Your Computer & ResNet

COVID Related Connection Notice: Due to the increased online academic curriculum and requirements, it is highly recommended that students bring Ethernet cables to hard wire their computers for uninterrupted connectivity in the residence halls. For most rooms, a 20-30 ft. Ethernet cable will suffice. Students with devices lacking a built-in Ethernet jack will also need a USB to RJ45/Ethernet adaptor. 

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is ResNet?

ResNet is a service that allows you to connect your personal devices to the campus network either wirelessly with PAL3.0 or by using an industry standard 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. You can also connect directly to campus via VPN. For more information about how to connect, visit GoldAnswers at

Visit for how to connect your devices to the wireless network.

Visit for connection information for your gaming systems.

Is wireless internet access available at Purdue?

Purdue offers PAL3.0 in residence hall rooms as well as the wired ResNet service.  Also, Purdue has wireless services in academic buildings and other public areas. All residence hall public lounges and activity areas currently provide wireless network services. You do not need to purchase a wireless router for your room as they can cause interference with the PAL3.0 network.

Visit for how to connect your devices to the wireless network.

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, laptops and tablets are increasingly popular options since they can be used in your room with ResNet and in other areas with wireless services (if the device is equipped with both an Ethernet card for the wired network and a wireless network card for PAL3.0).

If I want my own computer, 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.  Certain degree programs set computing recommendation or requirements.  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:

Wireless Service (This service is also known as PAL)
  • Now available in student rooms and apartments, as well as 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.
  • Visit for how to connect your devices to the wireless network
ResNet Wired 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.
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.

How do I install my hardware and software?

If you have a laptop and will be using the Purdue wireless service (PAL), you will also need a wireless network card.  Most new computers have a wireless card built in. 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.  Visit for how to connect your devices to the wireless network.

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. 

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 for free or reduced pricing.

ResNet is 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 our acceptable use policy for ResNet here

Subscribing to the 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.

What if I still have questions?

Email Information Technology ResNet Services Office

View University Residences Computer Guidelines