer at home. Purdue does not sell computers, but does have some agreements you can read about.

How do I connect my computer at Purdue?

There are two ways to do this:

ResNet Service
  • This is the wired connection in your room or apartment. It uses the same Ethernet technology that is used in campus computer labs and staff offices.
  • Computer labs do provide software on the computers, and some special class accounts are only accessible from lab computers. You must equip your computer with at least a 10Base-T Ethernet adapter and a category 5 Ethernet cable with RJ45 connectors on both ends in order to connect from your computer to the wall connection.
  • There is one connection available for you and one for your roommate.
  • Multiple residents may not share a connection.
  • Purdue Village apartments provide ResNet service using ADSL technology. That system uses the room phone line for the computer signa/rl, but the room phone remains fully usable for incoming and outgoing calls, even when the computer is in use. The ADSL modem required to utilize this service is provided by Purdue Village as part of the ResNet program. You still need a wired Ethernet network card as described above.
Wireless service (This service is also known as PAL)
  • Not available in student rooms and apartments, but it is available in public areas of the residence halls and in most academic buildings on campus. This service requires a wireless network card that is described on the next page.
  • There is no charge for wireless service.
  • For more information about wireless access around campus, please visit Purdue AirLink (PAL).
What kind of computer do I need to connect to Purdue's network?

For most people, adequate performance means being able to run applications that support their education and information needs. Unfortunately, many older computers do not do that well. If you have a computer that you have bought within the last three years, it should be adequate to effectively use the ResNet system.

What kind of ethernet adapters should I get for my computer?

All new computers include a wired Ethernet adapter. If you have an older computer that does not have one, there are many brands on the market that work well. The basic requirement is that it be designed to fit your computer and support a 10/100 Ethernet network connection. A gigabit Ethernet adapter is backwards compatible to the 10/100 standard and works fine on ResNet.  For most cases, a USB Plug and Play Ethernet adapter will be best for older PCs lacking a wired Ethernet adapter.

If you have a laptop and will be using the Purdue wireless service (PAL), you will also need a wireless network card. The wireless standard Purdue has adopted is 802.11g, so your laptop or handheld device will need a wireless network card that follows that standard. If you plan to use your computer in your room with ResNet, and with wireless networking in other areas of the campus, you will need to have both a wired and a wireless network card on your laptop. If you are buying a new laptop to bring to school, you can probably buy it equipped with both types of network cards already built in. You also have the option of configuring your own wireless router in your room to provide wireless connectivity.

How do I install my hardware and software?

To connect to the ResNet service, all you need to do is plug your Ethernet cable into your computer, plug the other end into the wall port, and turn your computer on.  We have a help desk and employees called Residential Computing Consultants (RCCs) who can help you get connected if you encounter problems. Read more information or call the ResNet Help Desk at (765) 494-2200. Read additional information about wireless computing.”

What else do I need to know?

Don’t load up on software for your computer before you come to Purdue. Purdue has a contract with Microsoft that offers selected software to staff and students at very attractive prices. Read more about the Microsoft agreement.

ResNet will be provided at no additional charge.

Purdue has many policies related to the use of computing facilities. Even though you are using your own computer, you are using Purdue’s network facilities. Please read, understand, and abide by all laws and policies regarding the standards at Purdue. Failure to comply with these laws and policies has consequences. Read more about our policies.

Subscribing to ResNet service does not imply an unlimited network connection. ResNet is a resource that is shared with other subscribers. Uses or applications that inhibit or interfere with use of ResNet service by other users are inappropriate. For example, uses that take up an unusually high portion of the bandwidth for extended periods of time may cause us to filter your use of the Internet to control use and allow others fair access. Use of academic resources on Purdue computers should not be affected by these restrictions.

How do I properly secure my computer?

Please visit SecurePurdue for additional security resources.

What if I still have questions?

Email Information Technology ResNet Services Office

View University Residences Computer Guidelines