Technology & Remote Access

Access to technology and a reliable internet connection are just two of the things you need when working remotely. Here are our recommendations for you during this period of remote operations at the university.

Teleconferencing

The use of unsupported technology tools, such as Zoom, presents additional and unnecessary financial, legal, privacy, and security risks to the university during this unprecedented public health emergency.

Technology experts from across the university continue to contribute links to information and helpful guidance about a variety of available tools including Teams (Microsoft) and WebEx (Cisco).

IT@UC added WebEx Teaching and Learning Remotely FAQs to support you and your colleagues.

Computer Hardware

IT@UC generally recommends using a computer that is four-years old or newer to ensure a smooth online experience. 

Minimum Hardware

  • Updated Windows 10 (or above) 64-bit operating system
  • Intel i5 or AMD A10 1.6 gigahertz (or faster) processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 6.0 GB of available disc space to install Microsoft Office 365, Kaltura Capture, and WebEx Meetings
  • 1280 x 768 screen resolution
  • Graphics hardware acceleration requires DirectX 9 or later version with WDDM 2.0 or higher for Windows 10 (or WDDM 1.3 or higher for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update)
  • Broadband connection that supports 5 Mbps or higher

Minimum Hardware   

  • macOS 10.13 High Sierra (or above) operating system
  • Intel i5 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 12 GB of available disk space to install Microsoft Office 365, Kaltura Capture, and WebEx Meetings. HFS+ hard disk format (also known as macOS Extended or APFS)
  • 1280 x 800 screen resolution
  • No graphics requirements
  • Webcam with microphone
  • Broadband connection that supports 5 Mbps or higher

The NEXT Apprenticeship Program will provide any student who does not have appropriate technology to complete their course work with laptop computers. Students will be able to check out these computers and utilize them during this time of need.

Please know that this is open to ALL students and you do not need to be an IT or Tech major to take advantage of this program.

  • Compete a NEXT Apprenticeship Program sign-up form to check out a computer.
  • Email Aaron.Burdette@uc.edu with any questions about borrowing a laptop.
  • View more information about the NEXT Apprenticeship Program.

Free and reduced-cost internet access

Although UC does not promote or endorse any specific vendor, if you need internet access, one of these options may be right for you.

All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. AT&T is also offering internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.

*AT&T consumer home internet is not available in the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area.

Charter offers free Spectrum broadband and WiFi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. In addition, Spectrum WiFi hotspots will be open for public use.

  • Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll.
  • View a map of Spectrum WiFi hotspots.

Comcast is providing new customers 60 days of complimentary its Internet Essentials service and free access to Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country to anyone who needs them - including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers.  

  • View a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots.

* Comcast Internet Essentials and  Xfinity internet are not available in the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area.

Multiple broadband and telephone service providers have signed a pledge with the FCC to ensure that Americans do not lose their connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads as follows:

Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, this company pledges for the next 60 days to:

  1. Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic
  2. Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic
  3. Open its WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them.

View more about the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

Connecting to WiFi at Home

Setting up secure WiFi at home is easy. The first step is to change the default administrator password, which is usually not very strong.

It is also extremely important that you choose a secure encryption protocol. Encryption protocols are what protect your password, keys, data, and all other types of information sent over the wireless connection. We strongly recommend using WPA-2 (WiFi Protected Access II) or higher and disabling WPS (WiFi Protected Setup).

At home, we recommend that users:

  • Avoid using a router’s default admin password.
  • Create a strong, unique password for the WiFi connection.
  • Use UC’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working remotely over an unsecured network or when connecting to remote desktop functionality, shared network drives, and UCFlex.
  • Disable WiFi Protected Setup (WPS).
  • Use the best/latest encryption available.
  • Keep the router’s firmware updated (turn on auto-updates if available).

Having trouble with your internet at home? The IT@UC Service Desk recommends taking the following actions.

  • Try resetting your modem/router.
    This is the device that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) issued to you that provides WiFi and wired network within your home. If you have any wireless repeaters/switches or other devices on your network, you can try resetting them as well.
  • If you are using WiFi, try to locate yourself in a room as close to the modem/router as possible.
    WiFi connections lose speed as you move further away and put more objects (like walls and furniture) between your computer and the modem/router.
  • Try restarting your computer.
    Sometimes the source of internet slowness is within the computer itself. If there are a lot of processes running, the computer may slow down and not be able to use its network connections effectively. A reboot can help clear this condition.
  • Still having trouble? Contact your Internet Service Provider.
    If none of this helps and there are multiple devices on your home network experiencing slowdowns, the best thing to do is contact your ISP. They may be experiencing trouble and can help you with additional troubleshooting steps.

