Students are very happy with the quality and quantity of computing resources at Stanford. The network is reasonably fast, and there are many well-maintained labs. Students generally recommend bringing your own computer—in particular, a laptop. However, if you don’t bring one, you’ll still be OK. The campus is heavily wired, and there are plenty of technical people around to help if you have problems. Every dorm and house includes a staff member called the Residential Computer Consultant, who is hired to help residents keep their computers running.
Stanford’s Internet services might actually be considered a bit slow, given the Silicon Valley location and heavy emphasis on computing. There are occasional outages, and sometimes bandwidth is a bit scarce for connecting to the outside world. For most regular users, however, the network will be more than sufficient. It should be noted that the local area network is excellent. Most residents in the dorms are using iTunes these days, so there’s always interesting music floating around. In addition, the computer labs are state-of-the-art. There is definitely an emphasis on Mac over PC, but PCs can still be found. It is also great to have a computer cluster right in your own dorm, which you can use any time your roommate is making too much noise, your computer is having a problem, or if you don’t have your own printer. Also, Stanford’s UNIX lab is truly top-notch. For engineering classes, you will most likely work directly from Sweet Hall on the various UNIX/Linux boxes, or you can connect remotely from your own computer to use them.