Information for Entering Students

Welcome to The Dartmouth Institute! Listed below are computing requirements for what you’ll need to bring with you, or obtain, in order to be successful in the program. At the end is also a list of services we provide to all students free of charge. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. Also, please check here for computing news and alerts that affect the TDI community.

At Least Two Weeks Before Orientation


You will need a laptop that has a wireless card, webcam, at least 8GB of RAM, and an Intel Core Processor (i5 or i7). If you don’t have one, or want to upgrade, please let us know if you need help with deciding what to purchase. We can help you find the right laptop and make sure you receive any and all appropriate student discounts.

Operating System

Please make sure that your laptop has one of the latest versions of the Windows or Mac operating systems. The current acceptable versions are Windows 7 and 8.1 or Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) and 10.11 (El Capitan).


Many of Dartmouth’s systems (Banner, VPN, etc.) work best with Firefox. If you don’t already have it, you can download it here.

Immediately After Getting Your Dartmouth Email Address

Once you have your Dartmouth email address, netID, and password, you’re able to access free downloads of Office, access Dartmouth resources via VPN, and install Symantec anti-virus software. All the following software must be installed before orientation.

NOTE: If your laptop is owned by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), you will need to request Administrator rights to install the printer driver, VPN, and the settings to connect to Dartmouth Secure. Office and anti-virus software should already be installed.

Microsoft Office

Dartmouth has changed how it licenses Microsoft products as of July 1st, 2014. The licensing will allow ALL Dartmouth community members to download Office on up to five devices (for free). You will need an Internet connection and your netID/password to be able to install the software. Instructional videos can be found here for Windows and here for Mac. Step-by-step instructions can be found here.

Anti-virus Software

Symantec anti-virus software is available to download for free. It works on Mac OS 10.9 and Windows 7 (32-bit) and (64-bit). Windows 8/8.1 has a built-in solution called Windows Defender. If you want something with better capabilities, we recommend a software solution from either ESET or Avast.


Accidents happen. That’s why we require you to have either an external hard drive or use an online backup service.

Some recommended drives are:

Some recommended backup services are:

Dartmouth Secure (Wireless)

Dartmouth and DHMC have several wireless networks. Dartmouth Secure is available on campus, at Novell, and at DHMC, so it is preferred. It is fast and all data traveling over it is encrypted. For instructions on connecting your Windows or Mac computer, please click here.


There is a printer available for all students in the kitchen on the 1st floor of the Novell building. Instructions for connecting your Windows or Mac laptop to it can be found here.


Virtual Private Networking (VPN) allows you to connect to resources normally reserved only to people on campus by creating a secure tunnel between your laptop and the campus network. It doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll get access to Biomedical Library resources and more. To use VPN, visit Dartmouth’s VPN Service Overview page here and follow the instructions to access the VPN via a web browser or to download and install for your computer.

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