Technology for working remotely

Most of the tools you might need are easily accessible with an internet connection, and your laptop or home computer. Some may require setup, and there is help available from the DoIT Help Desk.

Looking for help with learning remotely?

In this page:

Quick checklist

Getting started

In order to work remotely, you may need some or all of the following:

Internet access

Work with a local internet service provider (ISP). The university does not offer personal high speed internet as a service. See Home Internet Guide in Wisconsin for details about available ISPs with links to their sites and additional info. Check out these tips for How to manage slower internet or low bandwidth

Security while working remotely

When working remotely, safety and security are important. Keep your operating system up to date, use antivirus software, use a VPN, enable your firewall, use strong passwords, and enable multi-factor authentication. Explore How to Stay Safe Online While Accessing Campus Remotely.

Communication and collaboration tools

Remote teaching

Visit the UW-Madison Instructional Continuity website for guidance on delivering classes remotely. This helpful site offers general guidance, a smooth course transition, and important accessibility considerations.

Email and online calendar

Access your email online with your NetID and password. Office 365 can also track meetings, appointments, and events. Consider calendar best practices.

UW-Madison G Suite

A collection of cloud-based tools for collaboration including Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Sites, Google Keep, Google Hangouts Chat & Meet, and more.

Microsoft Teams

Chat, video meetings, and make phone calls to communicate easily and efficiently. Get started using Teams with the info on this KB doc

Webex Meetings

Video meetings, group messaging, file sharing and white boarding.
Install Webex Meetings | Get started with Webex


Free online file storage. Upload and download files, but be aware of storing sensitive data. Login with your NetID and password.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Tools like Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator are available by logging in to Adobe Creative Cloud with your NetID.

Other software programs are available through the Campus Software Library, like Matlab, Smart Draw, and more. For information on access to software while working remote, please see How to get software while remote.

Telephone service

Use the voice-over-internet phone system through a physical phone, or through software called Jabber. Also review Jabber Installation for first time setup.

You also might want to make updates to your phone service like call forwarding, notification and updating your telephone PIN.

Using voicemail: Listen to and delete messages, as well as change greetings. You must either be on UW-Madison campus or using WiscVPN to use.

Remote desktop access to your work computer

Certain departments allow remote desktop access so that employees can access their work computer remotely. Access to this service varies by department, operating system, and various other factors.  Contact your local IT support staff for more information about whether this option is available to you and for assistance with setup.

Broadband internet at home

DoIT strongly encourages employees to use wired broadband internet service at home and not rely on mobile hotspots from wireless carriers. While hotspots are convenient for occasional internet access and for internet access when traveling they do not provide enough data in their plans to sustain full-time work from home. Even the “unlimited” plans are capped at about 20 GB of data, which is not enough data for most people to get through the month before the cap resets.

Broadband carriers

In many urban and suburban areas of Wisconsin there is at least one internet provider. Unfortunately, access to wired internet in rural areas can be challenging. Most carriers offer high speed internet with no monthly data caps. Many have introductory pricing of $50 per month or less. Contact your local carrier to determine if service is offered at your residence. In many cases, you can check availability online. 

Major carriers in south-central Wisconsin that may provide service in your area: AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter/Spectrum, Comcast, Frontier, TDS Telecom or TDS Fiber. You can also search for providers using an ad supported site.  

Satellite providers

For those not served by wired internet there are some satellite providers. Monthly data caps may apply.

Financial assistance 

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission publishes a list of financial assistance that can help low-income families pay for utility costs.


DoIT is providing this list of resources as a convenience to aid in your search for an internet service provider. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement, recommendation, or support; other capable and quality providers may not be listed. As with any purchase, shop around, ask for promotional deals, look at consumer reviews, and read the terms and conditions of any contract prior to signing up for the service.  

Faculty & instructional staff accommodations

If you have a disability, consider how transitioning from in-person to remote may impact your ability to teach. To revise a current accommodation, request a new accommodation, or if you encounter a barrier, please contact your Divisional Disability Representative (DDR). For accessibility barriers with instructional technology like Canvas or Kaltura MediaSpace, please contact the DoIT Help Desk who will connect you to the Learn@UW–Madison team. The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement’s Employee Disability Resources unit is also available to help.


Contact the DoIT Help Desk

See also

Keywords:remote work access VPN security MFA Duo multi-factor multifactor authentication off campus headset MS Teams VoIP email meetings online text chat calls Adobe Connect Google Meet Cisco Webex helpdesk resources creative cloud gsuite workspace   Doc ID:98878
Owner:ERIK G.Group:DoIT Communications KB
Created:2020-03-16 08:54 CSTUpdated:2021-11-30 09:31 CST
Sites:DoIT Communications KB, DoIT Help Desk
Feedback:  12   14