Introduction to Computing Resources at Penn for Students

This article contains information to assist students with accessing computing resources at Penn and with getting computing help in residences and schools.

Getting started

Get Connected

To use Penn’s wireless network for the first time, first connect to the AirPennNet-Help network, and then open a web browser. You’ll be redirected to the XpressConnect application and guided through the setup process to configure your computer for wireless access. Thereafter your computer will automatically connect to the AirPennNet wireless network. You can repeat the process on your smartphones and tablets, too.

Get Protected

Download and install Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) free of charge. This will help keep your computer clean and safe from viruses and malware. Penn provides SEP for all current students, faculty, and staff. Everyone needs to have antivirus software installed, even on Macs!

Get Free Software

Penn provides a wide range of recommended software for its users, including Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP). For more information and download links, please see the Connect to Penn article.

Get Help

Every person at Penn has a designated Local Support Provider (LSP) who can help with your computer problems and questions.  To find the correct person for you to contact for support, please see the Student Support Directory.

Wireless at Penn

Wireless network access is provided by the secure AirPennNet wireless network. Valid PennKey authentication is required. Coverage areas include all on-campus residences, some fraternity residences, 
most libraries, various public areas, and other building locations. Additionally, the AirPennNet-Device network is available in on-campus residences to connect Kindle tablets, game consoles, or other devices which aren’t compatible with AirPennNet (separate pre-registration required). A current wireless access coverage map and more information is available here.


PennKey is Penn’s authentication system for access to many Penn electronic resources. For more information about PennKey is available on ISC's PennKey website.

Copyright infringement

Copyright infringement violates Federal law and Penn’s Policy on Unauthorized Copying of Electronic Media. Users found to be infringing on copyrights by illegally sharing music, movies, games, software and other licensed material may be subject to penalties including (but not limited to) fines and/or loss of network privileges. Students may be subject to disciplinary action by the Office of Student Conduct.

For more information on copyright infringement issues 
at Penn, write to

For more information on U.S. copyright law visit the U.S. Copyright Office website.

Campus computer store

The Penn Computer Connection, the University’s own technology store, is your one-stop location for all your computing needs. Shop for the latest notebooks from Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Choose from a wide selection of tablets from Microsoft, Apple, Google, Lenovo, Samsung and others, storage devices, printers, software, and accessories for your tablets and smartphones. Many products are offered with exclusive academic discounts. The Computer Connection is conveniently located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore, next to the PennCard Center, and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Email accounts

Email accounts are generally provided and supported by invidual schools.  To find out who you should contact regarding questions or issues with your email account, please see the Email Specifications by School article.

Computer labs

Penn’s public access computer labs are open to all students with a valid PennCard and PennKey. A list of Penn public labs is available here.  In addition, many schools have other labs that are limited to their students only. For locations and hours, please contact your school.

Penn Library notebooks

Patrons with borrowing privileges at the Penn Library may borrow wireless equipped notebooks. A complete list of lab and notebook resources in the libraries is available here.

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Date Posted: August 19, 2013 Tags: Student Services, Computing Resources, Introduction

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