/ Computing and Information Technology

Personal Devices

All housing and campus buildings have Wi-Fi coverage. We support connecting any device to our network that doesn't compromise the integrity of the service. This guide is everything you need to know about bringing your smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, streaming devices and everything else to campus!

Smartphones and Tablets

Choosing between Android and iOS phones is entirely up to personal preference, and both are 100% supported by our Wi-Fi network and classroom requirements.

Cellular network coverage can vary from city to city, or even from city block to city block. We don't have any control over carrier signal strength in the city of Holland, but if you are having issues with cell phone coverage, these steps may help:

  • Enable Wi-Fi Calling on your Android or iOS device to make phone calls over the campus network
  • If you're still having trouble, try disabling HD Voice and/or VoLTE on Android or iOS

Laptops and Desktops

Recommendations

New students, faculty and staff often ask us for recommendations on what computer to buy. While there's no right answer, we do have a couple of general suggestions.

A typical laptop lasts around five years or so. A laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) is ideal because SSDs have no moving parts. Laptops tend to get bumped around a lot. SSDs are also much faster than regular spinning hard drives.

Computer recommendation examples 

Free Personal Computer Repair

Are you getting a lot of pop-ups lately? Is your computer running slow? Macbook giving you a sad face? We can help! While we can't promise that we can fix every issue, we have trained staff on hand that are here for you.

Diagnosis and minor fix-ups are free to all Hope College faculty, staff and students.

Computer drop-off hours are during CIT's regular business hours available in the left sidebar. Diagnosis and repair times vary depending on the time of the year.

Streaming Media

Nearly all students who consume TV do so over the internet via streaming services on their personal devices. We make an effort to support as many of these devices as possible on our network. In addition, many residential common areas have live cable TV available.

Supported TVs

✔ SMART TV WITH WIFI

Most Smart TV operating systems should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Smart TV with WiFi

✘ CHROMECAST BUILT-IN

Smart TVs that advertise using “Chromecast Built-in” will not work because Chromecast is not enabled on our network. See the Chromecast section below for more information.

Chromecast Built-in

✔ OVER THE AIR ANTENNAS

Some students have had good luck pulling in local channels using an over-the-air HD antenna. Your results may vary depending on your residence hall or cottage location. Make sure you have a TV with a tuner (a coax jack, pictured below). If yours does not, you could purchase an antenna digital converter box and connect it to your TV via HDMI. Let us know if you have any issues!

Coaxial Jack

OTA Antenna

Streaming Devices

✔ AMAZON FIRE STICK/FIRE TV

Should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Amazon Fire Stick

✔ APPLE TV

Should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Apple TV

✔ ROKU

Using the Roku mobile app to control the Roku is not supported on our network, but the rest of the functionality should work without a problem. Every Roku model comes with a remote that will work just fine. Let us know if you have any issues!

Roku

✘ CHROMECAST

Unfortunately, the Chromecast will not work at Hope and most other colleges.

Chromecasts are designed for home networks and do not work well on a large network like Hope College’s. The protocol that they use would slow a network like ours down dramatically, and was not designed with the security measures necessary for use on large networks. They allow anyone with a connected device to take over your streaming at any time.

Chromecast

Speakers

✔ BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS

Should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Bluetooth Speaker

✔ GOOGLE HOME DEVICES

The device's Chromecast functionality doesn't work on our network, as well as controlling the device via the Google Home app. See the Chromecast section above for more information. Voice commands and all streaming functionality should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Google Home

✔ AMAZON ECHO DEVICES

Should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Amazon Echo Family

✘ SONOS

Sonos speakers are designed for home networks and do not work well on a large network like Hope College’s.

Sonos Family

Gaming Consoles

✔ XBOX ONE/ONE S/ONE X

Should work without a problem using WiFi. Ethernet ports in residence halls are not active at this time. Let us know if you have any issues!

Xbox One

✔ XBOX 360/360 E/360 X

Should work without a problem using WiFi. Ethernet ports in residence halls are not active at this time. The Xbox 360 E and 360 S have built-in WiFi and will work out of the box. The original Xbox 360 will need an Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Adapter to properly connect. Let us know if you have any issues!