Remote access to software

MyDesk provides students, faculty, and staff online access to many of the software tools available in computer labs.

  • 7–Zip
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (*Adobe has provided temporary, remote access to Adobe Creative Cloud through May 31, 2020.)
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Git
  • Google Chrome
  • IBM SPSS Statistics 25
  • Java 8
  • Java SE Development Kit
  • Kaltura Capture 
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Silverlight
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Code
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 Community
  • Mozilla Firefox ESR
  • Notepad++
  • NetBeans 8.2
  • PuTTY
  • Python 3
  • R
  • RStudio
  • Rtools
  • SAS 9.4 
  • VLC Media Player
  • Wepa Print App
  • WinSCP
  • Wolfram Mathematica 12

The following colleges provide virtual access to software for enrolled students. Please select a link from the list below for college IT contact information.

Adobe has provided temporary, at-home access through May 31, 2020, for impacted students and faculty, so that they can continue their work remotely. 

Adobe login screen

Step 1: Visit https://creativecloud.adobe.com and use your school credentials to sign in.

Adobe account selection screen

Step 2: If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your password. Or provide your credentials in your school’s login screen.

Adobe welcome screen

Step 3: From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click Apps on the top of the page to view all apps.

For more information on how to download or install apps, see Download and Install Creative Cloud apps.

Adobe offers free “Daily Creative Challenges.” These are guided projects where participants receive creative prompts and connect with pros, mentors, and other students for feedback and support. Select an app name from the list below to learn more: 

For inspiration and over-the-shoulder learning, watch pros share their creative process on Adobe Live daily at www.behance.net/adobelive.

eTextbooks

UC Bookstore's digital course materials platform, RedShelf, is offering free access to ebooks for students who may have lost access to course materials. 

If you previously accessed textbooks via the library, shared a book with a classmate, or left your books on campus, please visit www.follet.com/RedShelf to access free ebooks.

UC Libraries offers access to thousands of eBooks.

 

If your materials are not available at RedShelf, there are other options.

* You will need a Library Card to access eBooks from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

 

Remote Services for Researchers

Research related to COVID-19 will receive priority access to the high-performance computing resources established by the Advanced Research Computing (ARC) initiative within the Office of Research.

IT@UC Research Computing Services compiled a list of similar opportunities for COVID-19 researchers to fast-track their access to HPC resources across the country.  

*HPC assets may be used for modeling and simulation coupled with machine and deep learning techniques to study a range of areas including:

  • Examining underlying protein structure.
  • Classifying the evolution of the virus.
  • Understanding mutation.
  • Uncovering important differences and similarities with the 2002-2003 SARS virus.
  • Searching for potential vaccine and antiviral compounds.
  • Simulating the spread of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of countermeasure options.

Remote access to the Office of Research HPC cluster requires a VPN connection.

Contact IT@UC Research Computing Services for more information.

*Per the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) Community Notice for Extraordinary Support for COVID-19 Research, March 16, 2020. 

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s COVID-19 HPC Consortium seeks to expedite applications for advanced computing research to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers interested in conducting this timely work are asked to submit research proposals to the COVID-19 Online Portal, which is managed by the NSF XSEDE’s XRAS team.

Research requests, especially those related to the COVID-19 effort, may apply for expedited startup allocations for Jetstream computing resources. Jetstream offers interactivity without batch processing.

Applications must include a three-to-four sentence research description and a vita.  

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) offers unique capabilities that the scientific community may leverage for the COVID-19 response and recovery. Faculty researchers from UC other Ohio higher education institutions are already engaged in these efforts.

Examples of the types of special support OSC can provide include:

  • Priority, unbilled access to OSC computational and storage resources for COVID-19 research.
  • Flexible billing terms and prices for clients anticipating negative economic impacts.
  • Remote, virtual computing lab resources for classroom instructors and educators.
  • Connections to domain experts in academia and industry.

  • View more about available OSC support during COVID-19 crisis

Contact IT@UC Research Computing Services for more information.

Globus helps researchers move and share data with collaborators.

Every institution engaged in COVID-19 research can access all Globus at no cost.

The NSF Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence PilotTrusted CI, and the Science Gateways Community Institute are helping the science community tackle research to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Expert cyberinfrastructure consulting areas include:

  • Data management and visualization
  • Workflow management
  • Use of cloud resources, high-performance clusters, or distributed resources
  • Science gateway technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Compliance

Priority will be given to active projects related to COVID-19; however, proposal-writing assistance is available to support new projects related to the pandemic.

While in-person workshops are suspended, there are still many HPC training resources available remotely.  

Questions? Contact Amy.Latessa@uc.edu