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In preparation for unplanned events, such as inclement weather and public health situations, ITS sends out information intended to help you plan and prepare for alternate work arrangements. Now is a great time to ensure that the tools you may need to work from home or an alternative location are ready to go.

General Information

Technology Checklist for Remote work

  1. List all major work tasks you’ll need to accomplish while working at home. Common ones:
    • Respond to calls and voice messages from people calling your office phone (call forwarding)
    • Use email and calendar (Office 365)
    • Work on documents on your own or to share with others (Office 365)
    • Save files in a location accessible from both work and home (OneDrive or Teams)
    • Participate in meetings, webinar events or classes (Zoom)
    • Stay connected with coworkers using instant messaging or chats (Zoom or Teams)
    • Teach class or participate as a student in class (Zoom and Sakai)
    • Use any of the major campus applications (ConnectCarolina and others)
    • Complete timecard information (TIM)
    • Access applications on your office or other UNC computer from a device at home (request “remote desktop” access from your IT support)
    • Use UNC tools to manage security while working remotely (VPN, DUO, Authenticator)
  1. List and set up UNC tools you need to connect securely from home:
    • VPN (needed for W-2 & pay stub and other ConnectCarolina functions as well as campus storage such as storage.unc.edu and secnas.unc.edu)
    • 2-Step using DUO (needed for VPN)
    • 2-Step using Authenticator (needed for Office 365)
  1. Identify all device(s) you’ll use:
    • University laptop or desktop assigned to you
    • If available, a university loaner that your IT support group provides
    • Persona laptop or desktop – must have up-to-date patching and antivirus
    • Tablet
    • Phone (Instructions for accessing your voicemail remotely can be found here)
    • Printer
  1. Request/install licenses or accounts for additional tools you need:
    • VPN
    • Zoom (needed to organize meetings, but not to participate in meetings organized by others)
    • Sakai
  1. Determine what additional items you’ll need in your work environment:
    • Internet connection – note that connections may be affected by heavy traffic volume, no matter your location
    • Cellular phone service
    • Webcam for Zoom (built-in or external)
    • Headset for Zoom

Get ready by accessing the links on this web page or by contacting help.unc.edu, 962-HELP or SONHelp at 919-966-3388,

Zoom Instructions

Recommended Campus Resources

When to use VPN

Applications VPN Required
Office 365 applications including Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook No
Citrix Workspace No
Zoom No
Remote Desktop Yes
Connecting to I: S: Y: Drive Yes
ConnectCarolina- paystubs, W2 and financial data, TIM Yes
Sakai No
Web Site Editing (Drupal or WordPress) No

Guidance for Off-Campus Internet Service During

The ability to work remotely and/or participate in remote academic activity typically requires access to the internet and, in some cases, faster access than what is readily available. For many individuals, this level of service requires a monthly fee that you would prefer to avoid. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly brought this issue to light for many of our students, faculty, and staff.

Thanks to the support of the FCC and many Internet Service Providers, the issue can usually be addressed at no additional cost to our community members. The following is a list of potential solutions that may help you be more connected from home and thereby helping UNC to achieve our social-distancing goal.

Option 1: Improve Your Current Internet Service

You may already have internet service at home through your Cable TV provider (Cable Modem), Telephone (DSL), Satellite, etc..  Many of the major providers (e.g. Spectrum, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, and others) have offered to eliminate charges for “going over your limit” and eliminate bandwidth throttling. If you already have access to the Internet from home, but it is too slow or limited, we recommend you call your service provider to see if they can assist. Many already have a plan to help you, especially those who are participating in academic activities. You should self-identify as a member of a University community.

Option 2: Obtain New Home Internet Service

Some individuals have no Internet service at their homes, but they do have the appropriate wiring necessary for internet access. Charter, Comcast, and Spectrum have advertised free Internet for 60 days for students. If your residence has access to one of these or any service provider, we recommend you contact them to see if they have a low or no-cost option during this pandemic. You should self-identify as a member of a University community.

Option 3: Explore Cellular Options; No Internet Service Providers at Home

In many rural areas, there is simply no infrastructure for internet access. If there is adequate cellular service in the area, then you may be able to work with your cellular provider to either use your cell phone as a “wireless hotspot” or consider adding a mobile hotspot to your cellular account. These solutions provide a Wi-Fi network that you can use with your laptop or other devices.

Option 4:  Free Wi-Fi

If solving this problem at your residence isn’t technically possible, then you may want to visit a nearby location that has free Wi-Fi. For example, many public libraries, coffee shops, and some restaurants provide wireless that you can use as their customer. You should check with each of them to see if their hours have changed given the current public health situation. If you can temporarily access the internet, simply search for “Free Wi-Fi near me” to find locations that may be able to assist.  Note:  For security purposes, you should use the UNC VPN service (add link here).

Additional Support during COVID-19

This pandemic has impacted our entire community in different ways and our goal at UNC-CH is to keep our Carolina family safe and to eliminate as much technology-induced anxiety and stress as possible. If you need technical guidance with off-campus networking, please call (919) 962-HELP. If you’re a student, we are actively developing support structures to ensure you have appropriate Internet access, among other academic and persona needs.  If you are experiencing a challenge specific to internet access (financial or otherwise), please email the Covid Student Support Hub at  covidcareforstudents@unc.edu.

Note:  Specific Internet Providers that are listed are just examples and their policies are subject to change.  Please contact your local provider for specific service offerings.

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