Xbox 360

✔ PLAYSTATION 3/PLAYSTATION 4

Should work without a problem using WiFi. Ethernet ports in residence halls are not active at this time. The original 20GB PS3 does not have WiFi, and will need a USB WiFi dongle to properly connect. Later Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 consoles should all work properly out of the box. Let us know if you have any issues!

Playstation 3 and Playstation 4

✔ NINTENDO SWITCH/SWITCH LITE

Should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Nintendo Switch

✔ NINTENDO WII U

Should work without a problem. Let us know if you have any issues!

Nintendo Wii U

✘ NINTENDO WII

The Wii can play games from the disc, but Wiis are unable to connect to the internet on campus. The Wii uses older Wi-Fi technology, and if we enabled it on the wireless network, it would slow down all the other devices in the area. For the benefit of other devices, we have turned off the necessary service on the wireless network.

Nintendo Wii

Streaming Services

In addition to the Cable TV available in most residential common areas, the internet at Hope College is ready to handle streaming video. Here are some of the popular services that students at Hope tend to like.

SPOTIFY + HULU + SHOWTIME FOR STUDENTS – $5 per month

Spotify now offers a severely discounted combined student subscription. All you have to do is verify that you currently attend Hope! Hulu was founded a couple of years ago by several of the big television networks coming together to offer an on-demand subscription service for their catalog of past shows. Most back-catalogs are available in their content library a year after they air.

Learn more about Spotify + Hulu + Showtime for Students 

HULU + DISNEY+ + ESPN+ – $13 per month

While not exclusive to students, Disney now offers a bundle of their services that includes ad-supported Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ for streaming content. Up to 4 devices can stream at the same time on Disney+, which is also available standalone for $7 per month.

View Disney+ plans 

NETFLIX – $9/$13/$16 per month

Netflix is the most popular video streaming service on our network. At peak traffic times, Netflix usage can be upwards of 70% of the entire internet usage at Hope! That's a lot of students avoiding homework. There are several monthly plans available that offer more concurrent users and higher quality content, and the first month is free.

View Netflix plans 

HBO MAX – $15 per month

HBO Now and HBO Go have combined to a new service, HOB Max. HBO Max is a subscription service to get access to only HBO's library of shows. If you want to catch up on the latest Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Westworld, and more, this is the only way to do so.

More information on HBO Now 

AMAZON PRIME VIDEO – $59 per year

Amazon Prime has a surprisingly large video library included with every Prime membership. And because you're a student at Hope, you qualify for an Amazon Prime Student membership! This deal includes 50% off the standard $119/year cost, plus a six month free trial to see if you like it.

View the Amazon Prime Student plan 

SLING TV – $30 per month

Sling is a streaming replacement for traditional live cable TV. They have two plans, perfectly named the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans. Take a look at their channel listing page to see if Sling has what you're looking for.

View Sling TV plans 

YOUTUBE TV – $65 per month

Not to be confused with YouTube Premium, which is the paid ad-free YouTube service. YouTube TV is a streaming replacement for traditional live cable TV, and allows sharing with up to six accounts for roommates or family members (with up to three simultaneous people streaming at once). Most of the major TV network channels are included, as well as unlimited cloud-based DVR.

More information on YouTube TV 

NETWORK WEBSITES

Most major networks (such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, TLC and even Adult Swim) let you watch shows directly on their website. These are often ad-supported, and some require you to log in with an account associated with a cable TV subscription. Many students on campus have friends and family with accounts that they share.

Smart Home Devices

There are thousands of Internet of Things ("IoT") devices available today, and the number keeps growing. We have had mixed success connecting these devices to a large network environment like Hope College's. In general, if the device has been designed to talk directly from one device to another (such as from your phone to a speaker or light bulb) over your home network, it will not work correctly on our network. This includes devices like Chromecast or Sonos. If your device uses a centralized cloud service as a middleman, it may work, although we unfortunately can't officially provide support for the myriad of devices and services available.