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Recommended Technology for Online Learning



The Information Technology department has put together a short list of recommended computing (hardware and software) resources to provide the best possible experience while learning online.

Technology Checklist 

☑  Bandwidth and Internet requirements (1.2Mbps or more up and downstream)

☑  Computing requirements (minimum 10th generation i5 or i7, 8Gb+ RAM, 256 SSD disk) 

☑  Web cam (720p or better)

☑  Microphone (We recommend a noise-cancelling microphone) 

☑  Anti-virus software (Windows Defender, ESET, MalwareBytes) 

☑  Supported browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

☑  VPN (Cisco VPN) 


Computing device

The Information technology department recommends that students make use of a laptop or portable device in lieu of a desktop computer in order to better adapt to changing conditions and anticipate that portability in this remote time will be most important.  

Generally we recommend that Windows/PC based laptops be equipped with an i7 processor, have at least 8Gb of RAM and have storage capacity equal to or in excess of 256Gb, solid state storage (SSD) preferred. 

While the less expensive and slower i5 processor might suffice for certain disciplines and programs, we still recommend the i7 to future proof and ensure that any/all of the software that you may need during your years of study at Laurentian will run without performance issues. 


Shopping for a new laptop and need a recommendation on a model? We’ve gathered a list of Dell, Apple and Lenovo devices for you below.

Wondering whether to get a Mac or PC? Choose whichever one works for you, both are supported by the University and you will be able to learn and access the same softwares and services from either platform. 


We highly recommend that you opt for a Dell if you’re interested in buying a Windows based laptop as we have partnered with the vendor to offer a deep discount for Laurentian students. You can access this discount by visiting and following the onscreen instructions.







Latitude 3510




Precision 3551




Chromebook 3100



Chromebook 3100 2in1



13-inch MacBook Air




300e Chromebook 2in1



ThinkPad L14




ThinkPad P14s




100e Chromebook



Webcams & Microphones 


If you’ve decided to buy one of the computing devices above, you’re all set as they already have a built-in webcam. We do however recommend that you get yourself a good pair of noise cancelling headphones with a microphone 

If you don’t have a built-in microphone and webcam in your laptop or computing device, or would like to add to your current setup, we recommend that one of the following items: 

The following are available from Amazon, Best Buy, Staples or direct from the manufacturer.



Logitech C920S

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 


Headphones and Microphone combination




Recommended and mandatory software

If you’ve opted for a Windows based PC, you will need to ensure to have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed. You can either use the Windows 10 Microsoft Defender Antivirus that comes free with your Windows device or use a commercial alternative like ESET and MalwareBytes .


Please note that Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft and will not be supported by IT. You will need to update your device to Window 10 to be able to connect and receive support from the Information Technology department. 


As the majority of the services you will assess for your courses are web-based (e.g the Desire2Learn learning management system, the myLaurentian and Self-service portals etc) you need to ensure that you’re using the most recent and stable version of a supported web browser. We recommend that you use: 

Google Chrome (version 84 or higher)

Mozilla Firefox (version 79 or higher)

Microsoft Edge (version 84 or higher)


Bandwidth and Internet services at home


We recommend a broadband connection over wireless, wired or 3G/4G/LTE, with a minimum connection speed of 1.2Mbps (up-down). 

If you’re unsure about what speed of connection you have, you can use the following website to test your speed: 


Please note that you’ll want to test the speed at various times of the day and take the average of all results. You should also ensure, whenever possible, that you stop any other transfers during the test (e.g pause your Netflix / Youtube, disconnect from Spotify etc).

You can also test your existing connection at home, and the use of your webcam and microphone, using the “join a test meeting” using the Zoom website:




And finally, once you’ve got everything else figured out, you’ll need one last piece of software in order to access resources that are normally only accessible from campus. The VPN (virtual private network) will create a secure and encrypted connection from your laptop or computing device to the Laurentian campus and, once connected, give you access to on-campus software that you may need for your labs and coursework. 

You can get the VPN software from the and follow the instructions on the screen. 

Still have questions or concerns? Talk to us, we’re available from 9 to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, using the live chat , by email at or by calling us at 705-675-1151 extension 2200.